Landlord Crusader: Why we shouldn’t keep quiet about the Renters Reform Coalition

Landlord Crusader: Why we shouldn’t keep quiet about the Renters Reform Coalition

9:21 AM, 9th June 2023, About 6 months ago 17

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I can’t keep quiet! Two stories on the same day on Property118 highlight what is wrong with the private rented sector – and if everyone concerned took a step back to understand the other side’s point of view, it would make everything a lot better.

First up is the incredible news that Generation Rent wants landlords to pay a two months’ rent penalty to help tenants move home.

This is unbelievable – so incredible that I went to their site to find out more and I wish I hadn’t bothered.

While calling for support for their campaign, they list their demands for the Renters’ Reform Bill – and if PRS landlords aren’t worried about this legislation then take a look at what this campaign group is striving to have added to the Bill:

  • Providing tenants with a 4-month notice period to secure a new residence – doubling the current 2-month timeframe
  • Safeguarding tenants from no-fault evictions during the initial two years of a tenancy – a significant increase from the existing 6-month protection
  • Preventing landlords who pursue no-fault evictions from re-letting the property for a year if they change their decision – a substantial extension from the government’s proposed 3-month period
  • Obligating landlords to market the property for sale with a sitting tenant for a duration of six months before initiating eviction proceedings
  • Mandating landlords to compensate tenants with two months’ rent to assist them in locating to a new home and facilitating the moving process.

That isn’t just a wish list – it’s pure fantasy! How on earth does that list of wants bring equity to the PRS? The other members of the Renters Reform Coalition also make outlandish demands.

Demanding radical changes to the housing market

My big issue is that the renter campaign groups in the UK are demanding radical changes to the housing market that would harm both landlords AND tenants. They want to abolish Section 21 evictions, introduce rent controls and end discrimination against benefit claimants.

These proposals are misguided, unrealistic and unfair. They would undermine the rights of property owners, reduce the supply and quality of rental housing and create more homelessness and poverty.

Section 21 evictions – so-called ‘no-fault’ evictions – allow landlords to end a tenancy without a reason but must give two months’ notice. The renter campaign groups claim that this creates insecurity and fear for tenants, who could be evicted at any time for no fault of their own.

They want to replace Section 21 but don’t specify with what. The government is hinting that we will get a stronger Section 8 process which requires landlords to prove a ground for eviction, including rent arrears or anti-social behaviour.

However, Section 21 is not a tool for arbitrary or malicious evictions. It is a vital safeguard for landlords who need to regain possession for a legitimate reason, such as selling it, or to renovate it or even move in. Section 8 is not an adequate alternative, as it is slow, costly and unreliable. Landlords often face delays and difficulties in obtaining a court order for eviction, even when they have valid grounds. This leaves them vulnerable to rent loss, damage and abuse from rogue tenants.

And as Property118 highlights with the second shocking story of the day – there is a backlog of eviction cases because there aren’t enough bailiffs, and they haven’t got have enough protection kit. So how do we evict bad tenants or even take back the house for our own use?

Abolishing Section 21 will discourage landlords from letting their properties to those who are seen as risky or unreliable. This would reduce the availability and affordability of rental housing for anyone on a low-income and vulnerable groups. It would also increase homelessness, as landlords would be less willing to offer temporary or short-term accommodation.

Argue that rents are too high and unaffordable

Rent controls are another policy that the renter campaign groups are pushing for. They argue that rents are too high and unaffordable for many tenants, and that rent controls would make housing more accessible and stable. They propose to cap rents at a percentage of local incomes or property values, and to limit rent increases to inflation or below.

However, rent controls are a proven failure. They distort the market and create unintended consequences. They discourage investment and maintenance of rental properties, leading to a decline in the quantity and quality of housing.

They create shortages and waiting lists, forcing tenants to compete for scarce and substandard accommodation. They reduce mobility and flexibility, locking tenants into long-term contracts that may not suit their changing needs or preferences. They also create black markets and corruption, as criminal landlords and tenants try to evade or manipulate the rules.

Rent controls are not the solution to the housing affordability crisis. They have never worked anywhere but still our politicians talk about them like they will solve everything. (I suppose I should mention the third shocking story of the week as the Welsh government has started a consultation about introducing rent controls. The NRLA says this will be a ‘disaster’ – that is an understatement).

Root cause of high rents

The root cause of high rents is the lack of supply relative to demand. The only way to lower rents is to increase the supply of housing by removing planning restrictions, encouraging development and supporting housing innovation.

The renter campaign groups also want to end discrimination against benefit claimants in the rental market.

However, landlords are not discriminating against benefits claimants out of prejudice or malice. They are responding to the realities and risks of the welfare system. The benefit payments are often insufficient to cover the full rent, leaving tenants in arrears and landlords out of pocket.

The payments are also delayed or disrupted by administrative errors or changes in circumstances, creating uncertainty and stress for both parties. And, more importantly, lots of mortgage lenders and insurance providers do not allow landlords to let their properties to benefits claimants, or they charge us higher fees or premiums, if they do.

Force landlords to raise their rents or deposits

Ending discrimination against benefits claimants would not help them access more or better housing. It would only force landlords to raise their rents or deposits, screen their tenants more rigorously, or exit the market altogether.

The real solution is to reform the welfare system so that it pays the rent directly to the landlord, covers the market rate and is reliable and responsive.

The renter campaign groups are misguided in their demands for radical changes to the housing market.

Landlords provide a valuable service to society by offering choice, flexibility and convenience to millions of people who need or prefer to rent.

We deserve respect and recognition, not vilification and regulation. As I have said before; talk to us, work with us, and we can create a PRS that works for landlords and tenants – but without the ludicrous notion that all landlords are fantastically rich and can afford to splash out two months of rent to help a tenant move on.

Well, we can’t now but we will do if this idea is added to the Bill – because it will be the tenant paying for it with a higher rent.

So, I say to the Renters Reform Coalition and Generation Rent, like a lot of your barmy ideas for landlords – I bet you haven’t thought of that, have you?

Until next time,

The Landlord Crusader  

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Monty Bodkin

9:47 AM, 9th June 2023, About 6 months ago
"The Nationwide Foundation is a member and the funder of the Renters’ Reform Coalition"
"The Mortgage Works (UK) plc is a specialist Buy to Let mortgage lender of Nationwide"

10:00 AM, 9th June 2023, About 6 months ago

"The root cause of high rents is the lack of supply relative to demand" - YES.
"The only way to lower rents is to increase the supply of housing..." - NO
The government has allowed a great increase of population through immigration.
The government is the cause of the problem of supply and demand imbalance.

Luke P

10:26 AM, 9th June 2023, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Tony Curtis at 09/06/2023 - 10:00
Theirs is now very good evidence (taken from sewage data that cannot be fabricated), that the population is near 100m and this fact is being suppressed…and to the extent there may not be another Census, because the data is becoming uncomfortable. Even though that doesn’t give an accurate picture, if you take the ‘official’ population at a given point in time, then add other official data about migrant numbers, it adds up to more than the Govt. admit.

It’s certainly no longer anywhere near the 60-65m I hear a lot of older folk quoting.

Mick Roberts

10:32 AM, 9th June 2023, About 6 months ago

It mind boggles me how they want to bring things in which will temporarily help so many tenants, but end up making it much MUCH worse for the next 100,000+ tenants over the next year+
They only have to look as more onerous punitive Anti-Landlord regs have been bought in since 2015, how supply has reduced for Benefit tenants, pet owners, low earners etc. We remaining Landlords can charge what we like. We have zero competition.

Wish they'd just come & have a conversation with us.

My notes on this.

We set dangerous precedents when someone can't have something back that is theirs.
So a UK citizen car hire Rental firm, plant rental, property Landlord can’t have his/her car/property back when he wants?
They hire the car out & the person says I'm not giving it u back & the Court says the hire firm can't have it back either, do you really think there will be any more car hire firms left? Or will the hire firm rent it out to anyone that has a License or be really picky who they hire cars out to?

And this is why Shelter & Generation rent, u will be getting many more evictions next few years. As Landlords are panicking, they can’t even have their house back when they want. They din’t sign up to this. They/We housed people, many of them homeless, me/myself am biggest Benefit Landlord in Nottingham & I’ve housed more Benefit homeless in Nottingham over 26 years than anyone. And guess what, I’m not doing it any more cause of your actions. I am refusing to take Benefit tenants any more, please take me to court, let’s get it out in the open.

If u stop someone having their own property back, then the providers of that property will stop providing. I too disagree when it’s someone’s home for 20 years. But let’s not forget, the Landlord is human too. He gets older. When can he retire? If u made things easy, tenant could easily move to an affordable house up the road. But that Landlord is selling too & in’t taking risky tenants any more either.
If u made it easy, I could sell to another Landlord with tenant in. He/She won’t buy either cause of your actions.

Shelter & Generation Rent, u r making it so, that tenants have nowhere to live, having the opposite effect of what u & us Landlords want.


10:34 AM, 9th June 2023, About 6 months ago

These organisations in the renter's coalition must always push the boundaries otherwise it's hard to justify their existence.

I suspect that many of them don't like anything privately owned.

So It's almost like the renter's reform coalition don't care if the PRS to fail, envisioning government could come and take the whole thing over.

(Having done such a good job with education and the NHS)

Whiteskifreak Surrey

10:57 AM, 9th June 2023, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 09/06/2023 - 10:32
Great post as always.
Shelter's existence depends on the homelessness and rogue landlords.
In their own interest they want more of these.
NB. IMHO the Renters Reform Bill is the first step to private property confiscation.

Mick Roberts

11:02 AM, 9th June 2023, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 09/06/2023 - 10:57

I keep telling me mates, save elsewhere pensions etc. As u never know if Labour get in (most probable), they could just TAKE the houses off us.

Who could have foreseen the Section 24.
And Selective Licensing-We fining u just cause we can. That tenant we asked u to house for us 20 years ago that we know doesn't cut the garden, well we now fining you 30k if she don't cut the garden.
And we gonna' make u evict her for ASBO otherwise 30k fine.
But we gonna' tell the homeless dept of the Council to NOT let u evict her.


11:15 AM, 9th June 2023, About 6 months ago

"Section 21 evictions – so-called ‘no-fault’ evictions – allow landlords to end a tenancy without a reason but must give two months’ notice. "

No they don't, this a commonplace, convenient, but gross mischaracterisation of the S21, under current legislation there are two people who can end a tenancy and neither is the landlord but a) the tenant and b ) a judge but that latter can only do so IF the S21 has been duly served and the tenancy managment is fully compliant. the ONLY thing that a S21 Notices does is to TELL the tenant that in the event that they have not vacated the property in accordance with the terms of their contracted tenancy nor agreed any renewal terms, then and only then, MAY legal proceeding be commenced.

Andrew Dove

11:40 AM, 9th June 2023, About 6 months ago

Landlord Crusader,
Yes, the Renters Reform Bill is bad news. However, I am coping fine with our equivalent in Scotland (although rent controls are another matter).
The Renters Reform Bill is not the proverbial "straw that broke the camels back". George Osborne did that with a sledge hammer, Section 24 which made finance costs non-deductible.
Section 24 was never going to be a big issue with interest rates stuck to the floor. When landlords could borrow 5 years at less than 2.5% Section 24 was tolerable. With 5 year mortgages prices in the 5% realm it is a deal breaker where landlords are exposed to higher rate tax on their rents.
In my opinion, the majority of landlords with debt owning in their own name would be well advised to check this website to see if they are making an acceptable return.
This is a tool that I have built to help my own decision making. Currently it is free to use and has no advertising or marketing links.


14:44 PM, 9th June 2023, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 09/06/2023 - 10:57
I've said it before, but if Shelter gets everything it wants, they will no longer have a raison d'etre, and no longer deserve government funding. Wave bye, bye to their fat salaries... for providing... nothing for the homeless!

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