Is your MP a landlords champion?

by Mark Alexander

17:59 PM, 30th October 2014
About 6 years ago

Is your MP a landlords champion?

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Is your MP a landlords champion?

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.

 


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Comments

Dr Rosalind Beck

14:04 PM, 25th January 2015
About 6 years ago

This is very interesting.
My thoughts are: how did the Bill seek to make evictions easier for landlords? I must have missed that bit.
It's good that he says a mere complaint by a tenant wouldn't be enough to stop a landlord from being able to issue a Section 21, but this was also not clear as far as I saw. It is also reassuring that he talks about the landlord being given time to rectify defects.
But it is not reassuring to be told that if we can't issue a Section 21 we'll be fine with a non-paying tenant as we can issue a Section 8, because I understand that one is trickier to use and the legal delays mean non-paying tenants can build up even bigger debts which realistically we often don't recover.
Also: who will judge if a complaint is vexatious and how would they do this? (they'd have to be Columbo)
We've gone over this a lot and know the whole idea is flawed and as I've said before we must repeat, repeat, repeat the fact that the legislation is based on extremely unreliable and biased and in fact untruthful data which doesn't make sense. No laws should be passed on this basis. The Government has already given us the problem of technical loopholes with things like Prescribed Information being repeatedly re-issued (completely pointlessly and creating much more unnecessary bureaucracy for us). To think they are trying to introduce something so ill-researched.
It seems like a critical time to bend the ear of Brandon Lewis, as he says they are currently considering the contents of the Deregulation Bill (a misnomer if there ever was one) so it would seem to me to be a good idea if Mark (hi Mark - sorry t to keep trying to give you work!) could draw something up from us all at this Forum...

Barry Fitzpatrick

16:31 PM, 1st February 2015
About 6 years ago

I appreciate recent focus over the last few days has been on the West Brom Tracker case/judgement.

I am hoping to get a few inputs from people on this issue before making a response to my MP and Brandon Lewis MP (Minister of State for Housing and Planning).

Dr Rosalind Beck

22:05 PM, 1st February 2015
About 6 years ago

Hi Barry.
Firstly, well done for taking this issue on. Secondly, at the risk of blowing my own trumpet, there might be some ideas you could use from my letter on the first page of this thread. Can you give us a few pointers of what other kind of things you are likely to be discussing and when your meeting is? Thanks again for your work on this.

Barry Fitzpatrick

22:18 PM, 1st February 2015
About 6 years ago

@Rosalind

I don't have any meeting as yet. So I'll be writing back at the first instance.

I will refresh my mind on your earlier comments/post.

Barry

Gareth Wilson

22:39 PM, 3rd January 2016
About 5 years ago

This is a very interesting thread from 2014.

To all MPs identified here as positively disposed towards landlords' concerns we should explain the problems now presented to the rental sector, as a result of Clause 24.

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