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.

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.


Mel Geee

15:56 PM, 2nd April 2020
About 2 months ago

I have contacted NRLA (the newly formed NRA and RLA combined) to ask what they are doing to petition government to help landlords through Covid-19 lockdown. I think all landlords should bombard them with emails to ensure they are representing us - after all we pay them membership fees and so far I have not seen them doing anything to help get us through this crisis.
Please use the following contacts if you wish to email them:
Chief Executive, Ben Beadle –
Policy Director, Chris Norris –

terry sullivan

16:20 PM, 2nd April 2020
About 2 months ago

govt have created chaos everywhere!


16:20 PM, 2nd April 2020
About 2 months ago

All very true Mike, but you forgot to mention also the '£30,000' fine if anything goes wrong!!! This is why I'm selling one of mine - just not worth it for £45pw after exp'/voids/taxes etc have been taken out!

Lesley Lester

16:22 PM, 2nd April 2020
About 2 months ago

I have just emailed both Chris and Ben, pleased to say that Chris came back to me immediately, his response: -
Thank you for your email highlighting Dr Beck’s article, we have indeed been monitoring the comments appended to it on Property118 with interest.
We are in discussions with the Government daily about this issue, and have a call scheduled with the housing minister in the next few days to discuss exactly this. Whilst I cannot guarantee that we will get the outcome we all want and need, I hope I can assure you that we are working to get the Government to acknowledge the difficulties landlords are currently facing and take steps to mitigate the damage currently being done.

As they seem to have an ear to the Government, maybe we should all give them our support, if successful I am confident it will swell their numbers and benefit us all!

Cathie Hawkins

20:59 PM, 2nd April 2020
About 2 months ago

All of us here know the devastating effects that rogue landlords cause - however it is the good ones that are punished - the bad ones tend to stay under the radar. Many of us sadly know that there plenty rogue tenants out there who seem to think we should pay for their housing. Where is the balance? We want to provide great HOMES for people but expect to be treated like any other business; accounts that conform to normal accounting standards, to be recognised as a business by HMRC, to have protection against, and recourse to, remove customers that are in breach of contract. Instead we are expected to provide a service (that the government have decided is not viable for them to provide in enough quantity) with no payment and life changing financial loss for us. No other business has to do this. The rogue tenants should have consequences for their actions.
We are lucky, so far, that only one of our tenants is struggling to pay. Having been made redundant and hubby had all his SE work cancelled, we are relying on rent - as are so many ‘not self employed’ landlords out there.


23:00 PM, 2nd April 2020
About 2 months ago

In Leeds some of us have written to our local MP's & head of LCC to tell them to stop invoicing landlords for the Selective licensing scheme & to understand that as businesses if our income stops then everything else stops - No money = no money out. Therefore agents cannot be paid, repairs cannot be done because tradesmen cannot be paid. No one wants to attend due to the health risks. Not everyone has a mortgage & most rents are not = to the mortgage so a mortgage holiday doesn't address the shortfall. Tenants who are on UC or get their rent from the council have also stopped paying even though they have no valid reason all because an incompetent government cannot put a simple message across or understand there are 2 parts to an equation. Complete numpties. Now some idiots are wanting student contracts ripping up because the universities have closed. This is not our fault & our costs do not stop. If we terminate these contracts then who pays the utility bills & council tax. Who pays for the maintenance & common area costs? They seem to think landlords have a cash pile that they can just dig into. All other small businesses are about to go bust but for some reason they think the PRS is immune. Bombard your local MP's & councillors & give them our side of the story.

Paul Shears

23:12 PM, 2nd April 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by at 02/04/2020 - 09:40
I had a go at contacting the NHS but all you can do is fill in an online form and hope that they contact you.
No response.
Does anyone have some relevant NHS contact details?
With so many additional support workers, I would have thought that there must be a need.

Mandy Thomson

7:18 AM, 3rd April 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 02/04/2020 - 11:03
You're correct about the self employed tax allowances not being available to landlords as to claim you'd have to paying tax as self employed, not a private property investor.
However, and I believe @Dr_Rosalind_Beck, @Sherrelle_Colman and @Bill_Irvine might have some insight here, I've been advised in the past that if a landlord's total income is low enough, they can apply for means tested benefit themselves, and the equity in their rental property should be disregarded as a business asset, or is that wrong? I can produce some case law to support this on request.

Alistair Cooper

9:29 AM, 3rd April 2020
About 2 months ago

Thx Mandy
A link or some info on the case law that may help a landlord to have equity in residential property disregarded in benefit applications would be appreciated
My godson has just 2 properties, now receiving nil income and has lost virtually all his SE income as well; but his app for UC was declined because the equity in the properties was over £32k.

Dr Rosalind Beck

9:38 AM, 3rd April 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Alistair Cooper at 03/04/2020 - 09:29
I'm not an expert on this, but am wondering if working tax credits may the way to go? They won't work for people caught in the 'inflated fictitious income' because of Section 24, but may work for lower-paid landlords in general. Hopefully Bill or Sherrelle will comment as they are the experts.

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