Simon Williams

Registered with
Monday 11th July 2016

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 39

Simon Williams

19:55 PM, 11th September 2018
About A week ago

Having the Rugg pulled out from under - 'MOT Check'!

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 11/09/2018 - 16:50
Hello Mick. Totally share your frustrations with selective licensing, which is spinning out of control. But if there is one thing I learnt as a former senior civil servant - it's that red tape, once introduced, is virtually impossible to cut.

So, I would see this MOT thing morphing into a virtual licence for ALL rented property and requiring a yearly visit from a pen pusher instead of every 5 years under licensing. Even if its backers think it's a possible "light-touch" alternative to licensing, I would wager money that it would quite soon be turned into a bureaucrats' charter, with ever more bells and whistles being added to the checks every year - and rising fees to boot.

To the RLA and others who foolishly back this - I say be careful what you wish for.... Read More

Simon Williams

16:02 PM, 11th September 2018
About A week ago

Having the Rugg pulled out from under - 'MOT Check'!

Admittedly I haven't seen the detail in this review, but the idea of an annual property MOT sounds terrible to me. There are various objective safety things one could check like gas, electrics, smoke alarms - but certification of these are already covered by specific criminal legislation (electrics about to be extended to all properties) AND tenants are told in the government's guide to renting to check those are given to them. AND if they are not handed over, a landlord cannot gain possession.

So, there's no point having a property inspector checking all those unless we believe that tenants should be devoid of all personal responsibility to even do that for themselves. And of course, vast numbers of properties are now subject to licensing regimes anyway and the LA already wants to see all those docs.

So, then there's the more subjective stuff - like the condition of the bathroom, the amenities in the kitchen, the state of the carpets etc. How will an MOT work there? One person's dodgy bathroom/carpet is another person's OK bathroom/carpet. And surely we can expect the tenants to judge that when they do their viewings?

Given the millions of PRS properties, we would need a very large army of new pencil pushers who, nine times out of ten, will produce a report of very little added value to the average tenant. Given that they would be looking at the entire property, I would also expect the fee to be potentially far higher than a gas check. I reckon anywhere between £75 + vat for a small flat to several hundred for a large house if the scheme is self-funding.

So, this is not really like an MOT in reality. Your car is checked against OBJECTIVE safety criteria - often covering things that it is quite hard for a buyer to spot. I see little equivalent to the dodgy bathroom or kitchen with inadequate amenities - and unlike the car, with rented property, a pre-existing certification process exists for the key safety matters.

I don't have to give specific proof to a buyer that my tyre tread depth or exhaust emissions or steering is ok, so the MOT helps (a bit) on that. I DO have to give a tenant proof that the usual safety matters have been checked and the rest they can check easily with their own eyes.

The real problem with the PRS is under-supply due to excessive rules, red tape, regulation and taxation, to which this will just add.

It won't surprise me either, if the likes of the RLA or ARLA support these so-called MOTs. They will sense a commercial opportunity here.... Read More

Simon Williams

9:53 AM, 5th September 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Section 21 - The Bigger Picture not seen by Citizens Advice

Yes, unless CAB interviewed the landlord to get their side of the story as to why notice was served, it's potty to say that a causal link between alleged complaint and eviction is established.
Presumably on CAB's analysis, even when the repair complaint was actually actioned by the landlord quite correctly, but an eviction followed within 6 months under section 21 for any number of completely unrelated reasons, it would still count in their reports' statistics?
I think it is likely to be very rare indeed that a landlord evicts just because a tenant raised a legitimate repair issue. So, you evict that tenant and then a new one is eventually recruited. Guess what? The new tenant raises exactly the same repair issue as the last one. Landlord wastes huge amount of time and effort (and probably some rent) evicting and still has a repair complaint on their hands.
At the heart of this is the extraordinarily flawed view of some non-landlords that evicting a tenant under section 21 against their will and recruiting a new tenant in place is "easy". Not only is such a process often hugely time-consuming, it is also risky. Is this really to be preferred as an "alternative" to dealing with a leaking roof, or a few sundry plumbing issues? Total nonsense.... Read More

Simon Williams

11:11 AM, 4th September 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Changed my mind landlord not moving now?

For the first time in 15 years I am confronted with a similar situation. Tessa Shepperson's blog is quite useful on this:

Bottom line seems to be: if all else failed, you would need a court order for possession and consensus seems to be that it would be section 8 rather than accelerated possession for trespass. Double rent charge appears to be viable. Don't accept "rent" beyond the notice period or your claim is stuffed.

I have told my recanting tenant that recanting on the notice is no longer possible once a new tenant has been found and that if they stay on there will be serious consequences, namely: 1. new tenant will be homeless and there would be a cross-claim to old tenant for significant damages; 2. double rent charge in accordance with Ashworth Holdings v Ballard; 3. possession proceedings and a costs order against the outgoing tenant; 4 no chance of any good reference from the landlord; 5 likely serious consequences going forward for tenant credit rating.

In the past, I casually accepted a one line email as notice to quit. In future, I will ask the tenant to sign a pro-forma letter which states in the starkest terms that the signatory fully understands that once the notice is given it cannot be revoked and that if their onward deal falls through or circumstances change, they will still need to find alternative accommodation.... Read More

Simon Williams

11:24 AM, 30th August 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Shelter shocked at result of 10%, no make that 4.7% or maybe zero

Reply to the comment left by Monty Bodkin at 30/08/2018 - 10:56
I was just taking at face value what Shelter said to Whiteskifreak Surrey, namely:

"This practice has been named as indirect discrimination by the Equality and Human Rights Commission."

If Shelter have actually told a fib about that, then shame on them. As we know though, it is what the courts have ruled which really matters.... Read More