x
By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.

OTHER FEATURES

Five Controversial Steps To Solve Britain’s Rental Crisis

Solving the country’s rental crisis needs to be the number one priority for the government when it comes to tackling housing next year, a leading property association has said. 

The National Association of Property Buyers says millions of people are now being priced out of affording to rent a home across the UK. 

And it fearsthe problem is going to get much worse in 2024 unless urgent intervention is taken to address the supply crisis across the sector.

Advertisement

Jonathan Rolande, spokesman for NAPB, says: “We are already experiencing a crisis in the rental sector, but this is only going to get worse in 2024. 

“Prices for properties, often of a very low standard, are soaring in all parts of the UK - driven by a shortage in supply. 

“We urgently need to see measures to address this because millions of people can’t even dream of renting a home - let alone buying one.”

Setting out the five steps the NAPB think are needed in this area, Roland says:

1. Encourage landlords to insulate. Rental property includes some of the UK's worst insulated, energy-inefficient homes. This is because many are old, over commercial or have not been upgraded in line with more modern standards. Less altruistic landlords see little reason in upgrading boilers, insulation and windows but doing so would of course make the home more comfortable for the tenant and save them £1000+ every year. There are also environmental benefits. Allowing landlords to reclaim enhanced tax relief for these works would encourage more widespread installation and give tenants more disposable income.

-

2. Build. If it makes business sense for private landlords to buy and rent a property, surely it can be done by councils too. Those who build thousands more council houses and flats will have recouped the investment within a decade or so whilst providing secure homes built to good modern standards.

-

3. Plan for population growth. In the year 2021 to 2022, the population of England and Wales grew by 578,000. This increased number of people would occupy every one of the 150,000 homes built in the same period meaning we (at best) tread water on housing.

-

4. Clarity. Landlords make property decisions based on long-term plans. Five to 10 years is typical and yet, when it comes to legislation, there are constant changes either happening or being discussed and quietly dropped. Tenant fee bans, Section 21 ban, EPC changes, a Housing Ombudsman, safety regulations, rent control, tax changes – whatever you think of them, all sow seeds of doubt in the minds of many existing and prospective landlords. If the government want a Private Rental Sector they need to give it clear guidance and direction. Often legislation is adapted to easily, but the fear of it has reduced the number of available homes.

-

5. Change tax laws to reward landlords who grant longer lets with moderate built-in rent increases. Many tenants complain of a feeling of insecurity. Allowing landlords to keep more of their rent income would encourage longer, more secure lets.

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • icon

    What is needed is something that immediately persuades landlords to stop selling up and encourages new entrants. So the only sensible suggestion for fast impact is number 5.

    Number 2 and 3 would help in the long term.
    Number 4 (clarity) will never happen as successive politicians will mess about with the PRS.
    Number 1 baffles me. Properties are quite rentable even if not as well insulated as they could be.

    icon

    Number 1 baffles me too. As you say, the rest are long-term solutions and will not stop landlords leaving the PRS.

    A number 6 would help too: keep Section 21 or at least replace it with speedy eviction of days/weeks, rather than months/years, for non-payment of rent etc.

     
  • icon

    Well well well. The CID have been out in force this morning! No sh** Sherlock. I could add another 10 onto that list without visiting the scene of the crime! Landlords have been screaming initiatives for years, but no, the Scottish Government continue on their hate landlords campaign. As they say “I’m out” 1 property sold, 9 to go. Another being served notice in January. You’ve had your chances.

  • icon
    • G W
    • 16 December 2023 10:46 AM

    Forget number 1…. The number 1 should be councils guaranteeing rents and evictions of tenants on benefits….. these tenants are the most in need and most unreliable in many cases and should be priority (I was raised on council estate)…. But rents should be market rent, Council pay direct with no claw back, tax breaks for letting to council who could then sublet but they take on full responsibility…… cheaper than them buying or building (short term)

    2. End right to buy schemes of vouncil houses

    3. Incentives to air bnb landlords to move to long term tenancies

    4. Reduced CGT if landlord sells to first time buyer

    5. The other points were valid

    6. Stop using landlords as political punchbags and incentivise them because only renters are suffering.

  • icon

    How about 5 popular steps.
    (1) Scrap the RENTERS REFORM BILL that’s creating endless homelessness.
    (2) Scrap all licensing Schemes that’s costing landlords Billions, if Council’s wants those Schemes then pay for your own administration not as currently subletting out your work & adding your fees on top because you weren’t capable of doing this Computer exercise yourself
    (3) Reinstate Section 21 fully the very foundation of all Private Letting’s before which there wasn’t any is that too difficult for you to understand
    (4) Scrap Section 24 Discriminatory Scheme designed to punish private landlords only giving a distinctive advantage to Corporate landlords who charge 30% more in rent.
    (5) Scrap Deposit ponzi and Redress Schemes go back to how it was instead of making money for fat cats costing Tenants large sums preventing them from getting place. Leave it to the landlords discretion if he wants to take a months Deposit or not and no Registration it’s between the Landlords & Tenants to agree.

    icon

    Those steps would make a huge difference Michael.

    They need to be implemented soon because a very large number of landlords are trying to sell. According to London’s CityAM reporter Laira McGuire, “Almost half of UK landlords have tried to sell their property in the last 12 months"

    The business isn't viable if tenants gain security of tenure.

     
    icon

    Interestingly Bristol are trying to get landlords to rent to them and are offering to pay TWO months rent as deposit. I thought five weeks was the maximum, but no doubt they have some legal ruse to get round this.

    I wouldn’t rent to them if they offered a year’s rent as deposit and I held the actual cash!

     
    icon

    How about scrap nearly everything since the 1988 act? All was working well until the politicians started attacking landlords with bureaucracy.

     
  • Philip Savva

    This idiots is talking absolute b****ks as most politicians do!

    1.Upgrade your properties to make more energy efficient, which may I add costs thousands and then if your property is 1900’s it is not that easy to upgrade & get EPC to C

    2.If the government increased LHA rates in-line with inflation & paid landlords direct for benefit tenants & paid rent in advance & didn’t penalise the landlord if the tenant missed their uc appointment that would help

    3.If the eviction process was faster & more efficient for non paying or anti social tenants that would help

    4.If the government did a u-turn on S24 that would help massively, paying tax on an income you have not received is daylight robbery

    To name but a few areas that would help ease the homeless crisis in this country!

  • icon

    Just one question. Why are the steps controversial? I appreciate that our responses could be considered controversial since anything to do with section 21 would have Polly Bleat foaming at the mouth, but there is nothing controversial in the original article, or am I missing something?

    icon

    Annoyed Landlord - I agree particularly re fear of constant legislation changes causing LLs to exit. One issue might be with long tenancies however - if the LL owns the property outright that would not be a problem but if it is mortgaged the lender might have issues with this? I understand that a large % of PRS properties are interest only mortgages

     
    icon

    @ Catherine, I have one of each left. Both have excellent tenants, but the mortgaged one will have to go when the mortgage is up and it is sold.

     
    icon

    @Annoyed - it is such a shame isnt it - I believe our govt MUST understand micro and macro economics - that the comparatively small decisions like yours (not suggesting for you it is s small decision) being made by thousands of LLs across this country will have a macro economic catastrophic result for the renters - clearly they are operating in their own interests and not in the interests of the people of the uk

     
    icon

    It is incomprehensible as to why a policy has been devised which is designed to destroy homes. Surely they must know the history of the private rental sector, and that few landlords let when tenants had indefinite security of tenure.

     
  • David Arscott

    Here's a question. If your tenant comes to you and says they want to see more energy efficiency measures built into the property, and they are willing to contribute to the cost because they will have lower energy bills, would you not only say ok but also be willing to contribute to the cost? Yes / maybe / never?

    icon

    Depends.
    For a start I'd want to know:
    Total Cost
    Savings over what period
    How much they would contribute.

     
    icon

    Possibly yes

     
  • icon

    V hard one Dave. As they might bog off soon after u have done energy improvements. Even with their help to pay. So depends on MANY answers that one really -I think .

  • icon

    Please delete. Was meant to be a reply to David Arscott above.

  • icon

    Yes but the Articles Headline is telling us that their 5 steps suggested are controversial.

  • Peter Lewis

    How about getting rid of the YES MEN, who pretend to represent Private Landlords, only to agree with politicians that want to cost the rest of us a fortune and demonise any of us that don't agree with them.

  • icon

    There is no proper solution for no 1 for older terraced properties. Internal insulation reduces the size of properties that are already small and creates condensation issue. External insulation destroys the appearance of properties that often have attractive original brickwork, and looks especially shoddy if every property has a different style of insulation. It's also reputed to cause damp issues and come off. The solution would be for the whole street to be done at once using a tried and tested insulation method matching the original brickwork with full guarantee against damp and poor workmanship. Seeing as most rows of terraces are a mix of rented and owner occupied properties I don't see that happening.

    icon

    Back in very old days there were HIAs and GIAs (Housing and General Improvement Areas) to refurb areas of original Victorian terraces.
    A popular technique was "enveloping" where all externals that needed doing (e.g. roofs and walls, replacing outside toilets, environmental improvements) across whole terraces and streets were done all in one go, I understand irrespective of tenure.
    I know as visited some such in Coventry 40 years ago with the chap that led them, and by that time they'd been done for years. Long-standing residents recognised and greeted him. So seems like they were done properly. And with help of some grants, which I recall helped all get involved. Cheaper than demolition and building new.

    Similar being done again could deal with insulation more effectively; and getting non-cowboys in, dealt with as a block/numbers in a terrace, should mean issues like insulation and damp are dealt with properly, by people who know.

     
  • icon

    Tenants could do with help to buy the properties they live in and incentives Landlords to sell to long standing ones tax reduction also frees landlords up to reinvest a lot of landlords run lettings as a business

  • icon

    My five would be:

    1 - standard method of taxation (bin Section 24)
    2 - Reinstate taper relief on CGT with it reducing to zero after 25 years of ownership. (Other countries get to zero sooner than that).
    3 - make any energy efficiency upgrades a Super tax deduction at 130%.
    4 -Speed up Section 8 evictions so anyone breaching their tenancy agreement is out within 8 weeks. (It would incentivise some tenants to behave and free up housing thereby enabling other people to have a home)
    5 - scrap the 5 week wait for UC and pay it in such a way that rent can be paid on the date stated on the tenancy agreement.

    icon
    • A JR
    • 17 December 2023 09:59 AM

    Best 5 points so far👍

     
    icon

    On the fifth point, pay rent IN FULL direct to the landlord and any benefit cap to be taken from the tenants spending money not from the rent.

     
    icon

    TheMaluka - for very low earners or the unemployed you are probably right. The only problem with direct payment is the DWP are a nightmare to deal with and if a tenant gets sanctioned the first you know about it is when your rent doesn't arrive.

    Most of my UC tenants work so their UC top up may not be enough to pay all of the rent. I tried the direct payment route with one tenant a while ago and it was awful. Since then I have found it easier to let the tenants deal with DWP and pay the rent themselves. Right now I have one tenant who has been 5 weeks in arrears for the entire year, since he first claimed UC and another one who hasn't paid December yet after a whole catalog of unforeseen events. He has a very unstable UC claim as he's a seasonal worker and his employer insists on paying fortnightly so twice a year we get the 3 pay day month. I hate to think how much more complicated rent collection would be if some of it was coming direct from DWP.

     
    icon

    Jo I totally agree, benefit tenants are a nightmare no matter what Shelter says. The worst are those who work sparodically or are paid weekly rather than monthly. My rents have increased so that they are now unaffordable for benefit tenants. To avoid discrimination I still let Benefit tenants apply but none pass referencing. For the few legacy benefit tenants I now insist on direct payment, a regime which suits both them and me.

     
    icon

    TheMaluka

    I don't necessarily think benefit tenants are a nightmare as people. Most of mine do their best to be good tenants sometimes in quite difficult circumstances. The Benefits system is a nightmare. Whoever designed it clearly had no concept of bottom end employment practices.
    Weekly or fortnightly pay and UC simply doesn't work. As a huge amount of minimum wage jobs are weekly paid surely the government should have invented a Benefit system that can cope with real life somewhat more smoothly than it does. It mystifies me why so many jobs are still weekly paid. Bills are virtually all monthly and for erratic work patterns it would save both employer and employee a sizeable amount of NI if pay was monthly.

     
    icon

    @ Jo, I have always found that those who get top up, can be excellent tenants, unlike those on pure UC. However my properties are now out of their affordability.

     
  • icon

    Annoyed landlord, yes, 8 would rent out to the council, even if they offered 12 months worth of deposit. They do not control or monitor how the tenants live. 2 months rent is legal if the tenant is a company or in a rent to rent kind of tenancy. Council is not the tenant and they are going to rent it out.

  • icon

    None of his 5 suggestions will make any difference if landlords keep exiting the market. Until you return the PRS to something that can make a profit not just in the north, anything else that is suggested is just a moot point.

    The author doesn’t appear to understand the current market conditions at all and instead has chosen to do some wishful thinking. Nowhere near a real world solution.

  • icon

    Henry S, I worked on those types in 50 years ago in Enfield where whole area’s was done building back extension to incorporate external toilets, people were happier then and easier to please never any mention of insulation.

    icon

    Good to hear that you did those Michael, and to learn there is someone on here who did.
    Yes, insulation not seen as important then. But apart from the one-off you've done and mentioned in your reply below to Alison King; there is a valid point that enveloping schemes could be a good way of increasing insulation on lots of homes, e.g. in a terrace where a hotch potch of different attempts could look naff. And if all done individually this is probably likely to involve some cowboys who don't know how to do it properly/don't involve building surveyors or retrofit experts/assessors (I understand a new profession) or good architects who know the issues.

    BTW for anyone: Planners unlikely to want to get involved in internal alterations that don't affect external appearance (unless a listed building), like Michael swapping around rooms. Though obviously Building Regs. apply.

     
  • icon

    Alison. I have redone one house where the walls were solid 9” thick brickwork. Its a massive job has to be vacant a complete gut out strip everything back to brick and refurbish.
    Fixed 2” polyurethane foam backed plaster board to all external walls and skim the lot.
    Ideal opportunity to re-wire and re-plumb to whole place which is virtually always needed anyway. Yes it pinched a bit from small rooms especially which is why I re-giged and swapped the bathroom around knocking the original bathroom and separate toilet into one becoming the small bedroom and putting the new bathroom where the small bedroom used to be it worked well but don’t tell the Council if they get involved you won’t be doing it probably need Planning Permission and nothing will be possible or viable. It was expensive and time consuming but a great job a big improvement over all.

    icon

    Michael have you tried burning a small sample of foam insulation? I did and immediately removed all such insulation from my own house and all my rented property; I will not use it in any of my properties. The fumes from burning foam are deadly, I only use Rockwool or fibreglass internally.

     
  • icon

    A word of warning to other landlords. I operate a lot of HMO and pay the bills. I have had my HMO’s insulated both walls and roofs, new boilers energy, efficient bulbs, double glazing, and none of them have made very much difference to my utility costs. I know this sounds irrational and I still can’t get my head round it. I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that with conservation the first three letters are correct, is a con!

    If I was operating by to lets, I would not know what my tenants would be paying so would not be able to assess the effects of insulation. I operate over 100 HMO‘s and see the bills, and as I say energy efficiency measures make no difference.

    I am not saying that double glazing and insulation is off no value. It makes the property more comfortable and can reduce condensation and so the dreaded mould. Also appreciate that HMO tenants may not behave like other tenants and the old story that the tenants when they get too hot just open the window is all too true.

    All that I find works in saving energy bills are:
    1) Use the cheapest energy supplier
    2) fit, prepaid meters to each HMO room
    3) put heating on timed. This does not save as much as you think. I find that I save a third of the cost by having the heating on for a third of the time. Having heating on timed in an HMO could be challenged on Housing standard grounds, and it upsets tenants
    4) put a notice on the window saying, “ think of the planet please turn off the heating before opening the window”. I haven’t seen any savings in heating costs but it does stop the windows being left open with the heating on.

    Jim HaliburtonTheHMODaddy


  • icon

    Jim, Welcome back I thought you had emigrated, yes I agree the biggest energy savings that can be made regardless of what you do is the end user.

  • icon

    Henry S. I agree you are right the Building Regulation’s Department need to be involved for structural alterations in which case its better not do it as it quadruple the job have you seen their fees lately and you might have to give a chunk to the Mayor as well as I see a colleague having to do to convert a house into 2 Flats as well as Local Authorities payments Architect, Surveyor and all other incidental costs. I am talking about thousands to Mayor of London. The work as a result of all those additional costs is at a full stop no money left to complete.
    I have a house in Harrow which has been licensed twice but now due again at the worst possible time 5th January imagine this pressure at Christmas when I am trying to get annual Returns Accounts done. The ECIR has just expired that I knew about and the Electrical man kept me waiting for weeks then he got the Flu so that took a month of course if you don’t have all the other documents as well you can’t Apply. The New Application has to be made before previous one expires there is no grace period and the right is lost as if yy never had, did you not know this ?, They really love us don’t they.

  • icon

    I was minded to do a second bathroom on the first floor of 3 Storey house as main bathroom is on top floor although there is a toilet and hand basin on ground floor. An ideal situation off first floor landing to take off big room (18m2) which would still be a good size, the boxed in internal stack pipe & water pipes were already passing down in the corner just where needed. Anyway HM0 women said I would need planning permission so that’s the end of that, a couple of weeks it would have been done but not now in my lifetime.

    icon

    I'm of a mind just to do things like that, ask permission and all you do is open a can of worms

     
  • icon

    It the way everything is gone now officialdom dealing with Authorities, the 3 Utility Co’s are the worst and a law all to themselves with no other option as no one else is allowed to do it now a days yet some of them loose millions amazing.
    For example I recently had a new electric supply, I done all site work about 30m of track & duct with draw rope.
    Years ago the mains connection wouldn’t have been a problem. 2 guys in a van employed by a well know Cable Contractor would turn up a labourer and a cable jointer. The cable jointer would sit in the van have his flask of tea and read the paper, while the labourer would lift the couple of slabs and dig the hole usually about 1.2m sq x 1m deep that would take until 9.30 am then the Cable jointer would spring into action and make the connection, used to do 2 a day and gone home early. How times has changed now Electric Company does it, so much nonsense in my view and experience. It takes months of planning you need to pay the Council £2’500. to close the road that don’t need closing and parking suspension that don’t need suspension. Cone & barrier off the road and pavement like no tomorrow bring the mechanical digger dig & brake every earthing ware duct they come across. Anyway this is now standard procedure I could have dug it myself in a couple of hours in the big wide pavement as I did the other 30m and reinstated (@77) come on now the next day they sent the jointer and the following day came the reinstatement gang standard procedure again and I paid £9k even though I do the bulk of the work for this little boot lace single phase supply. Gosh haven’t they made some progress over the years, not. God help us all.

  •  G romit

    This faux Conservative Government has set out it's long term agenda for the PRS, though not explicitly.
    It is that it wants small private Landlords out of the PRS! Once you realise that everything the Government has done in the last 8 years has been aimed towards that end.
    What it has totally failed at is getting it's big corporate buddies (donors) to fill the resultant gap (yet).

  • icon

    What utter tripe! These people are as clueless as the government! The biggest, most obvious, most dramatic change to the market conditions - probably ever - is the moronic Section 24, closely followed by SDLT. All the rest of it is just gravy. Legislation is far too onerous, of course, but it is bankrupting levels of tax that has caused this, pure and simple, and until that changes it will only get worse. The lies told about landlords quitting - all ‘retiring’, or the interest rates - are totally invented. Interest rates aren’t helpful but it is the lack of deductibility that’s the real problem. And no landlord I know wanted to retire until these moronic taxes came along! Go figure! I am now selling more than 20 houses and putting 20 families into the demand side of the equation. What do you suppose this does to the overall situation?

  • Steven Williams

    Thing is, I want to insulate my properties. They all have roof insulation etc so looking at EWI.

    But there’s no way for landlord to apply directly. And it’s also based on the tenant whether their means tested or not.

    I’ve asked over last 2 years for tenants to apply etc, but you can lead a horse to water, but can’t make it drink.

  • icon

    John Chart speculates:

    There is a saying among the holy/wise - in order to make money in a market, do the opposite of that which the general herd is doing. A common theme among these posts in 2023 is
    "I';m out!" But with a shortage, and rising rents, it may be time to pile in - but with 2 provisos

    a) use cash or a low-geared mortgage - and
    b( not always easy - ensure you get a reliable tenant

    Amen

  • icon

    TheMaluka. Yes my friend I have tried burning it and property not a Builder in the Country that didn’t try burning everything over the years.
    The Polyurethane plaster board backed sheets that I used are flame retardant and self extinguishing I have tried that too, not to be confused with the cheaper polystyrene ones + the skimmer PB gives it an extra half hour fire rating also.
    Many thanks

  • icon

    John Chart, there’s a lot in that too. I remember Eamon Andrews asking John Paul Getty how he made so much money and his reply was by selling too soon, (it seems if you wait too long you missed the market).

  • Matthew Payne

    Not sure I follow the maths on population growth. If the average HH size is 2.4, then net migration is still about double the size of the homes we are building, the size of the problem is getting far bigger, we are not treading water or anywhere close to. We are at the bottom of the english channel wearing a pair of concrete boots.

  • icon

    Built in rent increases, what shall we say, by the rate of inflation every 12 months? seems fair to me

icon

Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal