FAO Shelter – This is not a love note from The Landlord Crusader

FAO Shelter – This is not a love note from The Landlord Crusader

12:17 PM, 11th November 2022, About 3 weeks ago 56

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It’s a good job I was sitting down when I read a striking story on Property118 this week because it would normally have knocked me off my feet otherwise.

Was it, I hear you ask, the Government announcing that their Rent Reform white paper is nonsense and will be ditched? Nope. Was it the prospect of Section 21 being retained? Nope.

It was much, much better than that. It was someone from Shelter asking the Government to step in and stop landlords from leaving the private rental sector.

That’s right. Someone from the homeless charity that doesn’t actually house anyone was urging action to stop landlords from leaving the PRS.

I had to read it twice before my brain would believe it.

Fed-up landlords leaving the PRS

This is what the quote in the story about fed-up landlords account for 16% of property sales said:

However, with so many landlords leaving the sector, homeless charity Shelter says the impact will be felt most by those on low incomes.

Ruth Jacob, the charity’s policy expert at the charity, urged the Government to act.

She told the Telegraph: “We’re already seeing a severe shortage of affordable homes to rent for people on the lowest incomes and that’s already leaving more and more people at risk of homelessness.”

There’s nothing on their website about this, though I did see Shelter’s chief executive officer Polly Neate on BBC Breakfast warning that there is an issue of people over the age of 65 not living in council accommodation or owning their own home.

Instead, they stand a good chance ‘at their time of life’ of being made homeless because landlords are leaving the PRS.

Why landlords are leaving

Again, the interviewer didn’t ask the killer question about why landlords are leaving.

Polly did though get to plug that 5% of sales from M&S’s Festive Food on the Move range will help fund Shelter’s hotline.

So, to all you landlord haters and vocal supporters of Shelter, let me spell out for you what is going on.

Shelter (and the likes of Generation Rent) have been working for years to reduce landlord rights to the benefit of tenants.

The vilification has been unbearable – and it is getting worse.

We must be the only group of people you can discriminate against and criticise without any comeback.

Working out whether it’s worth carrying on

This, along with rising interest rates, rising mortgage rates, more legislation and reduced profits (yes, Shelter, we need to make money) means landlords are working out whether it’s worth carrying on.

So, while the Gas Safety checks and improved electrical checks are worthy, things like growing numbers of council licensing schemes are not and they only push up costs. Those costs have to be met by someone.

And not all landlords are evil, exploiting property so poor people pay for landlords to sleep on pillows filled with £50 notes.

If only.

Instead, landlords are deciding in increasing numbers that it is no longer worth the time and hassle of providing homes anymore.

Private landlords keen to offer shelter

Don’t get me wrong, there will always be private landlords keen to offer shelter (see what I did there?) to those who are homeless or in need.

But – and it’s important that you understand this point – section 21 means we can remove tenants who don’t pay rent or make their neighbours’ lives a misery, from our homes – but its proposed abolition (which you support) means we will find it even harder to remove rogue tenants.

For other landlords, the prospect of having to meet an EPC rating of C by 2025 (still not a legal requirement yet) is the final straw for them.

Others just want to get out, so they don’t have to be hounded by the likes of Shelter and Generation Rent.

And when landlords sell, it is usually to a homebuyer and not another landlord, so the property won’t be rented out again.

We understand this.

And now it appears you do too.

Urging the government to stop landlords from selling up

This is a shame because urging the government to stop landlords from selling up is like the boy who cried wolf. You can’t denigrate and undermine landlords for years and then say ‘Whoa! Why are landlords leaving? There won’t be homes to rent. Something must be done…’.

It’s too late. You have made a bed you don’t like and if you think it’s bad now – wait until next year when landlords have to remortgage at monster rates and see how many pack it in then.

And if they don’t leave, I can guarantee a stampede to the door marked exit if Section 21 is abolished.

You have never talked to us. We have always been the bad guys. Most of us want to provide quality homes for tenants that are safe and secure.

I for one am sick of landlords being not only ignored but victimised for offering tenants somewhere to live and being blamed for it.

Selling off council houses and not building new ones is where the issue lies with our current housing catastrophe – and that’s down to EVERY government since Thatcher, NOT landlords.

But then, if we had more social housing, you wouldn’t be needed. And the day you close your doors will be a great day for housing in this country – and a really great day for landlords everywhere.

Until next time,

The Landlord Crusader



Comments

Just A Queen

12:41 PM, 11th November 2022, About 3 weeks ago

I’ve been a landlord for over 20 years and I never knew that landlords they were looked at so badly. Where have I been for the past 20 odd years too busy being a good landlord not raising rents and making sure my tenants were comfortable in their home. I was annoyed at section 24 but just accepted it and carried on renting out my properties. It’s only since interest rates have risen and the latest budget mentioning CGT. Did I actually stop to notice there was a huge problem. How much landlords were hated accused of being greedy and how the government were doing so much to force us to leave the market. Had I noticed this earlier I would have left the market a long time ago. They are all very ungrateful!!!

Chris Kelly

12:46 PM, 11th November 2022, About 3 weeks ago

Completely agree, I never thought I would find myself wanting to sell my rental properties as I have great relationships with my tenants, really enjoy(ed) the industry and found something worthwhile in providing affordable, quality, housing.

I could even tolerate being constantly labelled as the bad guy because the reality on the ground was positive. That has completely changed however, it is one bad housing policy after another deflecting away from the real issues. I am fed up and will be selling up next year, which will mean 10 low income tenants having to find new accommodation, which will be a struggle for them.

AT

12:52 PM, 11th November 2022, About 3 weeks ago

Out of the 14 properties, we should be selling 12 properties in about 2 years.

A few HMO and others to families and individuals.

This nonsense has to stop, many of us ploughed in so much that we sacrificed our pensions.

It's so bad that even our property agent thinks we are loaded, yeah right. When there is no secondary income then its managing cashflow.

Just A Queen

12:52 PM, 11th November 2022, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Kelly at 11/11/2022 - 12:46
When I visited my tenants a few months ago they said do I plan to sell the property I said not for now they said they are so pleased because the absolutely love where they live and the area. I recently had it valued ready to go on the market and they said we are confused you said you didn’t intend to sell. I told them I am sorry i had no intention but the government is leaving me with no alternative. I’m a good landlord they are great tenants, This is one of the most depressing thing I’ve had to deal with in my life. Thank you very much Government

Mark C

13:04 PM, 11th November 2022, About 3 weeks ago

Very well written Landlord Crusader!

I think Shelter and Crisis (see the article by 118 news team) have just started to realise that the Landlords have had enough and are selling up.
At some point someone in the government will do a "root cause analysis" and come to the conclusion (which we know already) that LL's have been vilified for far too long.

It amazes me that people (no matter who is in government) who run the country have not heard of "cause and effect" ie continually beating up LL's will eventual mean they give up and "basic economics" as supply tightens prices go up.
Oh and LL's that are incorporated and hang in there will just roll their trading losses forward so that's erm...less tax for the government in both the short and long term...whoops

Just A Queen

13:07 PM, 11th November 2022, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark C at 11/11/2022 - 13:04
Surely to target landlords all time has got to be Discrimination!!!!! They are obviously trying their hardest to get rid of us and it’s working.

David Houghton

13:20 PM, 11th November 2022, About 3 weeks ago

Spot on. Tenant threatens landlord with crossbow, oh it's because he's vulnerable (nothing to do with his previous convictions). Shelter then say landlord you are evil. Shelter you will get your way, but tenants will regret it

AT

13:20 PM, 11th November 2022, About 3 weeks ago

Some factors for leaving ;
1. We obliged with all legislation but were still vilified
2. Section 24 - business discrimination
3. Council HMO charges, they didn't make it easy
4. Possible ban of s21 & rent control
5. Rising interest rates in society that runs on debt - its not the 80s, this is 2020s interest rates have to be lower.
6. No PRS legislation clarity for the future
7. Age of some landlords - many leaving sooner than later.
8. Eviction process
9. Councils asking tenants to stay until balilffs are called!
10. Zero paperwork mistakes, no second chances, because we had ill intent!!
You guys are better at this stuff and probably make a massive list.
Great post The Landlord Crusader

Judith Wordsworth

13:34 PM, 11th November 2022, About 3 weeks ago

Brilliantly written.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

13:49 PM, 11th November 2022, About 3 weeks ago

Fantastic article, let’s hope it get read by everyone in media and the PRS including landlords AND tenants.

I will be sharing this on my Social Media and I hope others will too.

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