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Graham Awards


Veteran Labour MP claims “Rachmanite” landlords cause misery

A veteran MP claims that tenants in the region where his constituency sits are being “dreadfully exploited” by what he calls “Rachmanite landlords.”

Barry Sheerman, the 83 year old who has been MP for Huddersfield for 45 years, told the House of Commons that tenants in parts of Yorkshire and other areas across the UK were suffering a "miserable life."

Sheerman’s reference is to Perec Rachman, a notorious London landlord in the 1950s and 1960s reported to have used strong-arm tactics on many of his tenants.  


Sheerman told MPs: “People in my constituency and up and down the country are being dreadfully exploited via Rachmanite landlords. They are being given a miserable life, with rack-renting or letting every room in the house as a bedroom. What is going on in the rented sector is a scandal. May we have a debate on that?"

The House of Commons’ Conservative leader - Penny Mordaunt - said Sheerman was "absolutely right to raise the plight of tenants who either are in unsuitable accommodation or are being exploited by their landlords."

But she added that current Housing Secretary Michael Gove “has done an enormous amount of work on that issue, both on building quality and ensuring that tenants are protected” and pledged to pass on Sheerman’s comments.

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    “ Michael Gove “has done an enormous amount of work on that issue, both on building quality and ensuring that tenants are protected””.

    So much work and so much protection of the tenants that I will have no control over my own property. Too scared to let them now and felt so much better leaving one empty since June last year. Going up for sale as soon as i give it a lick of paint to cover the graffiti by the evicted tenant. So yes well done.

  • Peter Why Do I Bother

    Has he got any evidence of all these miserable people? Also I must pick him up on the rented sector is a scandal? Has he looked at the House of Commons?

    He should take a trip around the North West of England and see the regeneration of old properties by PRS landlords which he and his like let go to rack and ruin. How many brownfield sites would still be derelict without investment from the likes of us on this forum.


    Don't be silly, Peter. You don't need evidence to attack landlords, especially if you are an MP and make the comment in the House. They are protected by Parliamentary privilege. They could state most landlords are running sex trafficking gangs and nobody could take any action against him.

    Bear in mind he is 83, has been an MP for 45 years, but what has he actually achieved for his constituents?

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    We are trapped in the system and Left no way out. I have one vacant as well first time I find myself in this ridiculous situation in 46 years a landlord. Legal advice says it better vacant if want to sell as if Tenants were in there for a while would compromise the Sale and be offered first refusal. Held to ransom there’s only one way out is to die then they take anyway. I see a guy that only bought a nicely done up middle Terrace house only 4 years ago, back on the market. Its up for only £2k more than he bought it for, as I see from a check on land Registry website. Probably caught with a higher interest rate than he started with and just wants his money back but I don’t know.

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    He needs to retire.

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    Too late for that, I missed that event 👍.

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    • A JR
    • 29 January 2024 09:35 AM

    Seems to me this MP should be looking at elements of social and council housing to find his ‘ Rachmanites’ these days!

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    To a tenant in an unsuitable property there is a simple answer give notice and move, it really is that simple

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    The writing is most definitely on the wall for the PRS.
    Even when the situation is this bad they stick their collective heads in the ground and blame Landlords.
    It is impossible to change their minds, such is their twisted thinking.
    We know the reasons and therefore see no point listing them again.
    I'm now busy getting 3 properties ready to be sold, thanks to these useless Politicians and charity groups!

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    Does the geriatric Sheerman include the 18 of Labour’s 199 MPs who also declared a rental income, including shadow housing minister Lucy Powell, who lets a room to a lodger in that statement?

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    45 years as an MP - and what has he done about it.
    That includes the whole time since the 1988 Housing Act.

    He could have put pressure on the council/s in his constituency to act repeatedly against the worst landlords (who do tenants and us landlords no favours) if he had evidence from his constituents.

    Have the problems he alleges somehow only come since the Tory and coalition governments? Otherwise what was he doing when supporting those of Blair and Brown: who didn't seek to abolish S21?

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    All that time, and we still have the council right to buy 🤔🤷‍♂️

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    Yet another idiot of a politician who doesn't grasp that if you drive out all the decent landlords, you create a void that will be filled by criminals who will happily ignore all the rules, regulations and the law ie the current and next generation of Rachmans.
    Let's face it, Prohibition in the States enriched the likes of Al Capone and Co.
    When will the cretins grasp this simple fact??

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    Has any seen or heard any sign of rebuttal from the Not Residential
    Landlords Association. 🤔


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