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Rental activists claim public support for radical five point 2024 wish list

The controversial Renters Reform Coalition - a band of campaigners including the Acorn and Generation Rent ginger groups - claims public support for five rental reforms in 2024.

It says 71 per cent of the public - in a poll the coalition itself commissioned - back the abolition of Section 21 eviction powers. “There's no excuse for not passing the Renters Reform Bill and getting this done before the next General Election” claims the coalition in a Christmas social media burst.

Some 63 per cent of the coalition’s poll apparently back a call for two year protected tenancies from Section 21 eviction grounds. “Renters should be able to put down roots, and plan for the future. This is impossible if you could be evicted just six months into a new tenancy” claims the coalition.

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Again, 63 per cent are said to back discretion for judges in court. The coalition demands: “Renters must have the option to challenge an eviction in court and a judge should have the discretion to decide what is right. Evicting someone from their home is never 'black and white' and a public majority agree legislation should reflect that.”

The coalition’s fourth Christmas wish is an end to economic evictions - which appears to be the activists’ new terms for a rent rise. The group says: “Abolishing Section 21 without restricting in-tenancy rent increases risks landlords abusing unaffordable rent hikes as the 'new' no-fault evictions. A significant majority agree: it's time to cap in-tenancy rent increases.” The coalition claims 68 per cent back this.

Finally 71 per cent are said to support four months notice periods rather than two. “A key factor behind Section 21 driving homelessness is that two months is just not long enough to find a new home and save up for a move. Keeping the status quo isn't good enough and the public agree” says the Renters Reform Coalition.

On the RRC website, in addition to around 20 activist groups which are actual members of the coalition, it lists supporters including POMOC - Polish Migrants Organising for Change; Loughborough Students Union; and the Dogs Trust. 

 

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    Clearly the people questioned haven't thought it through and are just reacting to very biased questions.
    Since fees were banned very few tenants get evicted after 6 months. 6 months is actually a very sensible trial period for both landlord and tenant. If the neighbours are awful or parking is impossible someone is only tied in for 6 months. Equally if the tenant is horrendous the landlord can start eviction proceedings after they have been in situ for 4 months. It's going to take way longer to actually get them out. Two years is far too long for most young professionals to commit to a property. Some are squeamish about 6 months in case they get a fantastic job offer elsewhere or meet their dream partner and want to rent a place together. The fact they don't want to commit for too long doesn't mean they won't stay for years. One of mine was really unhappy about committing to 6 months but is still there more than 7 years later on a SPT. When he's ready he just needs to give a months notice. What's not to like? He's had complete flexibility after the initial 6 months. I've had a great tenant for many years.

    The last thing anyone needs is Judges having more discretion. If they had applied Section 8 more consistently we wouldn't be in the situation we are in today. Fault based evictions need to be dealt with swiftly and with certainty. Then we can rationally discuss the no fault evictions. It needs to be recognised landlords are normal people. We aren't big faceless corporations. At some point most of us will want to retire or die and will cease being landlords. If the government hadn't tried to tax us out of existence there would have been a steady stream of new young landlords entering the industry and buying properties with existing tenants or for new tenants. Unfortunately the government decided to make BTL as unattractive as possible as a business so we now have a housing crisis.

    A lot of landlords give much longer notice already. The most important thing is once an eviction notice is served the tenant must be free to accept a new tenancy at any point. A new landlord is going to favour someone who will result in the shortest void for them. The amount of landlords who think tenants are puppets to be forced to do everything to suit the landlord who is evicting them is ridiculous. I tend to look favourably on applicants who are facing homelessness but I'm not going to wait weeks with no rent just so the person who is evicting them gets everything their own way. They should think themselves lucky the tenant has found a new home and not forced them to go through the court system.

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    On your last paragraph, Jo, it depends on what has been agreed between the landlord and tenant at the outset.

    However, personally I let people leave early if they wish to do that, without penalising them with respect to rent or deposit. It is a favour to allow a breach of contract without penalty, not a right of the person breaching it.

    Having said that, I don't consider tenants who want to rent months ahead. My advert will state the flat is available immediately.

     
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    Ellie - it does depend if someone is at the end of a fixed term which was reasonably known to be a fixed term at the outset (such as a student house or fixed work contract). Those people tend to have somewhere else to go such as their parents house or their normal residence. In my experience they always go within a few days of the expected date.

    I operate in an area where other than student houses most tenancies start as 6 months and then roll onto SPTs. A lot of the prospective tenants I see now have been in their current home for years and are only moving because the landlord is selling. They are already facing significant expense and inconvenience not of their choosing. To have the added pressure of trying to find a property that is available to them at a date that suits the landlord who is evicting them is just an added difficulty. The last one I took in that situation had a landlord who told them he couldn't afford to let them leave much before his sale completed but expected them to be out on a date of his choice. Fortunately his letting agent intervened and spelt out how unrealistic and potentially expensive for him (in terms of a lost sale) his expectations were.
    I've had other people since who would have been highly suitable for the HMO households they were looking at but we simply couldn't make the dates work. There was no way the prospective tenant could afford two lots of rent and why should they? They're already having to find money for moving costs they hadn't planned for.
    Vacating before Court action has become necessary has saved the old landlord a huge amount of stress and hassle. Foregoing a few weeks rent to facilitate a stress free early repossession is a small price to pay. Especially if the sale of the property hinges on vacant possession.

     
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    I can see that there are different circumstances where it would be appropriate for the landlord to be flexible, Jo - and it wouldn't be fair to you for you to have to leave the flat empty while their Section 21 notice period expires.

    Actually, lately I have been operating slightly differently myself with my latest tenants coming straight from China to my flat so that has meant that I have left the flat empty for a little while to coincide with their flight dates. I am finding the business a bit more interesting now though.

    My German tenant has been lovely - he is in Germany at the moment for Christmas, but still sent me an unexpected and very nice Christmas present.

    Incidentally, I never use an agent.

     
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    If the Dogs Trust are their supporters, then they lose my donations.

    Edit:
    It seems Cats Protection also support them. Since I have cats and dogs I have donated to both. I will await their response.

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    Jo. I was agreeing with everything you said until you got close the end then it went wrong. It’s Landlords that are the puppets here being bounced around over the place.
    Why can’t people understand the vast majority so called eviction are not evictions at all but end of Contract that were entered into freely by both Parties.
    It’s the Council’s, Generation Rent, Shelter and others decided to encourage Tenants not to honour their Contracts but to frustrate the
    System forcing landlords to go to Court to get possession of his property back, he never signed up for the Tenants to stay forever or would never have been a Private landlord in the first place, is the word Private that difficult to understand, do you think we are all daft that we would buy a Property for someone else, if they want their own and all this Security of tenure then buy their own if they are so great pay their Mortgage’s and eat jam sandwiches. So forcing the landlords to do everything against their wishes is your answer so this has causing the housing problems and homelessness Crisis of today that is the fact.
    Its bad enough that so many are milking the system on £25’000. pa for doing nothing from our taxes but we must have sympathy for them and give them more.

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    Michael - the vast majority of tenancies run smoothly. The tenant moves in as expected and moves out after giving the correct notice.
    It's unfortunate there are no proper statistics for how many tenants are evicted for breaching their tenancy agreement. Using Section 21 has been incredibly helpful for tenants but ultimately unhelpful for landlords. It has made it look like vast numbers of perfect tenants get evicted every week, which simply isn't the case. If Section 8 had been more certain for fault based evictions we probably wouldn't be looking at losing Section 21 now.
    Genuinely blameless tenants rarely get evicted other than for the reasons that will still be allowed.

    In some areas outside London long term tenancies are perfectly normal. They start as 6 months and then roll onto SPT. Tenants often stay for 10 years or more on a rolling tenancy. There isn't a new fixed term contract to sign every 6 months so it does feel reasonably secure and long-term to the tenant. If the landlord eventually decides to sell up it comes as a huge shock to the tenant.

    I actually spent Christmas day with a friend who is facing eviction. His landlady is pregnant, getting married and wants to sell the 2 bed where my friend lodges and buy a family size house with her new husband. All perfectly reasonable human behaviour but my friend is devastated. He had moved in as her lodger 5 years ago at her request. She even encouraged him to get a cat as this was a long term arrangement. It all worked incredibly well for her. He is paying a very high rent for what it is and keeps the house immaculate. Now, through absolutely no fault of his own he has to start again. He's 63, has a part time work contract plus substantial overtime and a cat. Hopefully his age will work in his favour as he is old enough to apply for retirement properties, many of which will allow the cat. However, he is looking at months of stress and worry until he finds somewhere.

     
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    Agreed Jo sec 21 lets bad tenants off the hook they all need a CCJ so we all know who they are

     
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    I was looking at my local village facebook this morning. There was a post asking if anyone knew of a house to rent in the village. A house for rent was brought up but it was mentioned that the landlord was looking for a couple not a mother with children. This generated lots of negative comments and several villagers said they thought the LL was “not allowed” to do this and that some one had enquired and had “not a very nice” response from agent - which I think may have been no kids/pets. I just find it quite scary that people refuse to recognise the newly refurbed cottage in question was someone’s private property not a community asset and it was deemed unreasonable that the owner should have a say who lived in it. This seems to be the attitude now. The public at large have forgotten who actually owns the property and property rights are ignored. It did not seem to occur to the people posting.

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    Catherine, the issue nowadays is that housing is increasingly being promoted as a human right, provided at cost or subsidised to make it affordable and available to all citizens. This is actually the responsibility of governments to fulfil, not private citizens using their own resources to provide a service for a time. But because the nature of renting has changed so much with people increasingly expecting to rent privately long-term, and with alternatives becoming ever scarcer, people are being relentlessly encouraged to expect landlords to provide for that right instead of government, which has largely offloaded that responsibility. At the same time, government and pressure groups are trying to tax landlords into oblivion whilst making them feel obliged to accommodate all seekers without any discretion. Obviously, this is only going to end in tears because with an excess of prospective tenants, landlords will be able to pick whoever they please from the ever growing pool of people in desperate need of a home

     
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    This is a growing problem 🤷‍♂️ The public see no difference between ourselves and the housing association’s 🆘 they think we have a duty to house all the unfortunate people in the area. This is a big problem 😰

     
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    The rental activisits are divorced from reality.

    We know from the past, that the majority of landlords will not let if tenants are going to gain security of tenure, and even more onerous conditions in the Renters Reform legislation will ensure that no properties are available.

    In Scotland, their laws did not apply to existing tenants, so there wasn't an immediate crisis.

    In England, the Government (and the Labour Party) need to act lawfully and fairly, and this includes:

    1. Not passing legislation which will apply retrospectively

    2. Ensuring that the contract signed between landlord and tenant reflects what the landlord and tenant have agreed, and is not a figment of someone else's imagination. Many tenants know at the outset how long they intend to stay, and those tenants are not all students.

    3. Not passing legislation or introducing measures which will lead to a housing crisis.

    4. Recognising that properties in the private rental sector belong to individuals and not to the state, and consequently minimising state interference to that which is essential.



  • Peter Why Do I Bother

    A little update from my two crackpots in the flat.

    1. After setting fire to the kitchen, smashing the place up and being worded up by the council & others they contacted me on the 23rd with an offer to move out.
    2. I asked what they wanted, 1500 for a deposit and first months rent.
    3. When I asked who was to be paid, US they cried
    4. Let me think about it.
    5. Abusive texts all of Christmas Eve and into the early hours of Christmas Day.
    6. Rent now not paid

    Maybe this coalition of great minds want to explain to me about how it is my fault and how I have failed in my civic duty to house these people. Also would the coalition like access to my account so they can transfer the money to them.

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    Please don't facilitate these animals duping another LL! They need to live on the streets!

     
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    I had 5 skipping a month here and there for 4 double bedroom London 1550. pm.
    It was gone £6’200. behind but wanted to stay on and it paid the arrears. I offered them £2’000. off if they paid the rest and carry on but no they wouldn’t do that. So I had to call it a day they were regretting it afterwards didn’t realise what the Market was.
    I have been offered £2’500. by 2 lots before Christmas & £2’800. deposit but didn’t give it to them because of TRRB. Previous guys didn’t have a Deposit.
    So they want Rent Controls you may as well cancel all Build 2 Rent, none is affordable in my view, Studio £1500pm, one bedroom £2’000. pm.
    2 bedroom £2’200.

  • John  Adams

    There is no discussion with these folk, they are blindly following an agenda that many of them have no idea even who set it, only that it sounds good. We live in a society that has been corrupted by outside influences as can be seen in many areas of the media now, but to question that narrative is to bring a hell storm of accusations of discrimination despite it being bleedin' obvious that the sky is blue.

    As can be seen in America, there is a coming storm that will result in mass civil unrest in the coming decade, because of these lies and indoctrination of the gullible.

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    Civil unrest I'm sure that is coming here soon John

     
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    Andrew, Seems to be happening every weekend in London already.

     
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