Landlords: Enervating bureaucracy and sullen rage!

Landlords: Enervating bureaucracy and sullen rage!

9:18 AM, 22nd March 2024, About 3 months ago 3

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I think this might be of interest to landlords and others who feel under the cosh of government. A new book (albeit with an American perspective) Everyday Freedom: Designing the Framework for A Flourishing Society by Philip Howard has lessons for us.

Howard explains why government functions so poorly and why bureaucracy and litigiousness have become ubiquitous aspects of American life. In trying to remedy problems, officials put forth absurd numbers of regulations and rules. The result for many people is a feeling of powerlessness and sullen rage.

Howard quotes Alexis de Tocqueville’s observation: “It is especially dangerous to enslave men in the minor details of life. . . . Subjection in minor affairs . . . does not drive men to resistance, but it crosses them at every turn, till they are led to surrender the exercise of their own will. Thus their spirit is gradually broken and their character enervated.”

Subjecting landlords to a mass of regulation with harsh penalties for trivial infractions has worn many down. It seems to me that sullen rage describes the feelings of many decent people on this forum. Broken spirits and enervated character are in evidence.

MPs who get on their high horses and only ever see the tenant’s perspective should take note: they are driving away the very people they need to sort out the housing crisis. What do others think about this?

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Freda Blogs

11:41 AM, 22nd March 2024, About 3 months ago

I think this theory is spot-on and is as applicable here in the UK as in the US.

In the case of the PRS, increasingly Government is fiddling while Rome burns, leaving PRS LLs extremely frustrated, financially disadvantaged and forced to leave the sector.

I don’t think anyone would disagree that there is a need to provide safe, healthy homes for our tenants, but constant Govt and Local Council “initiatives“ and regulations are dispiriting at least and completely destructive at worst. Instead of dealing with the source of the problems – lack of supply, increased demand, dealing with actual rogue landlords, via their intervention they try to restrain and effectively disempower all landlords from operating effectively. They are also expecting the PRS to substitute for the social rented sector in providing long-term tenancies etc, seemingly without the recognition that this is not our function; obstructing LLs from obtaining possession of our own significant assets when required is likely a final nail in the coffin for many.

Their actions are simply a smokescreen for the failures of current and prior governments to address the country’s significant housing problems.

Steve Hards

12:13 PM, 23rd March 2024, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 22/03/2024 - 11:41
Totally agree and, if the changes so far have been a nail in the coffin of the PRS, the next thing down the line - rent controls - will be a stake through its heart.

Michael Crofts

16:41 PM, 23rd March 2024, About 3 months ago

This is the most important piece on the forum for weeks. It is not just the PRS that is being wrecked. Increased regulation and bureaucracy, incompetent provision of public services, non-accountability of powerful organisations, bankruptcy of states, and a host of other problems are taking us towards a world where the individual freedoms and liberties we took for granted are withering and dying. I have ordered Philip Howard's book and I am writing one myself with a slightly different slant because I don't think any of this is happening accidentally or by chance.

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