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Fear of Landlord Exodus “over-stated” says right-leaning think tank

A think tank that describes itself as “centre right” praises the Renters Reform Bill and claims the fear of landlords selling up is “over-stated.”

Writing on the Conservative Home website, Samuel Bruce - the head of housing and communities at the Centre for Social Justice - says:  “Analysis by the Centre for Social Justice reveals that concerns over a landlord exodus and associated decline in rental housing stock are overstated. The number of private rental homes in England has grown, since 2019 despite other significant regulations being introduced since then.”

He praises the Renters Reform Bill, describing it this way: “The strength of the Bill is that it expands rights for good tenants – but not at the expense of good landlords. The abolition of Section 21 is balanced with an expanded list of possession grounds under Section Eight, which means that good landlords will be able to evict tenants who are repeatedly in rent arrears or engaging in anti-social behaviour. Section Eight also includes grounds for taking possession where tenants are not at fault, such as if the landlord wishes to sell the property or move themselves or relatives into it.”


But Bruce is sharply critical of the government’s apparently unlimited delay at introducing it.

While accepting that the court system needs improvement - stated by Housing Secretary Michael Gove as something that must happen ahead of the abolition of Section 21 eviction powers - Bruce is unhappy at the vagueness of the timeline.

He writes: “What does this mean, and how long will it take? The government’s current plans are to introduce efficiency measures such as digitisation and improved prioritisation of cases in the courts. However, it has not set out a clear plan of action and the fears are that nothing will happen until the entire judicial system is improved.

“Delay will see neglectful and absentee landlords continue to wreak havoc over tenants’ lives, especially those with low incomes and in areas of high deprivation. Estimates put Section 21 evictions running at 540 a day.

“That’s why government must commit to the introduction of housing courts as the clearest way to reassure tenants and landlords that the new system will work. All housing cases could then travel through a single body with the institutional insight needed to process them more quickly and effectively that at present.”

He also wants ministers to set out clear timelines for making intended improvements to judicial processes that deal with possession cases, as well as implementing other aspects of the Bill - particularly the Property Portal (effectively a landlord register) and compulsory landlord membership of an Ombudsman scheme.

You can see the full article here.

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  • icon

    “The strength of the Bill is that it expands rights for good tenants – but not at the expense of good landlords.” Cuckoo?

    “The abolition of Section 21 is balanced with an expanded list of possession grounds under Section Eight” Balanced? How exactly?

    How are they right leaning?

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Have these crackpots been sponsored by Shelter or Acorn? More left leaning than a left person from leftsville..!

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    Saying the number of rental homes has grown since 2019 is a very strange thing to base anything on. 2019 was a normal year. Landlords expanded their portfolios in the normal way. People agreed to buy houses and the conveyancing often took several months, so the purchase date would be several months later. In 2019 COVID hadn't been invented, interest rates were rock bottom and the UK had an economy in reasonable shape. Lockdowns changed the rental market beyond recognition. WFH and social distancing were born. People fled the cities and wanted to rent houses with plenty of space around them and fresh air. Some landlords spotted an opportunity and provided suitable properties. Interest rates were still low but Sunak was stoking prices with the Stamp Duty holidays.
    Fast forward to 2022 and the wheels came off the PRS juggernaut. Conveyancing was in meltdown due to the Stamp duty holiday deadlines and solicitors teams WFH. Interest rates started to rise. Underwriters were overwhelmed and chains were collapsing.
    In early 2022 expanding my portfolio still seemed like a sensible thing to do. By late 2022 it was completely toxic. Prices and interest rates completely out of sync. No reasonable prospect of being able to charge enough rent to cover the mortgage interest and Section 24 unless a gigantic deposit is put in when buying the house.
    Using a 4 year timeframe is about as misleading as it is possible to be.

  • icon

    Supporters of the Renters Reform legislation all conveniently ignore the historical data which shows that the majority of landlords don't let their properties if they are going to lose control of them.

    Furthermore, the Tory move to abolish Section 21 has already led to more extreme plans by Labour who seek to go further in taking landlords' ownership rights away.

    Whatever the Tories do now with the Renters Reform legislation, Labour has committed to abolish Section 21 immediately when they take power. Landlords will plan now with that in mind.

  • icon

    Think 🤔 Tank they say ? Not too sure there is a lot of thinking going on 🤐

  • icon

    How do the know about the number of PRS properties anyway. I understand it’s not widely know how many there are in total. It’s all a bit of a guess from the English Housing Survey and the NRLA who have quite different figured themselves.

  • icon

    Well that's alright then! I wonder why rents are still rising & would-be tenants can't find anywhere to rent?


    Samuel Bruce - the head of housing and communities at the Centre for Social Justice is delusional.

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    So, the estimation of 540 per day, have they also estimated what percentage of these are through arrears, anti social behaviour etc?


    And how many are due to the Renters Reform Legislation?

  • icon

    Basically it's the conservative party bigging up their legislation.

  • David Saunders

    They need to put a more water in whatever it is they're drinking.

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    If this is right wing thinking we are all doomed.


    This government is neither true Conservative, nor right wing. For that you need the Reform Party UK.

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    Is this why there are 60 tenants each private rented property.

  • jeremy clarke

    Just when you think they couldn't make it up, they do!
    What utter rubbish, is it my tax that pays for these idiots to give themselves titles and make up fairy tales?


    Someone should point out that the country has chamged since 2019. We have had lockdown and WFH plus the threat of RRB. Perhaps he would like to visit any lettimgs agents and ask their would be tenants why they are moving. I bet the majority would say because their landlord is selling.

  • icon

    Blind leading the blind. Not much thinking going on here.

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    Looks like he hasn't read the Yorkshire Building Society's Home Truths report (as the previous article on LLD Today) including the implication of about one third of landlords not staying for 5 years; which presumably excluded some landlords who have already sold/left and weren't in the survey.

  • Peter  Roberts

    These people are absolutely miles away from what IS actually happening with PRS LLs.
    We ARE leaving the market and whatever these deluded fools may think, our properties are being sold 90% to Private Buyers. Only 10-15% will ever go back on the rental market. Once they are lost to the rental market they won’t be returning.
    This makes a lower amount of availability with more people chasing these so rents go up and up.
    Families are setting up tents outside the South Gloucestershire Council offices for their families and spend the days inside the warm offices.
    Currently there are 4 tented FAMILIES there and they are all after homes.
    SGC have nothing to offer.
    So what’s next for these FAMILIES?
    B&Bs and Single Hotel rooms that they have to leave during the days and return in the evenings.
    The PRS LLs have for a long time looked after the housing market for the Government and Councils but they have interfered so much that we ARE selling up and getting out.
    They can’t stop us selling our properties but the consequences of the Government and Councils actions are Homelessness of their making.
    This will lead to high level civil unrest on our streets.
    The Labour say they will build in excess of 1.6 Million social houses.
    We don’t have the Skilled Tradesmen to build this amount of properties.

  • Nic  Kaz

    This seems like old information has been used to spin a new headline. But eventually the latest data is going to be undeniable and overwhelming - PRS is no longer an attractive investment for many landlords and we are moving our capital elsewhere.


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