Government have created chaos in the PRS

by Dr Rosalind Beck

13:18 PM, 1st April 2020
About 2 months ago

Government have created chaos in the PRS

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Government have created chaos in the PRS

Private landlords in the UK have been left in dire straits not only by the coronavirus, but by the Government’s abysmal response to it. Whilst the Government has mentioned in its legislation that tenants must keep paying their rent, in its public pronouncements it has given a very different message – talking about landlords being able to get ‘mortgage holidays’ and stating landlords are expected to pass this on to tenants.

This has confused many landlords and tenants with the latter now believing they may have to pay no rent for 3 months, as they think landlords are somehow being ‘let off’ having to pay.  This is a duplicitous and damaging message.

I am urgently trying to get the Government to realise that this is not on and that they are creating chaos in the sector. With their embargo on all evictions for at least 3 months – and we just know this will be extended – landlords are faced with non-paying tenants (egged on by Government) and with continuing to house rogue tenants with all the associated financial and emotional costs. The latter’s behavior has, in many cases, had nothing to do with the coronavirus – with many claims pre-dating the pandemic by months, but the bad tenants are using this to take even more advantage and stay put, whilst not paying.

I have outlined this in more detail and suggested some positive steps the Government can take here. https://capx.co/landlords-are-taking-a-pummelling-from-the-coronavirus/

I encourage landlords to read the article and then to come back here to put comments below this Property118 article, giving your side of how things are going. We can then share this with journalists and give the national press an insight into what is going on, because as far as I can see it is a real pig’s ear and is going to create much misery and inevitably a spike in homelessness when landlords can eventually regain possession of their property.



Comments

moneymanager

10:42 AM, 2nd April 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Gromit at 01/04/2020 - 14:54
It might be a majority Conservative PARLIAMENT, not so sure about the government.

nickh215

10:53 AM, 2nd April 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Gromit at 01/04/2020 - 14:54Can a professional or part-time landlord claim up to 80% on the loss of earnings based on the average of three years tax returns?
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

Buckrogers

10:57 AM, 2nd April 2020
About 2 months ago

Well written article, some common sense at last!

I read some time ago a comment by a leading American investor that when the regulation in a certain sector becomes too onerous and the barometer of rights moves too far, it's time to exit that sector. This wasn't particularly aimed at the PRS, but I think we are now at/ approaching that point.

I also agree with previous posters that this will be the final nail for a lot of landlords and a sell off will happen when the market returns, I will certainly be looking at it

The government want us to run as a professional business, be regulated as such, but then not tax us as a business and treat us as a business.

It's the same as asking Tesco to subsidise the weekly shop for three months, no difference!

Freda Blogs

11:03 AM, 2nd April 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by nickh215 at 02/04/2020 - 10:53
Sorry Nick, I don't believe landlords do qualify for the self-employed grant. The advice I have seen says that we are classified as 'investors' so don't count. Ironically, we are neither employed nor self employed.
Just disadvantaged and taking the squeeze from all directions.
Would love to hear if anyone knows different...

moneymanager

11:13 AM, 2nd April 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lawrenson at 02/04/2020 - 10:04
..avoiding the Plod,,,and the already too eager and increasing cohort of Stasiesque curtain twitchers.

CPM

11:17 AM, 2nd April 2020
About 2 months ago

We have a number of tenants calling, mostly confused at to what their options are! We have been working with the self employed and asking them to pay at lest 50% of the rent so that at the end of this the payment plans will not be impossible, has anyone got a suggested template to use which summarises the government position that tenants should still pay their rent?

Mel Geee

11:22 AM, 2nd April 2020
About 2 months ago

It would be great if we could engage the newly formed NRLA in speaking with government to rectify the immense pressure that they have put landlords under during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Organise are a petition group who circulate petitions widely on various issues and they have been somewhat successful in getting help for the self employed during this crisis.
As Dr Beck mentions, they have to date offered absolutely no support to landlords during this period and have actually made things worse by the following:
1. Preventing landlords from evicting tenants who are not paying rent or for any other reason
2. Offering no rental cover during the period
3. Stopping any viewings for empty properties

I suggest the following would help:
1. Clear illustrations of the range of landlords who are being affected - it is not only super wealthy as they seem to assume - it is landlords with small portfolios / people who rely on the income for their pensions etc

2. Allow rent to be included in self employed income - especially if total income is under the £50K threshold

3. Suspend council tax payments for 12 months for landlords with empty properties (the limit of 12 months would help get through the crisis but would still exclude the wealthy who buy properties and leave them permanently empty)

4. Pay the rent due direct to the landlord if a tenant is unable to pay due to unemployment / illness

The government must realise that many ordinary people are landlords and will lose their livelihoods if nothing is done. This will mean those landlords will end up in financial hardship or worse get the properties repossessed and end up in the benefits system in the long term which will mean tenant evictions and a larger benefit bill.

Any suggestions as to how best to campaign?

joss URCH

11:26 AM, 2nd April 2020
About 2 months ago

Can we look into the bigger picture as no doubt there are many sections of society that will be hard done by. I have just signed a petition at http://chng.it/CtDKWGxvyb for one such section. There are many tenants who fall between the gaps and are not able to make payments of whom two (so far) I am in the process of helping work out a payment plan which will leave them in debt.
I have no doubt there are some very happy with their 80% payouts which really does look like a holiday for them whilst others can't get a penny. I think the government has shot its load of money without considering the full picture. (Christ knows where this money is coming from considering all the things we could not afford prior to this epidemic) I accept these are times when we need quick responses but how about paying 80% of people's rent instead, and the mortgage companies put a hold on interest payments for everyone for 3 months. At least everybody will have a roof over their heads then can adjust their food bills heating etc responsibly .
I realise that this is in effect passing the buck up the line to the banks however they are in the best position to lobby the government for restitution being no stranger to government bailouts!

Lesley Lester

11:30 AM, 2nd April 2020
About 2 months ago

Maybe we should all be writing to Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)! State our case and involve the press etc.

Sandwood

11:34 AM, 2nd April 2020
About 2 months ago

Not to mention the fact that incorporated landlords are considered investment companies and not trading companies and are not therefore eligible for the business interruption loans being given to tide over other businesses.

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