Guardian accuses Landlords of ‘ripping off’ Councils

by Property 118

10:44 AM, 2nd January 2019
About 6 months ago

Guardian accuses Landlords of ‘ripping off’ Councils

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Guardian accuses Landlords of ‘ripping off’ Councils

The Guardian article, click here, “Councils ‘ripped off’ by private landlords, experts warn” accuses private landlords of ‘ripping off” desperate councils trying to house the homeless. They say local authorities are now spending almost £1bn on temporary accomodation with some councils spending £200 per head of population on sheltering homeless households.

These are staggering figures, but surely the responsibility lies more directly with government past and present than with private landlords.

Joint analysis was produced by the Guardian with Shelter showing councils in England spent £997 million in 2017/18 up from £584m in 2012/13 a 71% increase on temporary accomodation. 82,310 families were in temporary accomodation in June 2018 up from 55,840 in 2013, an increase of 47%.

Therefore demand has increased at least 47%, supply of social housing is falling behind and with over 5 years of inflation the economics would suggest a 71% increase in budget shows almost no ‘ripping off’! What on earth are they basing this assertion on?

Councillor Darren Rodwell, the London Councils executive member for housing and planning, said: “These figures show how local authorities and taxpayers are being ripped off by failings in the national approach to this issue.

“The government needs to take action. It’s clear we can’t keep relying on increasingly expensive private-sector accommodation, so more must be done to boost provision of social housing.”

Greg Beales, the campaign director of Shelter, said: “Long queues of homeless families turning to councils for help with temporary accommodation are just some of the unwanted consequences of welfare cuts, rising rents and a failure to build social homes.”

Heather Wheeler, Minister for housing and homelessness, said: “Having somewhere to stay and a place to call home is vital in helping those who are homeless rebuild their lives, and we are determined to make this a reality.

“Temporary accommodation acts as an important safety net  ensuring that the most vulnerable have a roof over their heads until longer term housing can be found. We’re providing more than £1.2bn to tackle all forms of homelessness, including funding for programmes such as the Private Rented Sector Access Fund, which will support more homeless families into long term private rented accommodation.”

The comments above seem to themselves contradict the inflamitory headline of the article, placing the blame more on policy than actual private landlords.



16:56 PM, 2nd January 2019
About 6 months ago

You can't blame Maggie any more. Yes, it was her fault that purchasing your own council house for a knock down price was introduced but it isn't her fault now. She doesn't have any say in what goes on - it is for those in power NOW to overturn the law/policy and stop being so stupid with OUR, yes, our (taxpayers) money.


17:11 PM, 2nd January 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Kate Mellor at 02/01/2019 - 16:44
"....owning housing stock would mean enormous amounts of capital tied up for councils,...."

It need not be any different from a private Landlord who borrows funds from a Lender and pays the interest on the borrowed funds from rents received from Tenants. I.E. no Council money (Council taxpayers money) tied up in the housing. Likewise management, maintenance, insurance etc. If anything Council costs should be lower (they won't be be of course because there are inherently inefficient).

Luke P

17:13 PM, 2nd January 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Gromit at 02/01/2019 - 17:11
That's the theory, but you make very different decisions when not playing with your own money...which is why Councils will never ever work properly. They don't even play with their own employment because they're never sacked and at worst just shuffled into a new role if it really gets that bad.


17:13 PM, 2nd January 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Rennie at 02/01/2019 - 16:56
The mistake was not building replacement Council Housing on a 1 for 1 basis.


17:15 PM, 2nd January 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 02/01/2019 - 17:13
True, but it worked prior to Right-to-Buy being introduced, however, inefficient that was.

Mark Alexander

17:50 PM, 2nd January 2019
About 6 months ago

I always find it interesting to read that Maggie Thatcher is responsible for selling off the Council Housing stock.

Did the champagne socialists who followed reverse her policy? Did they re-borrow all the money the Conservatives reduced the National Debt by to reinvest into building new Government owned housing stock?

No! They did not!

Instead they sold off the Nations Gold and wasted that money too, and then handed number 10 and 11 back to the Conservatives with an even bigger deficit.

To be fair though, the Blair years were the best years to make money I’ve known in my lifetime.

Dennis Leverett

18:20 PM, 2nd January 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 02/01/2019 - 17:50
I certainly agree Mark. It also put a lot of money, albeit borrowed, into the economy by those "lucky" people who utilised their new found equity to have a spending binge. Can't say I blame them though, why not, my kitchen, bedroom and bathroom business did very well from it.

Mick Roberts

8:28 AM, 3rd January 2019
About 6 months ago

Let's not forget the Selective Licensing schemes forcing landlords to sell & evict unruly tenants who won't comply with the Councils Licensing conditions.
I've had to evict 6 people this year purely cause of Licensing. They can wreck the house & live in it, their choice. But I can't be forced to fix their £5,000 damage by Licensing for the tenant to then damage again.

And Universal Credit causing this homeless too.

These two things are easy fixes.

Well said SM.

Kevin Biggins

9:32 AM, 3rd January 2019
About 6 months ago

Could it be that the costs of licensing and other legislation is being passed on in rents?
Could it be that councils enforcing room size restrictions thus removing lower cost rooms from occupation is lowering supply of these rooms leading to higher demand?
Could it be that the increased costs of the recent tax changes imposed on good landlords is having to be passed on in rent increases?
I know the answer is yes to these three questions because these changes have been forced on good landlords as well as bad ones by various governments chasing votes by making policies they believe will help. Unfortunately they don't understand the law of unintended consequences. The three questions above are the three consequences.
I remember all of the landlord bodies pointed out these effects when successive governments announced these policies.
A government with true integrity would look at the results and put their hands up and say this is not working, let's go back to what worked in the past. It would be an honest action but I doubt they have the courage.
Meanwhile; "Keep calm and rent on!"

Old Mrs Landlord

10:28 AM, 3rd January 2019
About 6 months ago

Don't give up hope Kevin, a glimmer of awareness may be beginning to dawn. The Christmas Eve edition of the Guardian cites James Brokenshire the Housing Minister as admitting that the Party needs to ask itself some hard questions about the big rise in street homelessness since they came to power and agreeing that some policy changes are needed.

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