11:03 AM, 7th October 2022, About 12 months ago 3
I scoured the Conservation Party’s agenda – all 120 pages of it – for their conference in Birmingham this week, and did I find any mention of the ‘housing crisis’ that we are suffering from?
You know the one.
Awful landlords putting up rents, pushing families onto the streets – running dilapidated properties and telling renters to like it or lump it? Or of the lack of homes to rent?
No, I didn’t. Not a word.
I did find fringe meetings on the cost-of-living crisis, ending the debt trap and the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change discussing how to boost homeownership and the mortgage market.
Plus, there was the Social Market Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation asking, ‘How do Conservatives rebalance the housing market for renters and buyers?’ To be fair, this fringe event was the only one to use the words ‘housing crisis’.
By ‘rebalance’ I’m guessing they mean that they want to ’empower tenants’.
And there was this:
Conservatives Tenants and Landlords Forum
How can we win back Generation rent AND landlords
It featured Generation Rent and Ben Beadle of the National Residential Landlords Association with a claim that they are open to ideas on how to reform the rented sector via win-win outcomes.
(Did any landlords reading this attend the event? If so, I would love to know what was said…).
And this beauty:
Shelter – Does the Conservative Party need to woo Generation Rent to win the next election?
But nothing on the future of renting or improving the lives of tenants.
And, I don’t know if this is good or bad news, not a mention of the Rental Reform White Paper.
It was the same last week with the clowns in the Labour Party.
They’ve been screaming about a ‘housing crisis’ since the days of Comrade Corbyn but they too had nothing to discuss.
Do you know why?
Because the answers are too difficult. The solutions are too controversial.
That’s why the landlord is always going to be the whipping boy. Politicians haven’t got the wit to see what they are doing – and loads of them are landlords themselves.
Egged on by a pliant media and organisations like the ‘charity’ Shelter that want to make life easier for tenants and worse for landlords.
The word despondent doesn’t even come close to describing how I feel. Next week, we will all be under fire again as the politicians find their voices in Parliament and take aim at the largely voiceless landlord.
It has to stop.
Of course, it won’t and I’m pretty sure that we will be looking forward to how our elected politicians are hoping to deal with the ‘housing crisis’.
In time, I’ll come to what is happening in Scotland. The latest move to unveil the law that will bring in a rent freeze has already been shot to pieces with various loopholes.
Still no debate. Still no conversation with landlords.
And still, the media does not understand the financial impact that a rent freeze will have on landlords there. Only tenants. It’s always only the tenants.
There’s even less talk about the eviction ban which will see tenants refusing to pay rent and knowing that their landlord can do nothing about it. Not now – and probably not even next year.
The big worry for landlords in Scotland is that the new law will have two potential six-month extensions built into it – so it could be the end of 2024 before a landlord regains possession.
If, that is, they can afford to continue as a landlord. I doubt that many will, and they will have to evict because they have no choice but to sell their rental property.
That will see the tenant being made homeless with nowhere else to live.
I despair. Housing crisis? The lack of housing is down to the lack of urgency by the government to build council houses.
If there is a housing crisis, it is one that will end the time, money and effort that millions of voiceless landlords have made to house families when there is no other option.
Until next time,
The Landlord Crusader
You can read my missive from last week that provoked a lot of interesting debate about holding a Section 21 Day. Landlords – hold that thought!
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