Generation Rent wants the Government to force landlords to accept more risk

Generation Rent wants the Government to force landlords to accept more risk

17:17 PM, 1st June 2021, About 3 weeks ago 38

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Many people will have heard on the radio over the Bank Holiday weekend reports about the eviction ban ending. A Joseph Rowntree Trust claim that 800,000 households face losing their homes was repeated throughout the day. Not once did Radio 4 or Times Radio mention rent arrears. Not once did they say that many landlords have received no rent for months and in some cases are themselves in financial difficulties because of that.

No landlords were interviewed. Nobody made the obvious point that, in the current climate, sensible landlords won’t evict without good reason and also that they still need to give four months’ notice under s21 so (law of unintended consequences at work) it is logical and prudent to s21 serve notices now just in case.

This morning (1st June 2021) Radio 4’s Today Programme. (I have listened again on the Sounds App to ensure I heard correctly) was enlightening. For a piece about landlords asking for six months’ rent in advance, they interviewed Dan Wilson Craw (DWC) of Generation Rent. The programme host, to be fair, did suggest there might be a backlash by landlords because of the eviction ban. Some landlords having had a bad experience of not being paid took rent upfront to provide some security. Too right.

DWC’s immediate response was to complain about landlords “wanting to avoid risk”. He criticised us for filtering out tenants on benefits and for “wanting to screen out those who [we] think may not be able to afford [the rent] in future”.  Guilty as charged, m’lud. If a prospective tenant looks as if they can’t pay the rent, I don’t want him or her especially if I have to wait for months of arrears to accumulate.

DWC’s proposal was, and I quote: “The Government needs to give tenants more options and force landlords to take on accept more risk”.  Well, at least that is clear. Landlords, as distinct from other businesses, must be compelled to act imprudently. Having been stung already, we should take on more risk. There was no acknowledgement by DWC that landlords who are thousands of pounds out of pocket can’t be expected to act as if nothing had happened. We are just involuntary creditors to be treated as milch cows.

What happens when businesses are required to accept more risk? Well it often ends badly. Remember the sub-prime loan crisis made much worse when left-wing politicians pressured banks to lend to people with bad credit histories. Many people lost their homes and some were bankrupted.

I hope that politicians are listening. If they expect landlords to take more risk then rents will have to go up to compensate for increased defaults. More defaults and landlords will obtain more County Court judgments. More tenants will have credit scores ruined, making it harder than ever for them to buy a house.


If Generation Rent have their wish I predict rents will go up, more tenants will default. More CCJs, more misery all round. Not a great policy. A modicum of analysis would show it is unsustainable. Generation Rent don’t seem to realise that they will hurt the people they profess to support. If DWC or anyone else at GR would care to comment on this board, please do so.


by David Price

12:42 PM, 2nd June 2021, About 3 weeks ago

DWC should act as guarantor.

by TrevL

13:11 PM, 2nd June 2021, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by The Forever Tenant at 02/06/2021 - 08:26
Yes, rent controls anyone!!!!

by Martin Roberts

13:22 PM, 2nd June 2021, About 3 weeks ago

Let's not forget that Campbell Robb left Shelter to work his magic at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

He's moved on, but possibly he left a legacy.

by Hardworking Landlord

17:04 PM, 2nd June 2021, About 3 weeks ago

I listened to the piece this morning on a podcast. If a tenant needs a guarantor and can't get one, I won't accept 6 months rent upfront anyway as you end up with the same issue 6 months down the line. So Generation Rent can go ahead and push for a ban on taking rent upfront if they wish. Perhaps they should put themselves up as a guarantor service if they are so confident in taking on risk? With the current governments policies I am done taking on any more risk myself.

by NewYorkie

17:45 PM, 2nd June 2021, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by TrevL at 02/06/2021 - 13:11
I'm guessing you support the likes of our illustrious London Mayor; Sadiq Khan't, in his calls for rent controls. But I suggest you read this and then come back with your comments:

by David Price

20:09 PM, 2nd June 2021, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by NewYorkie at 02/06/2021 - 17:45
The best way to ensure that tenants are not exploited is to introduce stringent rent controls. Very soon there will be few tenants to exploit as landlords leave the market.
Government (local or national) interference with the free market rarely works and is often a disaster.

by LaLo

20:57 PM, 2nd June 2021, About 3 weeks ago

I charge below market rent - the tenants know they are getting a bargain and can also afford the rent. I've found they take a better attitude and stay - far better than having a higher rent 'not' paid!

by Debbie Burgess

22:19 PM, 2nd June 2021, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by David Price at 02/06/2021 - 20:09Private landlords may leave the market, but this doesnt mean that magically every tenant will become a property owner - indeed they will then have a landlord that is a massive faceless, bureaucratic entity that wont answer a phone 24/7 or allow rent to be late for a few weeks, or pop in and fix something within 24 hours and for free etc etc. Or they will be in social housing that I understand doesnt follow the same housing standards as private has to.
Its time tenants and those representing them, got real and worked with landlords for a better housing market.

by Chris @ Possession Friend

22:52 PM, 2nd June 2021, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by NewYorkie at 02/06/2021 - 17:45
@N Yorkie - not just Berlin, but N.Ireland - United states etc etc

by David Price

23:34 PM, 2nd June 2021, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Debbie Burgess at 02/06/2021 - 22:19
Debbie, perhaps you did not appreciate the irony in my comment, DWC directly and indirectly, is calling for measures which will make many tenants homeless and sadly does not recognise the stupidity of his own actions. The entire tenant coalition is gradually making everything worse for tenants but cannot see the wood for the trees. More risk plus rent controls will lead to fewer properties available for rent.
I house some 80 single people in self-contained flats; not one will ever be in a position to purchase their own property. I will not take any greater risk nor will I tolerate rent controls; either or both will lead to the loss of my entire portfolio to the rental market.

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