Letter to Gavin Barwell Housing Minister

by Dr Rosalind Beck

10:27 AM, 8th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Letter to Gavin Barwell Housing Minister

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Letter to Gavin Barwell Housing Minister

Dear Mr Barwell,Gavin

I noticed in your appearance on Newsnight last night that you said the main cause of homelessness was the ending of a private tenancy.

In fact, it is important to keep explaining to people who say this (you have clearly picked this up from the anti-landlord rhetoric of Shelter and the like) that:

1. The vast majority of private tenancies are ended by tenants

2. By far the main reason for landlords serving notice is breach of the tenancy agreement, notably by not paying the rent and by damaging the property.

If an employer sacks someone who has been stealing from them, is it the employer or the employee who is to blame for the latter’s actions?

Ditto landlords; we are not responsible for tenants whose behaviour leads them to be evicted. In fact, if you check the figures you will find that Housing Associations evict more than private landlords do and yet no mention is made of them ‘causing homelessness’ (a bizarre accusation to make of any housing provider).

I would appreciate it therefore if you can refrain from making this misleading statement again. You will appreciate how landlords were dreadfully scapegoated by George Osborne for the country’s housing shortage when, in fact, without us the housing shortage would be so much worse; if we hadn’t risked our own savings and used them as deposits and taken out BTL mortgages to fund the provision of new homes to rent and the conversion and rehabilitation of decrepit housing over the last few decades, things would have been a lot worse.

It is rather sickening to have none of our contribution recognised but instead to constantly have aspersions cast in our direction.

This has to stop.

Yours sincerely

Dr Rosalind Beck

 

It would be good if other readers could also write to Gavin Barwell.

His email address is:  gavin.barwell.mp@parliament.uk



Comments

Neil Patterson

10:29 AM, 8th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Excellent letter Ros and the point was very succinctly made.

Gary Nock

11:02 AM, 8th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Well done Ros. This man is a complete and utter idiot. Even Sad Javid had a pop at landlords the other day for "taking half of tenants salary in rent"

Disgusting.

Frank Brennan

11:17 AM, 8th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Well done Ros -see my letter. Please can others follow suit.

Its great for these public service employees (well that is what he is) and their gold plated pensions. Its people like us that have to work hard to provide two pensions ONE FOR THEM and one for ourselves!!

Dear Mr Barwell

I totally echo the sentiments as expressed by Dr Rosalind Beck.

Currently I hold five rental properties, two of which are in arrears to the tune of £2700.

Foolishly, I listened to the sob stories of both tenants.

Now in one, the grown up children of the tenant are squatting, while she claims to still be the tenant, when she has in actual fact moved in with a boyfriend.

I will now have to give these parasites a further minimum 10 weeks free tenancy whilst I go through the legal expense of reclaiming my property!

The second tenant has just been raided by the Utility company and had both of the meters removed. When I do get the property back, heaven knows how much it will cost to refurbish.

You and your ill conceived comments do little to actually help the housing situation in this great Country of ours.

Yours faithfully

Frank Brennan

terry sullivan

11:25 AM, 8th February 2017
About 2 years ago

barwell is just lobby-fodder

Luk Udav

11:33 AM, 8th February 2017
About 2 years ago

An article in the Guardian today details research that shows the implementationof Universal Credit has been a major cause of homelessness amongst those poor souls forced onto it. And no wonder: 6+ weeks delays, payment to tenant (when it does get paid, and by then the loan sharks will be banging on the door)

The past government were just vindictive, this lot are vindictive AND hopeless at anything except blaming others (LAs, landlords, tenants etc) for their own ineptitude.

Layla .

11:57 AM, 8th February 2017
About 2 years ago

I've just written to him too, this is what I said.

Dear Mr Barwell,

I write with concern regarding an irresponsible and misleading comment made by you during your recent appearance on Newsnight.

You stated that the main cause of homelessness was the ending of a private tenancy.

With that logic one might similarly argue its not tripping and falling off a cliff that kills you its just the last millimetre of descent.
Its obvious that there are many causes that lead to the termination of a tenancy, not least of which is your own governments callous and inhuman treatment of benefit claimants literally and intentionally driving them into debt.
I am in absolute agreement with the view of Dr Rosalind Beck and I have repeated some of it below for your ease of reference.
1. The vast majority of private tenancies are ended by tenants.
2. By far the main reason for landlords serving notice is breach of the tenancy agreement, notably by not paying the rent and by damaging the property.

If an employer sacks someone who has been stealing from them, is it the employer or the employee who is to blame for the latter’s actions?

Ditto landlords; we are not responsible for tenants whose behaviour leads them to be evicted. In fact, if you check the figures you will find that Housing Associations evict more than private landlords do and yet no mention is made of them ‘causing homelessness’ (a bizarre accusation to make of any housing provider).

I would appreciate it therefore if you can refrain from making this misleading statement again. You will appreciate how landlords were dreadfully scapegoated by George Osborne for the country’s housing shortage when, in fact, without us the housing shortage would be so much worse; if we hadn’t risked our own savings and used them as deposits and taken out BTL mortgages to fund the provision of new homes to rent and the conversion and rehabilitation of decrepit housing over the last few decades, things would have been a lot worse.

It is rather sickening to have none of our contribution recognised but instead to constantly have aspersions cast in our direction.

This has to stop.

terry sullivan

12:00 PM, 8th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Luk Udav" at "08/02/2017 - 11:33":

blame local govt--they rarely vote other than labor

Jonah !

12:24 PM, 8th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Written to G Barwell too, and copied to local MP Alberto Costa, also Tory, also landlord as it happens, as I have previously had a session with him to question Section 24 (without success....obviously)
Aside from endorsing Ros's brilliant note, my letter to Barwell also points out the inconsistencies in the information the Broken Housing Market report seeks to cite as facts - the English Housing Survey that is used as a source itself quotes figures for average household income that do not support the notion that over half a tenant's income is "going to landlords" (why does every single utterance have to be stated as such a slap in the face to landlords?!!!) - it's actually about 40%, but that is hardly unreasonable in the context of paying for a home.
The repetitve mantra of landlord=bad //tenant = good, poor vulnerable unfortunate is now part of the Government shtick. It's easy, populist, and validates a tax grab that in other circumstances would not be permissible.
You can only try and fight back, and writing to the Minister and the local representatives is about as much (forlorn but hopeful) as one can do.

The Property Man

12:42 PM, 8th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Well done Ros and Layla !! I to am writing to this idiot !! This county is run by a gang of idiots !

Whiteskifreak Surrey

14:17 PM, 8th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Done - a copy of my letter is below:

Dear Mr Barwell,
I was watching with interest your appearance on Newsnight last night (7 February 2017)
It is commendable that the Government has eventually recognised the housing market crisis, which had been upon us in the last 30 years. It is even better to see that some actions have been outlined in the White Paper.
I have however noted a number of things you said, which I feel I need to comment on.
1. Homelessness: you said the main cause of homelessness was the ending of a private tenancy. This is a statement which does not have any backing from the available statistics, which clearly state that:
1. The vast majority of private tenancies are ended by tenants (that indeed happen to us, small Landlords)
2. The main reason for landlords serving notice is breach of the tenancy agreement, notably by not paying the rent and by damaging the property.
If an employer sacks someone who has been stealing from them, is it the employer or the employee who is to blame for the latter’s actions?
Ditto landlords; we are not responsible for tenants whose behaviour leads them to be evicted. In fact, if you check the figures you will find that Housing Associations evict more than private landlords do and yet no mention is made of them ‘causing homelessness’.
I would therefore appreciate if you can refrain from making this (and similar) misleading statements again. It does not help anyone. By all means, eradicate rogue landlords (they only tarnish our reputation), however it is rather sickening to have none of PRS contributions recognised but instead to constantly have criticism and condemnation thrown in its direction.

2. Broken Housing Market in general: you have constantly emphasised how desperate the situation is, how many houses need to be built, how quickly, how expensive it is going to be and that there is no quick solution to fix the problem.
Fortunately Mr Barwell, there is one. Stop the blind politics and a crusade against Landlords’ run by the previous Government – remove Section 24, remove additional 3% Stamp duty, punitive CGT, bring back the taxing level from before Osborne. You will see an immediate return of BTL Landlords, who will provide the accommodation this country so desperately needs. The Landlords will be thinking how to expand their portfolios, not how to either increase the rent substantially or ultimately evict the existing long term tenants – to replace them with those who will pay more or to sell. They do not have shareholders, huge offices and outgoings, so can keep the rent down. You really need all their help they can provide.
To conclude, I would like to quote a few snippets from Theresa May’s speech in Davos:
“… It means stepping up to a new, active role that backs businesses and ensures more people in all corners of the country share in the benefits of its success.
And for business, it means doing even more to spread those benefits to more people. It means playing by the same rules as everyone else when it comes to tax and behaviour, because in the UK trust in business runs at just 35% among those in the lowest income brackets. And it means putting aside short-term considerations and investing in people and communities for the long-term.”
“Businesses large and small are the backbone of our economies, and enterprise is the engine of our prosperity. That is why Britain is – and will always be – open for business: open to investment in our companies, infrastructure, universities and entrepreneurs….”
“…But, at the same time as promoting this openness, we must heed the underlying feeling that there are some companies, particularly those with a global reach, who are playing by a different set of rules to ordinary, working people.”

Nothing really needs to be added to that...
Yours sincerely

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