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

Carol Thomas

15:40 PM, 31st October 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rosalind Beck" at "31/10/2014 - 13:55":

Brilliant letter Rosalind. Only one comment - instead of "In sum...." Perhaps " In summation ..." ? Sorry, I'm such a stickler,lol. Will be getting mine ready to send soon. Thanks for your input.

Mark Alexander

16:29 PM, 31st October 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "LS " at "31/10/2014 - 10:20":

Just nice to know which MP's are landlords, nothing more than that really.
.

Mick Roberts

9:35 AM, 1st November 2014
About 6 years ago

The Tax lost must be millions. How can the Tory Govt not have a clue about this?
Like Phillip Green says, the country is a business, a big company, yet we have people run it who han’t got a clue about running a business.

I’ve been moaning at top people for years, they don’t listen-not to litttle me anyway. It’s only when u have a valid complaint that sometimes things can get changed.

What if the tenant spends the LHA on drugs-Drug dealers I know don’t pay tax.
Tiny minority? Aahh right. Overstates my case? I’ve had to buy a whole NEW BIG filing cabinet since LHA came out with the extra paperwork. Lot of money they are u know ha ha.
I suspect one hasn’t got much experience dealing with LHA then.

Mark Alexander

11:45 AM, 1st November 2014
About 6 years ago

TAX LOSS

Sorry to be the one to have to point this out but the tax loss argument is a red herring.

The treasury will be no worse off because the money being robbed from landlords by tenants is being spent elsewhere, possibly on goods which attract VAT and any profits made on the sale of those goods will of course remain taxable.
.

Dr Rosalind Beck

12:30 PM, 1st November 2014
About 6 years ago

Yes, I spotted this problem just after I pressed the click button. But I'm not convinced it should be entirely written off as a red herring. I'd like to see the sums first. For example, when I think of some of our worst defaulters I would estimate they spent the money they should have used on rent on, for example: takeaways (and often these little operations who might possibly fiddle their taxes), 'up the club' (ditto), cigarettes (maybe on the black market as well as from legitimate operations), mobile 'phone (paying tax), Sky (paying tax) and supermarkets (paying tax) - so a mixture I'd say (some would have spent it on drugs). I've got no idea how vat compares to income tax etc. (sorry, can't take an interest in everything), but I think the sums should be done - there might be the odd hundred million going astray...

Mark Alexander

12:47 PM, 1st November 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rosalind Beck" at "01/11/2014 - 12:30":

I don't have that information either but I do know that VAT is in addition to taxable profits, not instead of, so I suspect that the VAT element of legal spending would at least offset any lost tax revenue on monies spent on illegal goods and services (you missed prostitution off your list BTW). Such figures can only ever be a guess anyway as nobody really knows the value of the black market as it cannot be accurately measured.
.

Dr Rosalind Beck

18:57 PM, 2nd November 2014
About 6 years ago

Hi all. I have just sent my letter, via email, to my MP Wayne David. I will also now need to find out the details of the other candidates so that I can also send it to them and get their response. I will post any response here.

Colin Dartnell

0:44 AM, 3rd November 2014
About 6 years ago

My MP was brilliant, always available, always in the town to speak to people, always listening to what was said. Now he is Minister for crime prevention, never see him any more!!

Mick Roberts

7:23 AM, 3rd November 2014
About 6 years ago

Yes, the Tax could be a red herring, but surely if a whole 40% was gonna' be paid, the rest thereafter even if they did buy some honest goods & pay VAT on them, in't gonna' add up to a WHOLE 40%?

Otherwise, we might as we not pay any at source, 'cause HMRC would say 'Don't bother', we gonna' get more afterwards with the money spent.

They could employ a gardener or fence below 10k a year limit no tax etc.

Michael Barnes

16:11 PM, 4th November 2014
About 6 years ago

Unfortunately my MP is standing down at the next election, so there is no point in emailing him.

I will, however, seek to put this to all the candidates when the election rigmarole gets going.

The additional points I will be raising are

1. Lack of tax relief on renewals of white goods, carpets, etc whilst this is available for all other businesses.

2. Pointing out that being a Landlords Champion does not make one anti-tenant. We want laws and regulations and enforcement that are fair to good landlords and good tenants whilst protecting everyone from bad landlords and bad tenants

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