Landlord Regulation is NOT the Answer

by Mark Alexander

11:06 AM, 23rd January 2013
About 6 years ago

Landlord Regulation is NOT the Answer

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Landlord Regulation is NOT the Answer

Landlord Regulation is not the answerThere is no doubt that our sector is attracting the criminal elements, however, landlord regulation is not the answer.

Why would any person in their right mind choose to live in a bed in a shed, or a mouldy, over-crowded wreck of a property?

The answer is simple, they need a roof over their head and there is no other choice.

Landlord regulation is nothing more than a tax on GOOD Landlords.

Will the authorities collecting this tax use the money to build more housing? NO!

Will they use the money to prosecute criminal operators? Well perhaps, but at what expense? Landlord Registration in Scotland has cost £18 million which works out at £400,000 for every rogue that’s been prevented from operating.

Landlord Regulation simply isn’t viable

The ONLY way to discourage criminals from operating in our sector is to satisfy demand for housing.

Competition as a result of balanced supply and demand improves standards, not regulation.

For standards to improve the supply of properties needs to increase, there is NO other way!

If those people living in sheds or mouldy properties had a choice to move to something better do you think they would stay?

Of course they wouldn’t!

Where would that leave the rogues and the criminals?

The GOOD Landlords CampaignWhen demand is finally satisfied and good quality accommodation is available to everybody who wants it, even the good landlords will get better. They will have to in order to compete.

If you agree please share this post and send a copy to your local MP. By all means include any comments you agree with too (see below). By all means leave a comment of your own.

This article is on behalf of all members of The GOOD Landlords Campaign.



Comments

Neil Patterson

1:15 AM, 24th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Ok let's assume there really are as many "rogue" or criminal landlords as Shelter would like everyone to believe. Then let's assume we can wave a magic wand and they all disappear over night.

Can you imagine what would happen to the Housing Crisis if Shelter's propaganda was all true. Even if 5% of Landlords were "rogue" you would be talking about 225,000 people that would need to be housed or on the streets.

Controversially could it be said that currently rogue landlords are a short term necessary evil to prevent death from exposure on the streets of Great Britain? Not a nice thought after the euphoria of the Olympics only 6 months ago.

Emma Reid

2:16 AM, 24th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Totally agree. The authorities should be looking at some way of recognition/merit towards the good landlords. Perhaps something like a public register of good landlords. At least that way, tenants can be pre warned that their prospective landlord has not been recognized as a good landlord by the local authority. It`s unfair to penalise the good landlords just because of the few corrupt ones out there!
If statutory regulation comes into force, the bad landlords are likely to ignore it anyway, as they are already showing their disregard towards guidelines - they`re not going to suddenly turn into decent, honest landlords overnight just because of regulation.

8:04 AM, 24th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Firstly, with the greatest respect to Mark, I beileve you have been taken in by the propoganda.
There is a demand for cheap housing. Some people, who live at the lower end of the market are perflectly able to rent their own place, but choose to rent with friends or two couples sharing. This is often the case, with Freeshies (Fresh Off the Boat) who are very cost concious. They don't rely on the state for handouts. They have ambitions, to own their own home and dislike to waste a penny more on rent then is necessary.
So called outbuildings at the bottom of gardens, are a cheap form of housing, which offer self-contained accomodation, a great number of tenants dislike HMOs as they have to share kitchens, bathrooms and don't offer privacy.
The Planning System supports houses into HMOs, but most planning system dislike conversions into studio flats which provide self-contained accomdation. The so-called shed-rental are addressign this issue.

I am not in favour of splitting up grand-houses into tiny hobbit homes, but this is what people want. Perhaps the planning system should offer a temporary conversion for 10 years after which it is reverted to a grand home.
A further point, many so called outbuildings, are built my home-owners as extra income. In terraced properties the only access is via front door and through the house and out into the garden....
Mark, we should stop believe all the propaganda coming out of local authorities. They have their own agenda.
Good Landlord campaign is a top idea!

Mary Latham

13:19 PM, 24th January 2013
About 6 years ago

I am sorry Anon but this is not propoganda and there are people living in conditions that are unfit for two legged animals. I agree that there are those tenants who choose to live in cheap properties in order to save money and there are also those who choose to live in very crowded conditions for the same reason but the fact it that it is unlawful for a landlord to take rent from these people.

The problem is that local authorities will not use their many powers to close down these properties because they have no where to offer the tenants - many turn a blind eye for this reason. That being the case they need to own up and to stop using these landlords as a reason to fund raise from good landlords through Licensing, Article 4s etc.
There is in fact a way to be recognised as a good landlord and that is by becoming accredited through an education based scheme. These schemes all passport landlords to and from each other and use a standard model. In my opinion we will see a national accreditation scheme in the near future. This will be self funding, as all these schemes are, and will cost the landlords around £100-150 for five years. Local authorities and national Government will have their list of landlords and landlords will be kept up to date with regulation and legislation. Tenants will have redress through the arbitration side of the schemes. The landlords who fail to become accredited will stand out like a sore thumb and local authorities can CHOOSE to use their considerable powers to bring them into line or not!
Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

Mark Alexander

22:52 PM, 24th January 2013
About 6 years ago

I'm not sure whether many of you watched the three hour Private Rented Sector Debate in The House of Commons yesterday but I felt is was excellent for landlords. Many of the politicians declared an interest which leads me to think they may well be landlords themselves. They did recognise that rogues and criminals are operating in our sector but represent only a minority. Instead of adding further regulation there was a lot of talk about Councils needing to use the powers they already have. It was very clear to me that the entire House agreed that further investment is required into the sector and that the majority of this would come from private landlords and that further incentives may be necessary.

I was tweeting like mad from the @Property118 Twitter account using #Renting and #ukhousing as I noticed that Shelter were doing the same. Whether the members of the House were following the Tweets I don't know but they did continually raise the topics that were being tweeted. I reckon that Property118 tweets out numbered Shelter Tweets by a ratio of around 5 to 1.

Shelter have obviously made good headway in regards to promoting their Stable Rental contract but as we know, unless lenders change their mortgage conditions, use of their scheme will put most landlords in breach of their Buy to Let Mortgage conditions. Hopefully the press will pick up on the fact that no changes are required in legislation or lending criteria for The GOOD Landlords Deed of Assurance to be an immediately viable alternative which achieves the objectives Shelter are looking for from their Stable Rental Contract. Why Shelter do not ditch their idea and promote the Deed of Assurance is beyond me - "not made here" perhaps?

A further review of the Private Rented Sector has been commissioned which makes it all the more important for landlords to unite. If you have not already done so please invest the grand sum of £50 into supporting The GOOD Landlords Campaign.

10:42 AM, 25th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Hi there all

Please see our website http://www.scottishlandlords.com news section for recent statistics on Landlord Registration in Scotland. The success of any scheme like this will depend on the enforcement. That has not been sufficient in Scotland. Local authorities cannot resource it and those who have not registered have largely got away with it.

We at SAL believe that training and accreditation are the way forward but this must all be backed with proper enforcement of the laws around letting which are being flouted by the "rogues"/criminals even after years of Registration. We run the national Landlord Accreditation Scotland scheme here in partnership with local authorities etc. I

Mark Alexander

23:29 PM, 25th January 2013
About 6 years ago

The entire debate from the House of Commons has now been published here >>> http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130123/debtext/130123-0003.htm

I have also just read an excellent summary article by Rosalind Renshaw at Landlords Today - Link here >>> http://www.landlordtoday.co.uk/news_features/Labour-loses-bid-in-Commons-to-regulate-private-landlords


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