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Rental Reform: would Sunak or Truss be best for landlords?

It’s just possible that the new Prime Minister - whether Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss - might just redress the imbalance currently in favour of tenants in the government’s rental reform proposals.

(There is an opportunity for readers to vote on this subject at the bottom of this story).

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities published its White Paper - A Fairer Private Rented Sector - six weeks ago, since which time Boris Johnson has resigned as Tory party leader and the race for a new PM is underway, stalling the timetable for reform. 

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Now Neil Cobbold, managing director of automated rental payment service PayProp UK, says: “This delay gives the industry more time to assist the government to get the balance right on rental reform to ensure that the legislation takes the concerns of agents, landlords and tenants into account.

“It’s clear that whatever the outcome of the Conservative leadership election, rental reform is still on the horizon … now is an ideal time for all in the private rental sector to help contribute to the debate around rental reform to ensure voices from all sides are heard.”

PayProp suggests that with all sides of the political spectrum seemingly agreeing on the removal of Section 21, time should be dedicated to working with the sector in improving the efficiency of Section 8 evictions.

As part of the White Paper, the government has confirmed that significant rent arrears or a landlord needing to move into the property themselves will be mandatory grounds for eviction. A new mandatory ground has also been announced – for repeated arrears, applicable when tenants fall into arrears persistently but do not owe at least two months’ rent.

Cobbold continues: “There is a big opportunity for the government to embrace technology to speed up the evidentiary aspect of mandatory evictions. 

“In cases of rent arrears and the new mandatory grounds of repeated arrears, accurate evidence will be key. We are encouraging the government to accredit verifiable records of payments and arrears, including data from banks and third-party platforms that use real-time bank records so courts can be confident that the records in front of them are a true reflection of the situation.”

As the courts will now have to deal with all eviction cases, Cobbold says PayProp wants the first-tier tribunal to hear eviction cases brought on mandatory grounds, rather than landlords having to go through the longer, more expensive court process.

“In cut-and-dried arrears cases, where courts have access to indisputable evidence provided by accredited third parties, eviction cases should be sped up, with the process taking days, not months – so long as the government recognises the ability of technology to help.”

He says that to gain accreditation from the government, data providers must ensure payment demands and transaction records are always accessible to landlords, tenants and agents - and by insisting on this, the government can help encourage a more transparent industry as all have access to the same data so it will be difficult for any party to challenge its accuracy in court.

Cobbold believes: “By keeping all parties fully informed of any missed payments or outstanding amounts, agents can help proactively manage arrears with the aim of avoiding an eviction. By acting as a mediator between landlords and tenants, agents can help manage expectations and develop affordable payment plans that allow tenants to remain in the property while landlords are repaid and avoid a costly eviction.

“This in turn could reduce the number of evictions that make it to court, allowing necessary evictions to proceed at a faster pace.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

Poll: Which candidate is most likely to make rental reform more landlord-friendly?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

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    Where's the voting button for don't know and don't care and won't be voting Tory again?

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    I’ve voted Tory all my life. But these useless current backstabbers have to go.

     
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    I don't like the sound of Rishi Sunak's proposal to declare a crisis situation if he becomes leader. Could that mean that landlords were prevented from serving Section 21 notices even before any legislation is in force?

    I think Prime Ministers need to observe legal principles and private contracts myself.

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    Ellie - I have not heard that ! Very worrying indeed, what about him then banning all evictions like we had with the Covid...... that would be an easy and popular option.

     
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    That was my fear, too, Simon.

     
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    No one to vote for, where can I vote for levelling down demise of PRS white paper Bill.

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    You are right Michael there is no one to vote for

     
  • George Dawes

    Neither , both wef puppets

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    Unless we are members if the Conservative Party, we have no input regarding the next leader.

    Quite honestly, I can't say I'm much impressed by either of them. The fact that one of them is shortly to be declared Prime Minister is depressing.

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    We Llds. should not enter into politics. We should however, stand out to any politician including the PM the we Llds. should not be:
    (i) vilified,
    (ii) our properties should be looked after whoever the tenant is,
    (iii) rent should be paid regularly as per TA
    (iv) we Llds. should pledge to provide and maintain properties to decent standards as any person on
    the bus expect a rental property should be, taking into account the locality

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    Did any one else notice that the article is about a company arguing for a service (payment management) that they provide, to become necessary to obtain mandatory possession. Talk about vested interest!
    Having said that, if it was done at reasonable cost it could be advantageous to good tenants as a good payment record could potentially count towards credit scoring to get their first mortgage, if they want one. It could also be used for referencing new tenants.
    But cost is as much a key as recognition by authorities.

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    I don't really see how these companies can justify any additional charge for providing payment management records.
    It's all totally automated by the banks. Proving a payment record in this day and age is incredibly easy. A few seconds to access online bank statements and it's all there in black and white. Even my UC tenants pay by online bank transfer or Standing Order. Courts should accept bank statements as absolute proof of when rent was paid. Surely there is nothing better than a bank statement for proving financial transactions.

    It's not like in the old days of cash and rent books. Back in the late 1990s if I wanted to be certain of receiving rent from a couple of my tenants I had to hang around their place of employment on pay day and intercept them as they left the building while they still had pay packets full of cash. The time and effort in rent collecting and the margin for error in record keeping back then was in a different league.

     
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    • G W
    • 28 July 2022 08:42 AM

    Which ever one does not intend to increase Capital Gains Tax!!….. I have it on fairly good authority that this is being reviewed to dissuade Landlords from selling….thus trapping them into still following what’s on white paper and adhering to changes….. I’ve already started selling up but fear I will be too late as wanted to sell only one a year!….. a Labour MP through Shelter has been pushing that Landlords should be made to give tenants first refusal with up to 20% discount depending on how long they’ve rented the address for.

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    Apparently Liz Truss has, in the past, voted in favour of reducing capital gains tax.

     
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    GW - That is communism by the back door ! We are morphing into China/Russia. I had been looking to start selling up with the EPC C in the back of my mind but if the next govt are looking at this i may have to bring forward my selling up plan.

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    Advertorial.

    🫢

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    I have 8 btl properties let to families with children. I have invested in 5 of them to bring up from a EPC D to a C grade. I was intending to do the rest but have now changed my mind and I am selling one each year. I don't like the idea of not being able to terminate a tenancy if it does not work for me. I have never had to use Section 21 but knowing it was there if I needed it was good insurance. I just dread getting in awful tenants who spoil property but pay rent and you just can't get rid of them. Some of my tenants have been in my houses for 10 years with annual fixed term contracts. It will be up to the council to findy tenants suitable alternative accommodation which they will find almost impossible where I live as very few 3 bedroom houses with gardens come up to rent and usually £100 -£150 more per month than I charge them. Renters won't thank government, Shelter or Generation Rent for ending up in temporary accommodation. I can only hope now Give is sacked a new minister might reconsider the impact of scrapping Section 21. If tenants are no problem and paying rent on time I would imagine very few LL would issue a Section 21 just for the fun of it.

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    That is absolutely right Wendy, and there is something very wrong with a policy (in this case, scrapping Section 21) if the result of it is that we are all preparing to sell our properties - and just considering when is the best time to do so.

     
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    Totally agree and similar situation. Great shame for all the good tenants who will struggle to find anywhere to live when we sell up. Just sold a property with tenants in situ, its taken nearly a year, and price approx 8% less than I might have got if it was vacant, so not going to do that again.

     
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    I can see the government looking for ways to stop us selling ! The game is up and they know it, it’s a race for the 🚪 door.

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    I wonder what they will come up with? Higher CGT or something else?

     
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    Overall I just think Sunak's idea to get inflation down first is the best plan. Giving tax breaks etc will only make inflation worse, not sure Truss has much idea about finance. We need tenants who can afford to pay the rent, and so getting inflation under control seems the better plan out of this mess. Still not sure why businesses can't seem to get the staff they need mind you, when there are so many on benefits, unless they are all unemployable.

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    Why bother working when you can live on benefits. The less you have, the more help you get. The housing benefit should be paid directly to the landlord and then they should be given food stamps. If they want to smoke, drink, watch sky, have a car etc. then they should be made to work. If they refuse to work then the benefits should be reduced. If there are no vacancies the council should make them clean the streets.

     
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    They are not unemployable, just bone idle scrounging scum

     
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    There are a staggering number of people who aren't working but don't appear in the statistics. GB news is living in the real world, well worth watching !

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