Councils using ‘Intelligence’ to track down low EPC properties and fine £5,00015:08 PM, 29th March 2021
About 2 weeks ago 36
How the Government’s so-called protection for renters is damaging decent tenants’ prospects and leading to empty properties.
Enquiry 1: Hi, I’m John and i work as a sales assistant in Bristol, I would probably want the tenancy to start within the next month and go on for as long as possible really, also I don’t have a guarantor.
Hi John, Unfortunately, due to Government legislation we now have to have a guarantor. Sorry about that, and good luck with your search.
Enquiry 2: I am Masaya from Japan. I was interested in seeing this ad for you. I want to go see this house. However, I still can’t speak English well, so please exchange messages.
Hi Masaya, Unfortunately, we need the tenant to have a UK guarantor. I assume as you are from Japan that you do not have a family member in the UK who could be your guarantor? Good luck with your search.
These are real exchanges this week with potential tenants and this is the natural consequence of Government policy to enable tenants to stay for 2 years or more when they are not paying the rent. Their cumulative 12 months’ eviction ban, 6 months’ notice periods, numerous new hurdles to jump – such as reactivation notices, reviews, mediation and debt moratoriums – directives to courts not to consider cases until 12 months’ arrears have accrued and huge delays now in the courts and with bailiffs – these combined ways of ‘helping tenants’ have had the exact opposite effect for potential tenants.
In the past landlords risked around 5-6 months’ loss of rent if they were unfortunate enough to get a bad tenant. With the risks having multiplied because of the above Government policies I have heard many landlords say that they now prefer to have empty rooms or empty properties for even a few months rather than risk having to subsidise someone for several years – getting one of these tenants can be ruinous for landlords with only one or two properties who rely on the rent to pay the mortgage, but which is stressful for any landlord. Having a guarantor is the only way to mitigate the risk.
As seen in the exchanges above, with the Government’s protection of rogue tenants, the perfectly decent ones who need somewhere to stay either to work or study in the UK and whom landlords would previously have accepted are being shut out. How are international students going to find sufficient places to stay? (these are people who pay huge amounts to British universities in fees) How will people who need to move for work who are foreign or don’t come from a home-owning family going to find somewhere to live? What will be the effect be on the economy?
I would be interested in hearing from other landlords about your policies regarding needing a guarantor, and how this is affecting your business and void levels. Be as specific as you can be regarding your likely losses and how many months of empty properties you have had over the last tax year due to the Government policies mentioned above.
Example: I had 3 empty rooms for 3 months, 4 months, and 5 months, so a total of 12 months’ rent lost at an average of £400, so £4,800 lost in the last year.
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