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Older tenants distraught at Renters Reform Bill delay - claim

A charity claims that apparent delays to the Renters Reform Bill, which has yet to get a Second Reading in the Commons, are “incredibly concerning” to older tenants.

The government does not actually admit there has been any delay whatsoever, merely that it is committed to the Bill and will give it the obligatory Second Reading as soon as Parliamentary business allows. However, activists in groups like Generation Rent have been bombarding social media with claims that it is making slow progress because of political opposition within the Tory party.

The supporters want it to be prioritised ahead of other legislation and come before the Commons as soon as possible.

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John Palmer - who goes under the title of Director of Influencing and Engagement at the organisation Independent Age - says: “If the Renters Reform Bill has been delayed again this will be incredibly concerning to older private renters who desperately need change. We know that older renters are currently facing a housing emergency due to unaffordable rent rises, dangerous homes and anxiety around the threat of a no-fault eviction, so the Government must step up and do the right thing by bringing forward the bill in full as soon as possible. 

“Our new report ‘Hidden Renters’ reveals the housing crisis facing older private renters and shows that this group are being put through an unimaginable level of anxiety due to the insecurity of their housing situation. Not only are more than one in six concerned that they could be asked to leave their home within the next year, but more than one in five feel uncomfortable raising concerns with their landlord, choosing to live in substandard homes for fear of eviction. 

“This power imbalance for those in later life cannot continue. Everyone deserves a safe, affordable and secure home. Being faced with eviction and the threat of homelessness in later life should be unimaginable, but it is the shocking reality for a growing number of older renters. The government must commit to bringing forward the Renters Reform Bill now.” 

Independent Age says older private renters are in the midst of a ‘housing emergency’ as unaffordable rent increases stretch budgets to breaking point, and claims older private renters are three times more likely to live in poverty than homeowners.

Based on what the charity claims are “in-depth interviews of over 40 older private renters on a low income” and polling over 1,800 private renters “in later life” the report says older people are being forced to pay significant increases in rent to stay in often substandard and sometimes dangerous rented homes.

The report claims that 45 per cent of older private renters surveyed have seen a rent rise in the last year, with 57 per cent of the rises between £50 and £200 per month, and 22 per cent claiming they cannot “comfortably” afford their rent.

Independent Age is calling on the government to unfreeze Housing Benefit so it covers the cheapest 30 per cent of the local private housing market., scrap Section 21 eviction powers, and give local councils the power to “moderate and cap in-tenancy rent increases and give them more power and funding to enforce existing laws.”

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  • Zen Landlord

    Scrapping Section 21 will not protect anyone from being evicted because Section 8 will be used instead. I'm not sure why the media and charities don't understand this. There will always be a route to evict tenants if a landlord needs to sell their property. The Government, not landlords, have made a significant portion of the Private Rental Sector unviable as a business so landlords in this portion of the sector have no choice but to evict and sell. By massively increasing taxes, changing the rules so that Councils can charge landlords large fees for selective licensing and insisting that landlords spend ten's of thousands on energy efficiency, they have made renting property impossible for some. A lot of the PRS could have coped with the interest rate rises and therefore more tenants would have been safe, if the Government, Charities and the Media hadn't been constantly pushing for all these financial penalties on landlords. At the end of the day, you all got what you (Government, Charities and Media) wanted, landlords out of business. The main result being mass homelessness!

    "Ask and you shall receive" the Bible

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    I'm convinced these charities do know that their media campaign to scrap S21, to seek rent freeze, etc. is having and will continue to have a detrimental effect on the housing crises. They can't be blind to the fact landlords are selling up, that landlords don't evict good tenants paying rent and looking after the property, or that S21 is a better way (for tenants) who have run up debt to be evicted!

    .... but their agenda is different to the one they portray. Charities like Shelter, Independent Age, are focused at being quoted in the media to gain support and recognition and they struggle to find messages that gain traction in the media whilst playing well to their supporter base. Private landlords are a great target on this score... hence they're prepared to ignore the reality! Shame on them!

     
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    It's because you need grounds to use a section 8, you can't just evict someone on a whim (see: because you want to increase the rent to an unsustainable amount). It isn't difficult to understand.

     
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    James I've never evicted any one on a whim, I doubt any landlords do that, stop paying rent or damage my property and too true they are out, what's wrong with that?

     
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    The only group benefiting from removing S21 is the council as they will no longer have to house evicted tenants. Currently we evict on S 21 the tenant claims they done nothing wrong, even when they failed to pay rent and we mutually agreed they leave via S.21 they get rehoused now using S8 they won’t be rehoused as the truth as to why they were evicted will be revealed. Significant increase in homelessness pending

     
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    James Turner - just because the rent increase is an unsustainable amount for the tenant in question doesn't mean it is an inappropriate amount. If a tenant doesn't like a proposed increase they are able to go to a tribunal for a determination. The tribunal has to base their decision on local comparables. They can decide a higher amount is the appropriate rent for the property. The tenants budget isn't a determining factor.
    As landlords we weigh up various factors. Is the tenant generally easy to deal with? Do they look after the property? Do we want the hassle and risk of swapping them for someone we know nothing about? How much is a void going to cost us? Basically tenants who treat both the property and the landlord well have far less to worry about than those who behave as over entitled pains in the posterior.

     
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    James - a large number of landlords will not hand their properties over indefinitely. There were assured tenancies (with Section 8 grounds) before shorthold assured tenancies (with Section 21) and they were not popular with landlords.

     
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    How many of these older renter's are underoccupying their homes? How many still rent the 3 bed house they brought their children up in? That's fine if they have a private pension to fund it but if they're relying on Benefit top ups they only have a one bedroom entitlement. Obviously LHA is woefully inadequate and desperately needs to increase at least to cover the 30th percentile. That would help give some reassurance to those elderly people who already occupy one bedroom properties.
    The real solution would be a major building program of retirement housing of various types. Not just the McCarthy and Stone type. Some with an age qualification and some with health parameters. If some of that housing was pitched at LHA level rent it would give peace of mind and quality of life to the occupants and also free up significant amounts of family size housing in areas that already have schools, doctors, transport, etc. Everyone's a winner. I suspect slightly subsidizing retirement housing would save a huge amount from other budgets if anyone could do a bit of joined up thinking.

    I do actually house a person in their 60s who has had to stop work due to ill health. His rent has recently risen to LHA level. He knows it will rise by something every June. He would feel embarrassed and that I was treating him as a charity case if it didn't. It may be a token £5, it may match LHA if that's increased in the next 9 months. He is fully aware he's paying around £200 a month below market rent. Sometimes that worries him a bit and I have to reassure him I'm totally happy with how things are going.
    So there are landlords out there who look after their elderly tenants and try to give them a feeling of security but this government really is making it much harder than it should be.

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    This charity claims older tenants are worried.

    It's not speaking for them, just promoting its own agenda.

    Landlords with worried tenants need to reassure them and persuade them to lobby their own MP's to get this bill stopped before they DO lose their homes when their Landlords sell up.

     
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    There are private retirement housing providers who provide rent only deals, but their prices are generally well above LHA level.

    Having said that, I know of one major private retirement housing provider in the South East of England who will provide accommodation and food at the LHA rent if the occupant's money runs out. They will transfer them to a studio flat if it is available and still include breakfast, lunch, dinner, entertainment etc

    That would indicate that it is perhaps possible to operate good retirement complexes at a profit even if the rental income is not very high. The availability of a restaurant on site is crucial for elderly people who often stop cooking when they are on their own.

    I am operating at a good profit with all my rents below LHA level. I don't, however, provide indefinite social housing. That is not my business model. I provide short to medium length tenancies for people who want that.

     
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    Oh I do get annoyed at stories like this 🤬 When will all these morons understand ….. There will NEVER been total security renting in the PRS, even after the RRB comes in. We can always sell up 👍🏻💵💵

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    • A JR
    • 18 September 2023 07:38 AM

    Yes, and the RRB is guaranteed to increase the number of LL’s selling up reversing ‘security’ for tenants.

     
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    Am I missing something?

    The progress of the Renters Reform Bill will speed up the issuing of Section 21 notices, not halt them.

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    I have several older tenants. In there 70s. Non of them were distraught about Gove’s bill. More so called charity (business) talking drivel for its place on the stage of hot air. If we took just a fraction of the income of these bogus organisations and redirect it , many homeless could be housed.

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    I too have tenants in their 60s and 70s, they pay on time and in full each month, don;t cause me problems they have nothing to worry about, in my experance it's younger tenants and single mums that generally are the problem, the ''entitled generation who expect every thing now and for free

     
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    How many times do they want push this lie down everyone’s throat.
    The proposal of THE RENTERS REFORM BILL is the Housing Crisis before which there wasn’t a Crisis.
    The shortage wasn’t there, no Landlords was exiting the Market or switching to AirBnB. Rents were affordable for the most part but now the Proposed Bill has driven them up 20 / 30% and they want Tenants to believe they are helping them.
    Khan was caught out by BBC making false comparisons about the cost of Renting a Property, when his claim was one person Renting the Property when the Rent was shared by a number of people. Is he a fit and proper person to be a Mayor.
    It’s about time Charity Status was removed from those Groups doing so much damage and actually housing no one.

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    Our tenants have been with us 21 years and they are now in their 60s. They rent a beautiful period 2 bed semi detatched cottage( attached to ours.)The initial rent was £450, it is now £705, well below the market rent.4 yrs ago we put in a new kitchen and bathroom,new aluminium double glazing new stable door at the back. They keep it immaculate especially the garden. We have no intention of selling whilst they are with us,As the rules have changed over the years we will have to pay a lot more capital gains now, but this was not just about money and profit it was about choosing the right people as our neighbours, and what a good choice we made.

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    I can see your arrangement benefits the both of you, but you are a rare find, most older tenants will be housed by landlords who see it as a pure business, and they will be in bother.

     
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    I doubt this very much. I think most older renters haven't given it a thought and don't even know what it is about. Stupid pressure groups need to get a hobby. Basket weaving would be good.

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    The thing that surprises me is that 55% have NOT had an increase in rent

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    Christopher exactly we are not fleecing anyone we are the ones being fleeced left right & centre. Some of my houses are £1’000 pm below similar houses in the same road.

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    I doubt it. I prefer older tenants and they are all fine, they will only be distraught when I have to give them notice and sell their home either due to interest rates or so called RRB.

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    This absolutely classic and shameful.

    Charities like Independent Age run media campaigns on how tenants can and are being thrown out for absolutely no reason by horrible landlords..... then they ask their older tenants if they're worried!

    Well Independent Age they weren't worried until you and similar immoral charities seeking the air of publicity didn't embark on this farcical pernicious media campaign against landlords. Now of course they're worried.... they worried about the fact that private landlords are leaving the market reducing the housing stock such that the problem has been made exponentially worse by such charities ... or rather they would be worried about this reality if Independent Age, Shelter, etc. told the truth!

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    Some excellent educated comments on here today, providing the dangerous reality of playing politics.
    Perhaps someone should send this link to Rachel McLean, Michael Gove, as well as Lisa Nandy whilst there at it. They might learn something.

  • Peter Why Do I Bother

    Here We Go Again...

    "John Palmer - who goes under the title of Director of Influencing and Engagement"

    That job title is carrying some weight, how about we put it into more normal language

    John Palmer - who goes under the title of Chief Sh1tstirrer..!

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    And paid far too much as well

     
  • Zen Landlord

    Reply to James Turner "It's because you need grounds to use a section 8"

    I think my main point is that the Government are pushing some LL's out of business so they have no choice but to sell or end up bankrupt. Selling is one of the reasons under S8.

    There is a portion of LL's who have no choice.

    Nothing to do with being a nasty LL or some kind of weird revenge like they portray. It's sell and survive or stick your head in the sand and end up with your family being homeless as well. I for one have a big heart and always feel a sense of responsibility towards my tenants. I would never evict unless it's absolutely necessary.

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