Michael Gove – A name to chill a landlord’s spine

Michael Gove – A name to chill a landlord’s spine

10:33 AM, 28th October 2022, About A year ago 4

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Looks like Hallowe’en has come early for landlords with the announcement that Michael Gove has returned to the Government fold.

And, for me at least, that’s a huge shame.

Because while Gove has a strong reputation for getting things done – he is poised to undo the private rental sector.

My big fear is that no one is listening to us – not the government, not our tenants, not the campaigners wanting to bash landlords and least of all, not landlord organisations.


Most landlords can operate without section 21

I ask this because I was stunned to read on Property118 and on other landlord sites that the National Residential Landlords Association welcomed his appointment and said that most landlords can operate without section 21, but they need confidence about possessions.

I’m not entirely sure who the NRLA questioned to come up with a conclusion like this, but I don’t know of any other landlord who wants to do away with S21. None.

Is it you?

We have to face facts and appreciate that the Conservatives, first under George Osborne and then Michael Gove, have hardly been friends to landlords. They have made our lives incredibly difficult.

Gove has made it clear that he wants to reduce the private rental sector and improve the chances of first-time buyers getting onto the property ladder.

He has also made clear that there will be less building on green belt land, and it is likely that we will see planning laws being amended to boost supply.

Generation Rent and Shelter welcome the return of Gove

But for landlords, it’s looking like a bleak winter, and you know we are in for a rough ride when the likes of Generation Rent and Shelter welcome the return of Gove.

These organisations say we are currently in a housing emergency, and it appears that the easiest way to resolve this situation is to crack down on landlords and bring in a rent cap and a ban on evictions.

We still don’t know whether rental reform will take place and Gove has been uncharacteristically silent about his plans, but he really does need to speak with landlords – and not just representative organisations.

By doing so, he will come to appreciate that by abolishing section 21 this will inevitably lead to huge numbers of landlords serving notice on their tenants and creating a real homelessness situation.

The alternative of holding a General Election (which won’t be any time soon) and handing power to Labour doesn’t bear thinking about.

They will deliver everything that tenant organisations want and more. We should even prepare for a Labour government taking our properties from us – at a discount, of course.

Landlords should work together

I mentioned in my first column that landlords should work together and serve these notices at the same time and I stand by this call. Obviously, as readers have highlighted, the government will probably bring in emergency legislation to deal with such a move.

But, and this is really important, at least tenants will realise and appreciate the situation that landlords are under and not all of us are raking in a fortune from providing a home for others.

I doubt very much whether Michael Gove will want to be the man that goes down in history as delivering a tidal wave of homelessness with landlords keen to get their properties back so they can sell them.

And if they should do so, a glut of properties entering the market will also affect property prices and that will make everyone sit up and take notice.

It’s a shame that tactics like handing tenants a section 21 notice have to be discussed before politicians and landlord organisations explain the consequences of what Michael Gove’s plans for the PRS really are. This is a weapon we need to keep locked and loaded in our locker.

But there is one silver lining – lots of landlords who have been holding on, wondering what to do have probably seen the light and will make moves to reduce their portfolio or leave the PRS completely. The project to reduce landlord numbers is underway – and Gove hasn’t even started yet!

Michael Gove: don’t say his name out loud over the coming months because when you do hear it, you will be frightened by the consequences of what he is proposing.


Until next time,

The Landlord Crusader.

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Judith Wordsworth

12:14 PM, 28th October 2022, About A year ago

Levelling up it should be really called levelling down! Or am I being cynical?

Trapped Landlord

13:59 PM, 28th October 2022, About A year ago

Am I missing something here ? Isn't the purpose of the NRLA to represent and fight for its members ? For them to come out and say " We support the abolition of Section 21 " is like Shelter or Generation rent saying " We support the idea of speeding up evictions and while were at it , lets do away with the idea of rent controls and lets introduce a rogue tenant register ", Beggars Belief !. I can't help but think that a incoming labour government, which looks likely might just kill off buy to let completely.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

9:35 AM, 30th October 2022, About A year ago

I am just watching that slimy viper talking to Laura Kussenberg. The hatred towards PRS expressed by both is sickening. I am close to be physically sick to see that viper's ugly face.
The idiots are not even looking for the reasons why the rent goes up - it is all private landlords' fault.
Literally the private landlords are now the public enemy number 1 - bigger that terrorists and murderers.
We have been students landlords since 2010 and letting a single flat since 2006. The Blair/Brown years were fantastic for the PRS, certainly for us.
Now there is a talk about taxing wealth...
Time to sell up everything a leave this ridiculous country for good.


21:49 PM, 30th October 2022, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 30/10/2022 - 09:35
Yep, although the writing has been on the wall for some time its pretty clear even the Tory party have decided to disctance themselves from landlords.

Landlords will be used as one of, if not, the primary bogie man in the war against the rising cost of living alongide Putin and primary energy producers.

Wouldn't put it past them to introducing some more 'targeted' taxes against the PRS. Can you imagine how attractive a windfall tax on landlords might be, when its regulalry reported how easy it is to raise rents due to the lack of supply.

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