Another Friday, what news do we have for you?
Housing Secretary confirms rent controls are ‘dead in the water’
Housing secretary Robert Jenrick whose department was considering rent controls has now confirmed that they will not be going down this route.
Telling a meeting of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government parliamentary select committee:
I am not in favour of rent controls. That has proven to be very negative for both landlords and tenants in the past, and I do not want to see any move in that direction.
Which will please landlords.
Maybe it has something to do with the RLA recent research on this topic which showed that rent controls have been shown to be counterproductive?
The various bodies in the private rented sector have been publishing their ‘manifestos’ or rather wishlists for the things they would like a future government to do.
Here is a list of the ones I have seen so far:
- The Renter Manifesto on behalf of tenants
- The Residential Landlords Association
- ARLA Propertymark
- The Landlords Alliance
If you spot any more let me know in the comments below.
NB There is a useful roundup of policies on the Hamilton Fraser website here.
Labour and ‘right to buy’ in the PRS
It looks as if Labour’s controversial policy to introduce ‘right to bu in the private sector is going to be limited to large landlords.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell apparently told The Times
There’s a large number of individuals or families who have bought another property as their asset for the future and we wouldn’t want to endanger that.
Well, thank goodness for that! Maybe he took a look at my post here.
More funding to help crack down on criminal landlords
The government has announced an additional 4 million funding for Councils.
However, this has been criticised as being insufficient bearing in mind that Councils have been strapped for cash for years and investigating and prosecuting criminal landlords takes resources and trained staff.
Let us hope that the billions of public spending announced by both parties in their election speeches will include substantial further sums to help Councils with this important work.
The massive ‘court reform’ program which has been steaming ahead closing down many of our courts has been criticised on this blog in the past. But we are not alone.
A recent House of Commons report is deeply critical and is calling for an immediate moratorium on court closures:
Court closures in urban and rural areas have created serious difficulties for many court users, with worrying implications for access to justice. We recommend an immediate moratorium on further court closures pending robust independent analysis of the effect of closures already implemented, with a particular focus on access to justice. (Paragraph 108)
Maybe they should also consider the issues raised in Ben’s article here.
‘Ware cannabis farmer tenants
It looks as if cannabis farms are still on the rise. This post quotes insurer Direct Line who say that claims in respect of illegal cannabis farms now account for a third of the total value of all malicious damage claims.
They are enormously destructive and insurance claims can be very high.
Warning signs include tenants offering to pay rent upfront in cash and being unwilling to allow inspections.
Take a look at Ben’s post on this.
- Estate agent fined £30,000 after failing to tell buyers about Grenfell Tower type cladding
- Tories fail to build any of 200,000 starter homes promised in 2015, says watchdog
- Local authority bids to have all estate agency and lettings boards banned
- Referencing and insurance firms HomeLet and Rentshield Direct, and Let Alliance to merge
- Agent who conned landlords out of thousands in repairs scam ordered to repay just £850
- Trade association launches for Airbnb hosts and property managers
- Inquiry finds “compelling evidence” Grenfell Tower did not comply with building regulations
Newsround will be back next week.