Steve Hards

Registered with
Friday 30th August 2013

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 68

Steve Hards

17:35 PM, 25th December 2021, About 4 weeks ago

A national system of rent controls is a key aim of consultation

Any politician contemplating the benefits of rent controls should start by reading the 2017 House of Commons Library briefing paper on the subject. To quote the introduction The application of rent controls coincided with a decline in the private rented sector. The sector had made up nine-tenths of the housing stock in 1915 but had reduced to one-tenth by 1991. Rent control has been widely identified as a factor in this decline...
Download it from: Read More

Steve Hards

19:00 PM, 30th May 2021, About 8 months ago

Has anyone else been contacted directly by the ICO?

As a landlord that holds electronic records of my tenants I signed up to pay the ICO fee several years ago. However, the freehold company of which I am a director (a separate thing from my landlord business) received the same letter as Adrian. It appears that the ICO is trawling through the Companies House database for unregistered companies.
It hadn't occurred to us that registration with the ICO was necessary because our freehold company comprises just six shareholders, does not have customers, does not make profits and does not use CCTV. In fact the only electronic data we have for the shareholders is their email addresses.
There are exemptions to having to pay the annual fee as their online checker makes clear: charities, non-profits, etc. Although they may still have to register.
After using the checker it still was not clear to me that the questions and answers covered our circumstances, so I phoned the helpline and explained. The advice I was given was that if the information on all the shareholders was publicly available on Companies House then we would be exempt.
To be frank I am not sure what to make of the advice...I had the impression that the person was winging it.
I am fairly sure though that this ICO letter will be the first in an increasingly threatening series for companies and individual landlords that do not register, just like those from TV Licensing which hound people who do not watch television.... Read More

Steve Hards

13:34 PM, 6th March 2021, About 11 months ago

Update on Pilar - Squatting and private property rights undermined in Spain

Excellent article Ros. Thanks for the update. I've sent a link to your 'The Article' version to my MP.... Read More

Steve Hards

16:51 PM, 1st February 2021, About 12 months ago

Handling good tenants in a falling market?

Reply to the comment left by Kevin B at 30/01/2021 - 09:01
If you are prepared to lose a month's rent (or even a part of it), why not give them a rebate of a quarter over four months? Or a fifth over five? That gives them an incentive to stay and by that time the market may have improved. I wouldn't change the rent (so they continue to pay the contracted rate as normal) but I'd make a refund after it has been paid. Psychologically it will be easier for the tenants to feel that a rebate is ending than the rent is going back up.... Read More

Steve Hards

19:20 PM, 1st December 2020, About A year ago

Spain has abandoned any pretence of respecting private property rights

There are regular reports on Spanish TV about the distress caused to people by squatters. Sometimes neighbours demonstrate outside the property in the hope that their displeasure will encourage them to go away but it rarely seems to work. We are just keeping our fingers crossed that our apartment is low profile enough not to come to the squatters attention. Why the Spanish government is not doing something about it is a mystery and I don't think it can all be down to the influence of Pablo Iglesias, the Government's 'Second Deputy Prime Minister' and 'Minister of Social Rights and 2030 Agenda' (He is the hard-left leader of the Podemos Party and was an advisor to Venezuela's Government in the 2000s.) These problems have been endemic for years, exacerbated by the indifference of the police and a clogged-up legal system.

The red flag for us UK landlords is, as Rosalind's headline points out, that this is a symptom of what happens when property rights are undermined. Respect for property rights underpins the rule of law and when the first declines the second is not far behind.... Read More