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Mortgage firm tells Tories - Renters Reform Bill isn’t that bad…

The head of a specialist buy to let mortgage broker has split from almost all of the industry by saying the Renters Reform Bill will not be a problem for landlords. 

Gavin Richardson, the managing director of Mortgages for Business, says speculation in recent days suggested several Conservative Whips had rebelled, causing the Bill to be delayed in the second reading.

In a statement released yesterday Richardson says: "I want to reassure the whips that we don’t think the reforms will prove to be that bad for landlords.  First, sensible landlords — even those working in the Conservative whips' office — rarely turf out good tenants who pay their rent as they want them to stick around. 


“So this reform will disproportionately hit the minority of bad landlords who have abused Section 21 notices, rather than the reputable end of the market.

“Second, tenancies can still be ended if there has been a breach of the tenancy by the tenant. And the government has said it will introduce a new Ombudsman to settle disputes between tenants and landlords without the need to go to court. The government has also promised to digitise the courts’ agenda ahead of these reforms to ensure a swift resolution to these cases.  That will speed up processes where possession cases require them.

“Third, the whips will always be able to end a tenancy if they plan to move back in or sell it — that was the real danger of this reform, anything that inadvertently risked landlords’ ability to realise the value of their housing assets through disposal.”

Richardson goes on to says that the loss of full tax relief on mortgage interest payments for individual landlords, and the stamp duty surcharge on additional property property purchases, were far more significant for landlords than the Renters Reform Bill.

He continues: “The fact that the whips are nervous is understandable, given their own government's rhetoric. I don’t think for a moment that Section 21 exacerbated homelessness as one Tory communities secretary has claimed.  

“The government has needlessly spooked landlords — including their own backbenchers — in a bid to curry favour with tenants.”

A total of 87 MPs of all parties declared income from 167 homes providing more than £10,000 in rental earnings in the last year, according to research conducted by campaign group 38 Degrees this year.

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    He's partially right. Section 24 is the biggest problem right now, especially when it forces landlords who still like being landlords to sell as they are being heavily taxed on a loss.

    The RRB is fear of the unknown. Some of the proposals are completely ridiculous and we don't actually know what it will eventually look like.

    Government policy is largely to blame for increased eviction numbers. A combination of a bulge in numbers after the COVID eviction ban, rent arrears caused by the LHA freeze, changes to CGT, massively increased mortgage costs and the upcoming requirement for EPC C. Landlords are simply fed up with the completely unreasonable behaviour of government. Most of us have historically had a very harmonious, mutually beneficial relationship with our tenants as is shown every year in tenant satisfaction surveys.

    The RRB will have minimal impact on rogue landlords as they will just ignore it anyway. Some might get fined and a few may go to prison. In reality those people are likely to just be fronting for the real owner and it's a risk that goes with the job.

    The only time a good landlord evicts a genuinely good tenant is when they absolutely have to. Either because major repairs are required or because they want to sell. With the average age of landlords there will be quite a few evictions purely because they want to retire. Without the RRB many would just trundle along perfectly happily for several more years. Maybe they'd sell when their current tenants decided to move out but there wouldn't be mass evictions. The RRB just creates a load of problems we don't need. Most rental properties are unsuitable for pets due to leasehold restrictions or proximity to neighbours. Fixed tenancies are crucial for winter lets and students. There needs to be a swift mandatory eviction system in place for bad tenants before Section 21 is abolished. There needs to be a different outcome for fault and no fault evictions. The government needs to accept a one size fits all solution isn't going to work for a very large number of tenants and landlords. The RRB comes across as something that assumes all tenants are awfully nice middle class chaps, with traditional middle class patterns of behaviour. Tenants come in many types and we all have our preferences which part of the market we operate in. We need the flexibility to operate in the way that best suits our proven business model.

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    Renter’s Reform Bill isn’t that bad says Mortgage but it is ten thousand times that bad.
    The proposed Renter’s Reform Bill is the Housing Crisis before which there wasn’t a housing Crisis and you are still in denial, after it has caused some devaluation, up-heavel, hundreds of thousands of evictions that would never have happened, homelessness, higher rents, hundreds of thousands of landlords have exited and not all because of high interest rates, many were Mortgage free but couldn’t stomach this Gove proposal, he’s a cover for the the big boys moving in, different rules for them no licensing or section 24, their own businesses have hit the rocks due to Internet technology Offices white elephants everywhere standing idle, even Battersea over developed, then look at Wilco’s bye bye. There was no lettings business before S.21 or buy 2 let Mortgage’s. Buy 2 Let only started in Recent years I always had Commercial loans, now we have Mortgage Companies telling us it’s not so bad it’s ok for them they always get their money, no problem with evictions either and if they get in trouble they are bailed out by the tax payers, (that’s not so bad).


    I couldn't agree with you more Michael.

    Section 24 is not a concern for me, but the RENTERS REFORM BILL most certainly is. I have no intention of handing my properties over indefinitely to tenants. If that is the only option, like many landlords I will sell them.

    It is extraordinary that the Government wants to go back to assured tenancies when they existed in the past and didn't work for landlords and therefore didn't work for tenants either in the private rental sector.

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    This is akin to the Titanic….. which is worse , the lack of lifeboats or the iceberg 😂😂🆘🆘

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    Again another vested interest worried that their business will dry up


    Spot on Catherine!

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    Gavin Richardson is correct, the renters reform bill, is not a bad thing, but as Jo Westlake says it is far too much on top of section 24,loss of administration fees and 10% wear and tear allowance and the rise in interest rates etc. I believe if the renters reform bill had been introduced before section 24 etc it would probably have passed without much opposition and we would be blaming something else for the market decline.

    For landlords who remain in the market it is good as rents are increasing. We have had the largest rise in rents I have ever seen so why are landlords selling in a declining house price market? I think it is more than the renters reform bill at play here, even if it didn’t exist, would we have the same decline? I think history will say the renters reform bill was unfairly blamed for the collapse of the private rented sector.

    On another matter, does anyone seriously believe it’s going to become easier to evict a tenant as the supporters of the renters reform bill say? Absolutely no chance! To take one example since the 1st of August, the government has funded legal representation on the day for tenants being evicted, which will result in the majority of cases being adjourned for a hearing, unless you manage as a landlord to negotiate a settlement. Lawyers can always find an issue to argue over when it comes to eviction.
    Jim HaliburtonTheHMODaddy


    Agree that the RRB will make evictions very difficult, especially on ASB grounds 🆘

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    Why do people who are not LLs think they can speak on our behalf? The sheer number of LLs selling up surely tells us that LLs think differently.


    The people who are not landlords don't deserve to be listened to at all on this matter.


    Yes Ellie

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    It is interesting, too, that there seems to be a different level of concern about the new legislation between landlords who let self-contained properties and those who let rooms in HMOs with a separate tenancy for each room. The landlords who let self-contained units and houses seem to find the legislation more unacceptable.


    I do both types of letting and definitely prefer the HMOs. It's just a generally closer, more functional landlord/tenant relationship. Less scope for misunderstandings and unexpected surprises. I'm often aware of potential problems before they become real problems. Because I can enter communal areas any time I want it's easier to just randomly pop in and do stuff or chat to tenants. Often tenants will then mention things in passing. Whether that's repairs or moving/staying plans. It's just all more casual, informal and fluid than the self contained properties are.
    With the self contained properties there's always the worry about are they heating it properly, have they moved in extra people or unauthorised pets, are they going to appropriately mention repairs are needed? Then when they've stuffed up they read media tripe about evictions and are too scared to admit what they've done. It's just a far more 'them and us' relationship often heavily influenced by experiences with previous landlords.


    I can see that there is a definite advantage in being able to enter common areas to deal with issues.


    My properties are self-contained.
    If there is one I haven't seen the inside of for some time (rare as I always look myself at any issues/repairs that need doing), I'll join the letting agent on one of their regular property inspections.
    Agent can't complain: I'm paying them. Nor can tenant.

    Hope this idea helps someone.

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    That’s his viewpoint - invalid as he won’t be taking the pain that is coming with this bill. Amuses me that he thinks anyone will be taking this into account.
    Tenants will feel emboldened to moan and nag you for new bathrooms and kitchens, redecoration. Complain about everything when they are bored and the only threat we have is ‘I want to move back in’ or ‘I’m selling the property’. Most landlords have had that ‘dreaded tenant’ who purposely calls texts evenings weekends during the night with a ‘I need it fixed now!!’ Demanding. How do you ever end these relationships? SECTION 21
    Well I used to bluntly say ‘any rudeness, disrespect to me or my contractors and you are out’ After this bill has passed I will be saying the same as I will sell or physically move into the property if I have to.
    Play poker with us landlords and we will see..

  • Nigel Spalding

    Will the last LL to exit the PRS switch the lights off.

  • jeremy clarke

    So, are mortgage companies saying that if a tenant, who will be on a periodic tenancy offering zero guarantee for landlords or mortgage companies, decides to leave and the landlord is left with a void, they won't worry about landlord paying his mortgage?

  • Matthew Payne

    Isnt this the same Gavin who a couple of weeks ago was advising Landlords to quickly sign up to a nasty 6% fixed rate to save themselves some money???!!!?? (crazy crazy insane emoji)

    I note he glosses over the fact that possession will only be achieved through the courts and government promises of digitisation mean diddly squat if they arent already in place, tested and working. Its taken them four years of promises not to resolve issues from the Tenant Fees Act.

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    As others have already said he’s partially right, but very wrong on other matters. It does not help LL if someone who is supposedly supporting us starts agreeing with the interfering Government/Civil Servants. Some times I think people go against the flow, just to get their name in print.

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    There is an Housing Crisis that is being caused by a Conservative Government .
    I not an expert but I do not think Homeless or about to become Homeless will be voting Conservative.

    It is good that some Back Bench MP`s can see the writing on the wall.

  • Franklin I

    It is only when they see a decline in BTL mortgage sales that they'll be saying that the Renter's reform bill was extremely bad for our BTL business module.
    We used to extort a lot of money through the BTL's via our exceptionally high product fees, and since the introduction of the Renter's reform bill, we've seen profits slashed to zero, as the PRS LL's have all jumped ship!


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