Some news items that caught my eye this week. First
Landlords, Brexit and the EU withdrawal agreement
There is a lot in the news about Brexit and Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement. How will it affect landlords?
The answer is probably not very much (in their capacity as a landlord).
This is a post by David Smith where he discusses this:
The PRS is only lightly affected by EU legislation. In practice, none of this will change for the foreseeable future anyway. The UK has already taken steps to ensure that all EU regulations and directives are within UK law by passing regulations and these will be continued both during the transition phase and beyond. So, changes to the regulatory environment will have to happen on a piece by piece basis and are unlikely to arrive soon. Ultimately, there are far more pressing areas of EU law to deal with than those relating to private landlords!
David then goes on to say that the one area that might be affected in ‘right to rent’. There is also the prospect of ID cards being introduced which could be used for this.
Although, he concludes, right to rent is under threat as it is subject to review in the High Court in December in a case brought by the JCWI and supported by the Residential Landlords Association (represented by his firm) and the EHRC which could if successful, ultimately result in right to rent coming to an end which could then in turn affect the withdrawal agreement.
A new Landlord Alliance
A new landlords association, the Landlords Alliance has recently been formed, supported by the Property 118 website, which has a decidedly angry tone.
The Alliance has been born out of landlords’ frustration at the way they have been treated by Government (which has admittedly been pretty bad in many respects). It promises to be different from the other Landlords Association with their courses, cut-price carpets and generally cosying up to government and the Local Authorities, and will instead go on the attack.
They are starting by attacking Shelter, who they claim are anti-landlord, and who get masses of funding but don’t actually provide any housing themselves. This is an example of the sort of thing they are complaining about.
There is a call to boycott businesses which support Shelter, such as B&Q and M&S.
Landlord Dr Ros Beck, a leading member of the alliance said about Shelter:
You might think that given the fact that we are the only housing providers in a position to help with homelessness that they would build positive relationships with us in order to facilitate this. They do not do this, however. Instead, they push a relentless anti private landlord agenda.
I have asked that they rename themselves as they provide no shelter, whilst demonising those of us who do.
You know, she does have a point.
I know there are terrible landlords and of course, they need to be dealt with, but if this is done in such a way that it drives out the good landlords, this is going to make things pretty difficult for people looking for a home.
You can find out more about the alliance here.
The Real Reasons for Homelessness
There has been a lot of discussion about section 21 and how it is driving up homelessness. However, research commissioned by the RLA into the causes of homelessness in the PRS carried out by the Policy Evaluation and Research Unit at Manchester Metropolitan University (reported here) has come up with some different conclusions.
- That the LHA rates are in some areas £100 per month less than the market rates, and
- That half of the Section 21 notices issued by surveyed landlords where for reasons of rent arrears, anti-social behaviour or property damage
Which leads the authors of the report to conclude that section 21 should not be described as ‘no fault’.
The report also points out that security of tenure is NOT a cause of homelessness, as evidence from the English Housing Survey shows that 90% of tenancies are ended by the tenant.
David Smith commented:
This report puts paid to the idea that landlords spend their time looking for creative ways to evict their tenants. Most landlords ask their tenants to leave to protect their property. It would be a bizarre business model indeed to search for ways to get rid of your customers.
- There are calls to end DSS tenant discrimination by mortgage lenders
- The Tenant Fees Bill has passed in the Lords with no amendments
- Be warned and watch out for a porn blackmail scam
- London property firm ordered to pay back £60,000 rent