Government look to throw landlords under the bus with 3 year tenancies

Government look to throw landlords under the bus with 3 year tenancies

9:15 AM, 2nd July 2018, About 5 years ago 97

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The government has released to the BBC and other selected journalists that it intends to hold a consultation considering making the shortest term tenancy in England 3 years with a 6 month break clause for tenants.

The consultation is due to start this week and run until 26th August.

Communities Secretary, James Brokenshire, said to the BBC: “It is deeply unfair when renters are forced to uproot their lives or find new schools for their children at short notice due to the terms of their rental contract.

“Being able to call your rental property your home is vital to putting down roots and building stronger communities.”

He then told the Mail that under the proposed reforms, tenants would be able to leave before the end of the minimum term, but would have greater protection if they wanted to stay for an extended period.

By the Governments very own figures the average tenancy length is over 4 years so why take away nearly all flexibility? Only normally the worse tenants are served a section 21 by landlords. Do politicians still want the Private sector to house the tenants that the state can’t accommodate?

John Healey, Shadow Housing Secretary said: “Any fresh help for renters is welcome but this latest promise is meaningless if landlords can still force tenants out by hiking up the rent.”

Healey also added that Labour plans for the PRS included controls on rents, an end to no fault evictions (ie. section 21) and even more protection against substandard properties.

As easily predicted Shelter waded in with Polly Neate saying: “This is an important step forward. Losing a tenancy is the main driver of homelessness and also causes huge instability for renting families so everyone who rents will be very pleased to see a move towards longer tenancies, but if the government really wants to stand up and provide stability for renters, they can and should go beyond three years to provide real protection from eviction, and the huge upheaval of having to move home, jobs and schools.

“The government needs to bring forward new legislation quickly with tens of thousands of families already homeless and many more at risk of the same fate, we simply cannot wait.”

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Paul Shears

12:25 PM, 2nd July 2018, About 5 years ago

This would be completely unworkable for me. I have been renting to professionals for eight years now without voids and very happy tenants on jointly & severally liable contracts. These type of tenants would never sign up to a contract that long! This sounds like another mass of unintended consequences.


12:30 PM, 2nd July 2018, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Monty Bodkin at 02/07/2018 - 12:16
Yes indeed - another cynical vote-catching ploy! Conservative or Labour - they are as bad as one another.


12:33 PM, 2nd July 2018, About 5 years ago

The industry is just contaminated and it’s extremely difficult to entirely avoid collision. You’ll need to do a pile of research before spending a penny, and then continue to keep your ear to the ground because new nonsensical laws are regularly being introduced.

david porter

12:52 PM, 2nd July 2018, About 5 years ago

I know somebody who has a potential posting to Singapore for two years. How will he rent his house out for 24 months?

Caroline Humphrey

12:58 PM, 2nd July 2018, About 5 years ago

Some of my tenants are mostly foreign workers, they would not sign up that long. Latest tenant is saving for his own deposit he would not want to signup for three years either. Other tenants do stay that long or longer but if, like I have at the moment, I have a tenant who doesn't pay the rent and hasn't for some six months and she is on an AST, I am currently still trying to get her out of my property even though I have a warrant for possession at the moment she is still living there for nothing, so that will give her license to stay forever I should think. I definitely won't be letting out tenancies for three years, as a cancer survivor my health is such that I cannot commit to do that. If I was ill again next year I would need to sell or have the option to. The safest thing for me to do if I have to rent for three years is to sell before I am forced to do that ..

Andrea Peacock

13:13 PM, 2nd July 2018, About 5 years ago

I am a landlord with buy to let mortgages with a variety of banks and building societies I'm pretty sure all of them can only be let out under a 6 month short hold tenancy or I will be in breach of my mortgage conditions, so this would have to change and if I were a lender I would be very unhappy with a 3 to 4 year wait to repossess a property should I fail for whatever reason to pay my mortgage,
As a letting agent in the South West as many as 15 percent of our landlords are service personnel in the Navy, marines etc who get posted away and let out houses for a year or two, many landlords will go travelling for a year or take jobs away from the area and rent out their homes in the short term. Thanks to the section 24 tax legislation we have already seen dozens of landlords sell up and we are speaking to tenants being made homeless on a daily basis.We currently have over 1000 people looking to rent homes in our small town and literally no family homes available today. I can see that people in this area will go down the managed AIRBNB route if they go away as this is currently an unregulated sector in the market. If 15 per cent of the stock is removed the rental crisis will get even worse, and some tenants will not be offered a property at all as we will have so much choice over tenants that landlords can actively discriminate against families with children and pets as ultimately a wealthy couple is a safer bet.
I also operate a few high end HMOs for working people who are saving deposits despite our best efforts we occasionally accommodate a housemate who is universally disliked by the other occupants despite paying their rent , they may be noisy , dirty, rude, in this case we warn them and if things don't improve we ask them to leave for the sake of the household, if we had to give people 3 year tenancies I would close the HMOs as ultimately one bad tenant ruins the household for everyone, once again a loss of desperately needed accommodation which no one else in the area provides. The new legislation coming in October will also cause HMO landlords to sell up. My smallest rooms are the most popular as they are the cheapest and give occupants a safe clean home to sleep in whilst sending money home, saving for a deposit or going out into the world for the first time and learning to budget, if these rooms are taken away they damage the viability of the entire house from a landlords perspective and many of these people cannot afford anything in the areas we live in.
All the measures taken so far in a bid to help tenants have actually worsened the problems for families . As a letting agent we have never charged any tenant fees but I know the other agents and landlords will increase rents to cover the loss. An increased rent they will now be paying forever and will probably cost more than the one off fees. The new onerous legislation in this sector means that I no longer advise clients to manage their own properties as the number of opportunities to fall foul of the law increases each week and this will again put a nine percent increase on their costs at a time when increased taxation and compliance will be squeezing the viability of the buy to let project forcing owners to sell up. By all means push incompetent private landlords out of the sector but not until you have established a viable alternative. Local businesses in this area are already struggling to recruit because once someone has been offered a job they cant find suitable accommodation and then have to turn the offer down, making the rental market smaller will further hamper the business economy.
It is tragic that continuous government interference from people who don't understand the unintended consequences is having such a terrible effect on peoples lives. Once again I feel the "consultation will be a complete sham because landlords will know nothing of it unless they happened to hear the news on Sunday or are avid readers of 118 like myself. None of this is ever sent out to the people who need to know and will subsequently come as a horrible shock to many.

Laura Delow

14:02 PM, 2nd July 2018, About 5 years ago

"Bad / evil can only prevail whilst good men do nothing" and on that note I have today stolen much of what has been written & edited it in to an email to my MP, to which I've already received a very nice & personal reply from my MP's Parliamentary Assistant asking I confirm my address to check I am a constituent before Eleanor Laing MP replies.
Should enough good men & women write to their MP's, we might stand a chance of stopping this runaway train & I am more than happy to post my email on here if others want to crib (copy/paste) what I've cribbed from others.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

14:09 PM, 2nd July 2018, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Laura Delow at 02/07/2018 - 14:02
Hi fully agree. At least our group here should start bombarding MPS. If you can please post it, and I will surely send it to my conservative and utterly useless MP. Thank you.

Graham Bowcock

14:34 PM, 2nd July 2018, About 5 years ago

I do not think that the Government has a grasp as to how the PRS works. It is not the same as public sector provision; there is a massive difference and the only workable option is for the Government to provide more social housing, not provide more legislation on the PRS.

Every time there is more regulation, the supply of property shrinks. Rent rise. Tenants struggle. This is not the landlords' fault, this is market forces.

Luckily I am an optimist and I sees a future in PRS; as long as there is more legislation my rents will rise. I have always been compliant and, whilst more rules are not ideal, I will make sure my houses are properly let.

I would be happy to show my portfolio to my local MP and for him to meet the tenants. Many of my tenants have already done more than three years; the longest has done 21 years! I have only used s21 on a (reasonably) good tenant once - guess why - section 24, on the advice of my accountant. However, in that case I actually provided another house for the people concerned so they did not lose out. Once or twice I've had a bad one and have had to evict them, but I do not go running around serving s21's for fun.
My tenants like the flexibility of being tenants. They can move on short notice, they have repairs done for them, their house are safe. We have a professional relationship with them all. If they want to stay for three years (or a lot longer), fine, it suits me commercially, but I don't see why I should be committed.

I may wish to sell to release cash, I may wish to refurbish a house. That's business.

Let's quash this idea before it gathers momentum.


Jack Craven

14:41 PM, 2nd July 2018, About 5 years ago

Who is going to buy all these buy to let properties when we sell, are there realy enough people wanting to buy?

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