15:05 PM, 14th October 2022, About A year ago 17
It’s not looking good for landlords, is it? What with rising interest rates, mortgage availability and the government handing bad tenants an opportunity to live rent-free in our homes!
That’s right. Liz ‘Blundertruss’ has struck again.
First, she raised my hopes that common sense will prevail on the proposed abolition of Section 21 when it appeared it would remain.
Then she confirmed in Parliament that the abolition plan will now go ahead.
I’m ticked off about this for a number of reasons (add your own in the comments below…):
Leaving aside the fact that there is no landlord organisation prepared to get their hands dirty and get involved in a real fight, we do need to organise ourselves and explain the law of unintended consequences.
Thankfully, Property118 had a story this week about the Labour Party in the Welsh Senedd refusing to introduce a rent freeze because – and I take my hat off to them for saying this – they have looked at what is happening in Scotland, and they fear the real prospect that landlords will simply pack up and leave the sector.
The unintended consequence of a rent freeze in Scotland is that landlords will simply become fed up because while we face growing costs, our income will not grow to meet them.
It then makes perfect sense for landlords to sell up and it’s unlikely they will sell to another landlord so, yet another house leaves the PRS.
We need to make clear as landlords that the reason why we need section 21 is to get rid of bad tenants. Those are tenants who don’t pay rent, who trash our property and who cause problems for neighbours.
We need to make clear as landlords that not having section 21 means not having confidence in getting our property back.
We also need to make clear that we aren’t all loaded to the gills with cash and many of us rely on our rental income, particularly if we have retired.
Renting a house out to families does not make us bad people, we are simply meeting a demand that countless governments have failed to meet over the years.
And this is why we get the politicians we deserve.
Not just the scheming double-crossing politicians who live for a sound bite and cannot plan more than a few months ahead because if they could, they would have created the social housing and council houses that are so desperately needed in this country.
While our politicians continue to fiddle, the private rental sector will continue to burn and fed-up landlords who are sick of bad tenants and terrible politicians will decide that with the increased legislation – with more to come – means it’s just not worth it anymore.
And like the Welsh Labour party, I can also guarantee that by the time the abolition of section 21 reaches the statute books, the private rental sector in England will be a shadow of what it is now – unless there is something to replace section 21 that brings landlords confidence in knowing they can gain possession when they need it.
There’s a balance to be made here to meet the needs of tenants and the needs of landlords but it’s only landlords who apparently have to pay the price.
Unfortunately, politicians will pay the price when S21 is abolished and eventually the penny drops with tenants that the lies and the legislation means they have literally nowhere else to live but I’m sure we will get the blame for that as well.
I really do believe now, if section 21 disappears we really are looking at the end of private landlords – certainly on the current scale.
Those that remain will be criminal landlords – because their tenants have nowhere else to go – and decent landlords who will be determined to offer quality homes for people who need them.
But no one wants to hear that most landlords are good people who genuinely care for the welfare of their tenants – and you won’t be seeing or hearing anything like that in the media.
Until next time,
The Landlord Crusader
Read last week’s article ‘Housing crisis? What housing crisis?’ – But don’t think that I am a Conservative voter/supporter
And the previous missive that provoked a lot of interesting debate about holding a Section 21 Day. Landlords – hold that thought!
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