Is your MP a landlords champion?

Is your MP a landlords champion?

17:59 PM, 30th October 2014, About 7 years ago 105

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With the 2015 elections coming up in six months time it’s time for landlords to start lobbying their MP’s. We need them to realise that over 1 million UK based landlords have a voice and have needs. Is your MP a landlords champion?

I am urging all landlords to write to their MP with a letter similar to my own (see below in italics).

You can be sure that tenants and lobby groups such as Shelter will be doing the same, so if we landlords keep quiet, as the usually do, the only voices MP’s will hear in terms of issues surrounding the PRS will be from those who despise landlords.

My letter to my MP (sent by email) ……

SUBJECT:- Forthcoming elections

“Dear Mr Freeman

As a resident of your constituency, and along with more than a million landlords operating in the residential private rented sector, I am beginning to consider who to vote in the forthcoming elections. I want to be certain that you will support landlords in parliamentary debates so I would be interested to understand how you feel about the following issues which are of primary concern to myself and my peers..

Like me, most landlords are simple hard working folk who invest into property to fund their retirement and who ask just 3 basic things from their tenants:-

  1. Pay rent on time
  2. Respect your neighbours
  3. Respect your home (my property)

No landlord enjoys periods when rent isn’t coming in! That’s why we want our tenants to stay long term. The cost of refurbishment between tenancies and re-letting far exceeds the cost of maintaining our properties and relationships with our tenants.

What landlords need is a quicker system to evict tenants if they don’t do any of the 3 basic things listed above.

Job mobility necessitates a larger PRS, it’s growth must not be allowed to be stifled in any way.

No tenant lives in poor conditions out of choice, increased availability of PRS property will create competition and resolve problems without the need for regulation. Supply and demand is basic economics.

We need Councils to use their existing powers to close down the rogue operators who tarnish the reputation of the private rented sector.

What we don’t need is more regulation (local or National) to be funded by stealth taxes on landlords (AKA licensing or registration fees). I doubt tenants would vote for this either when they realise it puts an upward pressure on the rent they pay and there are thought to be around 5 million tenants in the UK. 

The powers granted to local authorities to implement Additional and/or Selective licensing need to be removed. These powers negatively effect property values and insurance premiums for all property owners, regardless of whether they are owner occupiers or landlords. Also, there is no strong evidence to suggest that licensing reduces anti-social behaviour, which is why these schemes were introduced in the first place.

CGT rollover relief is applicable to landlords who invest in commercial property, but not residential property. That is counter intuitive! Tax reforms are needed to encourage residential landlords to trade up and to create more churn in the property market.

Please let me know which of my above comments you agree or disagree with so that I may consider how I will vote at the next election, and so that I may publish your reply at Property118.com for my fellow landlords within and outside your constituency to read.

One final question please; do own one or more residential properties yourself which you let to tenants? A simple yes or no to this question is all that is required.

Yours sincerely

Mark Alexander”

Important footnotes to Property118 members

You can find details of your MP here

You MUST quote your address in correspondence.

When you have sent your letter please post a comment below.

When you receive a reply from your MP please post that below too. If it’s a long letter please email to mark@property118.com and I will get it linked to your comment so that it can be opened in PDF format.

 



Comments

by Barry Fitzpatrick

17:58 PM, 23rd December 2014, About 7 years ago

I've just received a copy of a letter from my local MP Andrew Murrison after my terse reply to his initial response. He has put forward my letter to Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government asking for the points raised to be considered in legislation before the Hosue of Commons, and asking him for "his thoughts on the points raised".

Although far from a 'result' it shows a little perseverance can help raise the profile of Landlords in the minds of the government.

by Mark Alexander

18:02 PM, 23rd December 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Barry Fitzpatrick" at "23/12/2014 - 17:58":

Well done Barry, imagine what could be achieved if all 1 million plus UK landlords tool a few minutes every year to do this!
.

by Barry Fitzpatrick

18:25 PM, 23rd December 2014, About 7 years ago

@Mark
Absolutely agree. Unfortunately the first reaction any MP makes is to fob you off with a standard response, and I suspect that Eric Pickles will try exactly the same tactic.

But Landlords have strength in numbers, and Mark you are doing a great job co-ordinating members of this forum. Keep up the good work.

Barry

by Anne Nixon

20:04 PM, 23rd December 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "23/12/2014 - 16:18":

Julian is actually a conservative MP would you believe!!

by Mark Alexander

20:36 PM, 23rd December 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Anne Nixon" at "23/12/2014 - 20:04":

Please name and shame, Julian who?

... and WTF is he doing using the same template as my MP who is Labour and based in Norfolk?!!!
.

by Anne Nixon

20:41 PM, 23rd December 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "23/12/2014 - 20:36":

Julian Smith, Conservative MP for Skipton and Ripon in North Yorkshire!

by Yvette Newbury

20:54 PM, 23rd December 2014, About 7 years ago

Apart from a confirmation that my email has been received I have received no other response from my MP. How long did you all have to wait before receiving a reply please? I sent mine in on 24th November....

by Mark Alexander

21:29 PM, 23rd December 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Yvette Newbury " at "23/12/2014 - 20:54":

I sent mine on 30th Oct and got a reply on 5th December,.
.

by Anne Nixon

21:37 PM, 23rd December 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Yvette Newbury " at "23/12/2014 - 20:54":

I sent mine on 22nd November and the reply came back today.

by Barry Fitzpatrick

17:11 PM, 24th January 2015, About 7 years ago

I have just received this response from Brandon Lewis MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning via my local MP Andrew Murrison:

Thank you for your letter of 12 December 2014 to the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, on behalf of your constituent, Mr Barry Fitzpatrick, about retaliatory evictions and the Tenancies (Reform) Bill. I am replying as Minister for Housing and Planning.
The vast majority of landlords are responsible and take the upkeep and condition of their properties seriously. The Bill sought to protect tenants from the small minority of rogue landlords who, rather than meet their legal duty to keep their properties at a reasonable standard and remove health and safety hazards, instead evict tenants simply for asking for essential repairs to be made.
Retaliatory eviction is unacceptable, and we gave our backing to the Tenancies (Reform) Bill in principle, as no tenant should be evicted simply for raising a legitimate complaint about the condition of their home. The Bill also sought to improve and streamline he evictions process for landlords seeking possession of their properties.
Your constituent has, however, misunderstood the proposal to give tenants protection against eviction where they have raised a legitimate complaint about the condition of the property. It was never envisaged that a landlord would be prevented from serving a section 21 notice simply because a tenant had made a complaint. Such a restriction would only apply where a local authority had carried out a full inspection of the property using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System methodology and concluded that it contained one or more defects which, if not rectified, could represent a serious risk to the health and safety of the tenant. The landlord would have had ample opportunity before any such inspection to have had any necessary repairs carried out. In addition, there was never any question of a tenant not having to pay rent simply because the landlord was prevented from evicting them for a period of 6 months. Tenants would still be under a contractual obligation to pay their rent in full. Failure to do so would leave them at risk of eviction under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988
We are conscious that any proposals must not bring in excessive red tape or impose unfair burdens on the whole sector, and that they cannot be used by tenants to make vexatious complaints. The technical detail of any proposal will be given full and careful scrutiny to avoid any adverse effect on the overwhelming majority of responsible landlords in the private rented sector.
The Bill failed to proceed to committee stage after its second reading on 28 November. An amendment has recently been put down on the Deregulation Bill, currently before Parliament, which contains some of the clauses from the Tenancies (Reform) Bill. We are currently considering our next steps on this issue, including our position on the Deregulation Bill.

Brandon Lewis

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