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Controversial MP to champion landlord concerns in Parliament

A controversial MP sacked by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier this year says he will take up the cause of landlords concerned about periodic tenancies.

Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi has met with Nik Kyriacou, the associate director of lettings agency Sheldon Bosley Knight.

A statement from Kyriacou says Zahawi was aware of the issue of periodic tenancies, which was a measure in the Renters’ Reform Bill; the MP recognised the issue would have a negative impact on landlords, not least financially.

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Zahawi told the agent that the purpose of the Bill was to “deal with rogue landlords” but agreed “at the same time we must listen to legitimate concerns”.

He said: “We all want a fair private rental sector. This [the abolition of periodic tenancies] will make it more difficult in terms of finance and security of tenure. I believe in contract law and one of the best things about investing in the UK is we have the best legal framework in the world. Contracts matter and so fixed terms make sense to me.

“It would be disturbing if they [tenants] left a tenancy under those [new] conditions. A landlord would be stuck.”

Kyriacou said Zahawi also recognised that the abolition of fixed term tenancies would be a problem for students and student landlords.

The agent outlined other issues facing landlords and tenants including increased taxation for investors, more demand than there are properties available, increased rents and the cost associated with upgrading properties to conform with the EPC requirements.

Kyriacou says: “The meeting with Mr Zahawi was extremely positive. He was receptive and responsive and has promised to look into our concerns and raise them with the government.

“He has so far been the only MP in our patch who responded to not just our letter to [Housing Secretary] Mr Gove regarding the Bill, but also our requests to meet and discuss the proposals which we believe will have a detrimental impact on both landlords and tenants and could result in landlords leaving the sector.

“He has promised to look in detail at the proposals within the Bill and take our concerns to Mr Gove.”

Zahawi was sacked by Sunak when the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests identified seven breaches of the Ministerial Code in January this year. The Prime Minister dismissed Zahawi immediately.

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    MPs ‘on the left’ in red and ‘on the left’ in blue are all competing in a race to the bottom on tenant rights. They need to completely F things up first. Then they all need to pass the blame around later denying everything and keep talking about tenant rights, game changer, once in a generation and talking up their nonsense. Their time in Westminster will soon pass. The problems will be addressed in several governments time. Many of us will be dead and won’t be around to see ‘pro-landlord’ policies reintroduced.

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    The problem I can see is that even if our concerns are properly voiced now, Labour could well win the next election, and that party may still wish to abolish fixed term tenancies.

     
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    I think they are all wedded to it Ellie.

     
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    It sounds like good news that Nadhim Zahawi will take up our concerns about the loss of fixed term tenancies. It seems that there may be a recognition that contracts do matter with both parties needing to be in complete agreement over the terms.

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    I’ve never know anyone as arrogant as Gove to think they can just come in and wholesale change legal agreements between parities like this.

    I think if anything fixed terms should be abolished for new tenancies (I don’t agree they should go at all). But existing tenancies are what they are.

     
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    I can't see why it should not be possible to have fixed term contracts always providing both parties are in agreement. Some tenants are happy to sign up for a fixed term because they want to rent a flat for a fixed term, and a huge number of landlords are not prepared to let on an indefinite tenancy. There needs to be a recognition of those facts.

     
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    This reminds me of the battle between King 👑 Canute 🌊 and the waves 😂 .

    Ferey Lavassani

    Another rat abandoning the sinking ship.

     
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    I think the Ealing bi-election was a wake up call over Ulez. All of the sudden the Tories and lurched to the right and agreed to grant lots of new oil licences this week and Rishi is now pro-motorist. I think this is unthinkable pre the bi-election with ‘net-zero’ overriding all common sense!

     G romit

    Usual pre-election promises to garner some votes, and just as quickly forgotten after the election!

     
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    I don't understand why the government wants to mess up a system that has predominantly worked well for decades.
    Fixed term tenancies work perfectly for some landlords and tenants (especially students or seasonal workers) while an initial 6 months fixed AST followed by a rolling SPT works perfectly for others.
    Some landlords like the system of a series of fixed term contracts. Personally I don't know how most adults can plan their lives in fixed 6 or 12 month blocks. What happens if they get a fantastic job offer in another city a few days after signing a new fixed term? What happens if they get pregnant at the wrong time? What happens if they get badly injured and 3 flights of stairs are no longer practical? Isn't it horribly stressful wondering if you'll be offered a new fixed term or if you can plan your life to fit that fixed term? How many landlords would actually hold them to their contract in any of the above circumstances?
    On the other hand some tenants like to have the certainty of fixed terms. They don't like the idea a landlord could serve an eviction notice at any time. The fact the vast majority of landlords wouldn't dream of evicting a good tenant doesn't enter their head. It's still a risk they don't want to take.

    Tenants aren't all the same so trying to impose a one size fits all solution is clearly going to produce some unforeseen consequences.
    Minimum fixed terms are important if tenants want affordable rent. There needs to be a certain level of seriousness about the whole thing, especially if the government wants to clamp down on Airbnb and short term holiday lets. In reality as long as the outgoing tenant is liable to pay the rent until a new tenant moves in everyone should be happy. It would be nice if the figure suggested as reasonable for the admin fee was increased to something more realistic than £50.
    The downside of students being able to leave whenever they want is that if they choose to leave when other students don't want to move in the house stops being a student house. We had a glitch with student numbers about 10 years ago so I started letting one of my student houses to a mix of students and professionals. It still hasn't returned to the student market even though it is in a prime student area. While students would undoubtedly pay more rent, longer term HMO tenants are less work (especially in August). The local Council are now trying to widen the Article 4 area to prevent the spread of student houses into surrounding parts of the city. Presumably I'm not the only landlord who has changed a house from student to professional, so it is clearly already an issue.

    So how about the government accept the current system has something for everyone and just leave tenants and landlords to pick whichever method is mutually beneficial?

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    In Scotland if a group of students sign a joint tenancy agreement then all must agree to end the tenancy. One can't decide to leave unless the others agree.

    In theory, now that fixed term tenancies have been outlawed, one tenant can compel flatmates to keep on renting the flat for the rest of their lives- not even sure what would happen if one died!

    This crazy situation has never been properly highlighted and is the perfect argument why joint tenancies should be fixed term to protect tenants and landlords alike. The same issue would also affect couples or families in the event of the relationship breakdown.

     
    Richard LeFrak

    Hi Jo, I converted one student house back to family accommodation and although I did not earn as much it was less hassle.

    I did it because University of Central Lancashire was chucking up flats all over Preston, however there is a lot of demand from lecturers and support staff. I have 4 flats near the university and seriously considering turning these into AirBnb as mummy and daddy will always want to see young Spencer or Olivia at the weekends.

    RRB is forcing me to really re think my strategy and exit plan.

     
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    THE RENTERS REFORM BILL is not the solution its the Problem.

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    Spot on!

     
  • David Saunders

    A bit late in the day for him trying to close the stable door as the horse seems to have already bolted as far as section 21 goes.

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    Nadheem is one of a handful of MP'S who had a highly successful career before entering Parliament and talks a lot of sense, unlike the vast majority on both sides.

  • jeremy clarke

    Tobias Elwood, MP Bournemouth is also on the side of the landlord, recent correspondence from him effectively says that he has been telling Gove for months that there are issues. Just need a few more to show their hands!

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    IT IS WAY TO LATE ALREADY, the mass graves have already been dug ,lets just bury the remains of the PRS and go and provide homes in a democracy

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    Might Elwood be a landlord himself..
    In which case he's biased.

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    Maybe he is biased. Maybe not. It is just pure speculation to suggest he may be.

    Even if he does have an interest it does not make his points invalid.

     
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    Might Sandra be a tenant herself? (N.B. - Note the use of ? to indicate a question).

    In which case she's biased. (Sorry for the incorrect grammar in this latter sentence but I was simply mirroring Sandra's post).

     
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    Robert,

    Bowes-Rennox has a double-barreled surname. I am sure she had an excellent education and has merely fallen on hard times now her husband's or daddy's money has dried up or some other similar circumstances.

    I believe by not using a '?' that she was asking a rhetorical question.

     
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    Might SBR be a benefits tenant herself.
    In which case she's biased.

     
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    Sandra, you still haven't told us your issue with your landlord. Their are plenty of experienced people on this forum who would be willing to try and help you.

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    The Government should not intervene or decide on tenancy/landlord contracts. Passing a bill that becomes law is just going on to being a dictatorship state. It needs to be free market forces deciding on the rents and contracts between landlord and tenants. The gov't is being very short sighted and destroying already a good letting model. It will be too late and very expensive to reverse everything for tenants and councils, who will be targeted to provide housing to more tenants. This is sad situation for tenants. It is a shame that some of them do not see it like that at the moment.

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    Quite right, Vibha. You can't hold a gun to someone's head to make them enter into a contract imposed by the state. Landlords will not let when they are being subject to that form of coercion. The private rental sector will disappear as it did in the past.

     
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    Students will become the favourite type of tenants as they won't stay indefinitely.

    God help young families trying to get a new home once England follows Scotland's lunacy.

     
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    Leave the toxic tu*ds to pick up the pieces I cannot wait for the day when there is not one private property to rent in the uk
    Then they can say thank you to our lovely friends at shelter acorn and generation hate we are so proud of you getting rid of the greedy landlords, now just take us to our new homes.
    WHAT DO YOU MEAN you don't have a home for us ,where are we going to sleep

  • Peter  Yednell

    ELLIE.. You are right which is why we nerd to seek sensible reform now. In France all fixed term tenancies are three years. Most landlords could live with that. In addition propose that periodic tenancies been abolished and replace by roll over tenancies u less a section 21 has been served AND enforced within a limited set time frame. Service and no enforcement would mean a roll over tenancy on expiry on the section 21 (no chance to serve another Section 21 until that roll over expires)... Such sensible reform would nip in the bud more radical destruction of landlords rights and thereby of the PRS.. I urge landlords to write to their MP..

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    Peter that might be a good idea, but many tenants don't want three year tenancies in my experience.

     
  • Robert Black

    We don't want section 21 abolished! There must be a compromise somewhere

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    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

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    It is broke as in successive governments don't build / allow enough housing for a fast growing population. So they are turning our PRIVATELY OWNED PROPERTIES into social housing. Just sticking a plaster on it....

     
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