0:04 AM, 20th September 2023, About 2 months ago 52
A buy to let mortgage expert has accused the Government of needlessly ‘spooking’ landlords over the proposed Renters’ (Reform) Bill with its language aimed at pleasing tenants.
Gavin Richardson, the boss of Mortgages for Business, says the Government’s proposals to change evictions, including scrapping Section 21 notices, are not as bad as many fear.
He was reacting to reports in some newspapers that some Tory MPs, including some in the Government Whips’ office, want to weaken the Bill.
One newspaper reported: ‘There are a number of landlords in the Whips’ office who are amplifying the level of concern among Tory MPs and holding things up’.
Mr Richardson said: “I want to reassure the Whips that we don’t think the reforms will prove to be that bad for landlords.
“First, sensible landlords — even those working in the Conservative Whips’ office — rarely turf out good tenants who pay their rent as they want them to stick around.”
Mr Richardson continued: “So, this reform will disproportionately hit the minority of bad landlords who have abused Section 21 notices, rather than the reputable end of the market.
“Second, tenancies can still be ended if there has been a breach of the tenancy by the tenant.
“And the government has said it will introduce a new ombudsman to settle disputes between tenants and landlords without the need to go to court.”
He added: “The government has also promised to digitise the courts’ agenda ahead of these reforms to ensure a swift resolution to these cases.
“That will speed up processes where possession cases require them.”
He explains: “Third, the Whips will always be able to end a tenancy if they plan to move back in or sell it — that was the real danger of this reform, anything that inadvertently risked landlords’ ability to realise the value of their housing assets through disposal.
“The loss of full tax relief on mortgage interest payments for individual landlords, and the stamp duty surcharge on additional property purchases were far more significant for landlords.”
He adds: “The fact that the Whips are nervous is understandable, given their own government’s rhetoric.
“I don’t think for a moment that Section 21 exacerbated homelessness as one Tory communities secretary has claimed.
“The government has needlessly spooked landlords — including their own backbenchers — in a bid to curry favour with tenants.”
Mr Richardson says there are 87 MPs from all parties who are landlords who run 167 rental properties with each MP earning more than £10,000 in rent – the level at which such income must be reported in the ‘member’s interests’ register.
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