How many Lords will be ‘a leaping’ for the Renters (Reform) Bill?

How many Lords will be ‘a leaping’ for the Renters (Reform) Bill?

18:48 PM, 2nd May 2024, About 2 months ago 3

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Now that the Renters (Reform) Bill is heading to the Lords, I’m struck by the lack of celebration by landlords everywhere. Not even our critics are happy – Shelter says it has ‘disowned’ the Bill.

It is nice to see the government tick off both sides of the debate with legislation that is literally a curate’s egg (apologies for the idiom overload, bear with me).

But I’m left wondering what the Lords, not the best of friends to the democratic process, will make of it.

I’m not holding out much hope and I fear that the amendments we didn’t want – the immediate ending of Section 21 – will be added.

And the better ideas being ditched.

Entire legislative process has been a mess

For me, the entire legislative process has been a mess and despite a promise in the 2019 manifesto to bring the law in, the Conservatives seem to be unprepared.

What else can explain various issues, such as the ability for purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) to keep fixed term tenancies but not private student landlords?

It’s like they weren’t bothered but got spooked by critics and they’ve thrown an unholy mess together.

To be fair, they were always on a hiding to nothing – trying to fix a system that isn’t broken.

Tenants might disagree but I’ve discussed before that the law effectively passes control of a property from the owner to the tenant.

Imagine doing that for homeowners? There would be outrage but this simple issue never gets mentioned.

What the Bill will look like after it leaves the Lords

So, I’m left wondering what the Bill will look like after it leaves the Lords – I doubt many landlords will be happy.

I can see the EPC regulations being reintroduced as a trade-off for something the government wants.

They could reintroduce the ability for tenants to quit just two months into a tenancy which will wreak havoc on the sector and landlords will be left having to deal with it.

And I can believe that the Labour bid to introduce a two-year wait to sell or reoccupy should a landlord evict because the landlord wants to move in, or sell will reappear.

That really is madness telling a property owner what they can and can’t do with their own property.

We will see more landlords selling up

As the Bill limps along to its inevitable conclusion, I think we will see more landlords selling up as they see the writing on the wall.

Unincorporated landlords have suffered under section 24 because even though we are a business, we can’t claim mortgage or finance expenses against costs.

We’ve seen a huge increase in regulation already – we must deal with around 170 laws and regulations. Why?

Criminal landlords will continue blighting the sector and social landlords will still offer poor quality homes.

I see too that councils are among those bleating about the new property portal not being a good enough replacement for licensing schemes.

Most landlords and many Conservative MPs will disagree with that.

But everyone gets upset when the gravy train hits the buffers.

Except in the case of licensing, it is the tenants that are ultimately paying for an inspection regime where few, if any, inspections actually take place.

Call that improving the private rented sector and booting criminal landlords out? Don’t make me laugh.

Media and tenant organisations love the Bill

I can see why the media and tenant organisations love the Bill – apart from the opportunity to paint all landlords as evil graspers.

Because they get to play the hero to tenants and critics without having any skin in the game.

Shelter moans about the Bill being watered down but doesn’t house anyone.

Generation Rent wants landlords to pay a tenant’s moving costs when they are evicted but won’t be contributing (guess who will be really paying for those costs? Clue: Not the landlord).

We are surrounded by those who either don’t understand the PRS, or don’t want to know.

In the end, there will be fewer homes to rent, rents will be dearer, and landlords will be prevented from taking possession of their property.

Labour landslide will shake the PRS to its core

Ultimately, we all need to be careful what we wish for because the predicted Labour landslide will shake the PRS to its core.

There isn’t a single MP I can trust with dealing with rented housing objectively, not one.

Most Labour MPs couldn’t find an important part of their anatomy with both hands, but they’ll be quick to tell us what we have been doing wrong.

They won’t build the houses we need; they won’t cut immigration and housing really will become an election loser within the next five years – if not sooner if enough landlords pack in.

Ending Section 21 without fixing the courts will see a whistle being blown on a stampede to sell.

The knock-on effect will see house prices take a hit – a hugely important election issue – including the homes of MPs.

I wonder if the Lords in their comfortable bubble will understand the power they have to make or break the PRS? On the one hand, I hope not, but on the other, it would be nice to see the rented home numbers drop like a stone so everyone will, at last, see how important we are in housing millions of people.

Until next time,

The Landlord Crusader


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Comments

Reluctant Landlord

10:24 AM, 3rd May 2024, About 2 months ago

I can quote directly from a reply I had to a letter I sent to a Conservative MP in an area I have rentals in..

"It is very interesting to read your thoughts. I know the Lords will tear strips from this Bill so I hope the Government continues to listen to the concerns of those in the other place. Finally therefore, we might have a Bill which I and colleagues in the Commons can support."

THAT says it all!

cashcow

9:17 AM, 4th May 2024, About 2 months ago

Always good to read the landlord crusader.
I hope they give me enough time to hand out section 21s to those poor victims of this bill if it goes through. I have been fortunate not to have needed to served one section 21 in all my 30 years of being a landlord.
I sit and wait .

Stella

23:53 PM, 5th May 2024, About 2 months ago

How can this be a fair deal for landlords with no control over our assets and an even more mind-boggling amount of legislation to comply with.
It is a mess and I can only hope that there are some enlightened people in the Lords.

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