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 Dr Rosalind Beck

15:26 PM, 5th December 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "05/12/2014 - 14:26":

Nice one Mark. From the responses so far, we can see that most MPs don't have the faintest idea of the issues and what the proposed amendment (as it has now become) would mean. I think we need to find the best arguments against the proposals and put them in very simple English and in a very concise form. If that fails, then the Guild of Residential Landlords has come up with some possible clauses which might be necessary if the legislation seems inevitable, along the lines of: 1. the tenant must put the complaint in writing to the landlord giving them 14 days to respond/fix the issue (I forget which). [NB. this is just basic common sense that the courts always want people to do before taking any action - the idea being that you should always give someone the opportunity to put something right before you report them to the authorities] 2. If the complaint is not addressed by the landlord, then the tenant should write to the council (God knows which official and God knows what resources the council would have to deal with these complaints, which may become a matter of course for all tenants in an attempt to not get evicted).... 3. The council must then inspect and only if and when they issue a notice to the landlord would a Section 21 become unenforceable/invalid if it has already been issued (??) for 6 months. NB. there then presumably also needs to be something regarding how many times this could be done? But most importantly as far as I can see, is that there should be a clause stating that if the tenant is in arrears the Section 21 IS enforceable. Anyway, these are just a few thoughts.... Anyone can see I'm not a lawyer, but some of it is just common sense.

by Mark Alexander

15:44 PM, 5th December 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rosalind " at "05/12/2014 - 15:26":

Along the similar lines I would suggest as follows:-

The proposed legislation does not apply if ..........

1) The tenant is in arrears at the time that notice was served

2) Complaints from the tenant are filed after notice has been served
.

by Dr Rosalind Beck

16:17 PM, 5th December 2014, About 7 years ago

Yes, I think the arrears clause is about the tenant's responsibilities. Shelter in their latest report write about the rights of tenants but do not use the word 'responsibilities' at all. This might be a good concept to focus on too, as most people (presumably even MPs) will be aware that you can't demand your rights without fulfilling your responsibilities.

by MoodyMolls

16:29 PM, 5th December 2014, About 7 years ago

Hi Mark

Have emailed RLA asking them to make contact.

I didnt even get a reply from my local MP Murrison but I see he replied to another member with a very poor response.

Next time I get an email from the conversative party I will email and let them know the local MP didnt respond.

by Kulasmiley

19:31 PM, 5th December 2014, About 7 years ago

I think there is another point here. Just as it would make it "illega"l for landlord to evict on Sec 21 if it was retaliatory against tenant for making housing disrepair excuse, surely it should make it "illegal" if tenant was proved to be lying about the repair, (therefore a criminal offence of fraud by misrepresentation?),

ie, Landlord needs to evict due to non payment of rent, nuisance etc and serves tenant, landlord is deprived of his asset and loses money based on the tenant lies. If proven tenant lied it should be a criminal offence. THIS IS WHAT I WE SHOULD CALL - "THE DEALBREAKER" folks!

Listen guys, the gloves are coming off and we only have 1 chance to work together to make this work. Tell the Tories we will support them if they support us. I am/was a Labour guy in my family, but I can't stand the excuses from these politicians. We can only protect our assets and our childrens futures if we are resolute right here, right now. We work so hard. We sink..we swim..we drown..or we do the bloody butterfly!!

Kev - AA Props Wales (RLA member)

by Michael Barnes

0:04 AM, 7th December 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "AA Properties Wales " at "05/12/2014 - 19:31":

I am in agreement that vexatious claim by tenant should be a criminal offence.
If any penalty were just compensation to the landlord, then tenants that have not paid the rent will not worry about not paying a bit extra.

I am in agreement that rent arrears at time of service of S21 should invalidate any claim of disrepair that would invalidate the S21.

Similarly, if a S21 has been successfully rejected by the disrepair clause, then the period for which a S21 cannot be served should end if the tenant goes into rent arrears.

by Roanch 21

15:50 PM, 10th December 2014, About 7 years ago

Here's the response from Nick Gibb MP (Conservative) .....

9th December 2014
Dear R,
Thank you for your email regarding your concerns about the private rented sector and assistance for Landlords. I have written to the secretary of state for communities and local government about this matter, outlining your concerns and enclosing a copy of your email. As soon as I receive a response from Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, I will write to you again.
With best wishes.
Nick Gibb

by Mark Alexander

19:23 PM, 10th December 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Roanch 21" at "10/12/2014 - 15:50":

.... and this is why all GOOD landlords should be voting Conservative, and explaining to their tenants why doing so is also in their best interests too 🙂
.

by Kulasmiley

23:16 PM, 10th December 2014, About 7 years ago

Couldn't we at Prop 118 find a MP that could start a bill "Tenants Acts Criminal"?
the NO 1 thing that kills our business is rent arrears, it is theft. If we canvass a MP to bring in a bill based on that one thing will we have a chance?

by Dr Rosalind Beck

9:52 AM, 11th December 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "AA Properties Wales " at "10/12/2014 - 23:16":

Yes, that would be great, wouldn't it? As I always say, if a tenant gave you the rent and then five minutes later stole your bag in the street with the money in it, that would be theft and they could go to prison. If they don't hand it over in the first place, you're left in the same position but it's deemed civil, a private matter, that you have to sort out yourself.
Yesterday I saw one of our worst of all time ex-tenants outside the supermarket. She had on over the knee, expensive looking leather boots, a leather skirt and flouncy top, was all made up, the hair was fluffy like she'd just been to the hairdressers, she had a fag in her hand and she was chatting pleasantly to another woman. She owes us £2,500 which we will never get because she works under the radar and pays no tax (we've got her the sack from two places by trying to get attachments of earnings on her - and both dodgy businesses paid cash in hand). In the meantime, she can spend whatever she likes on herself, while she is no doubt putting her current landlord through the mill. I told her what I thought of her! (it doesn't get me my money back, but it wipes the smile off her false face)
Back to the point: the law protects her and allows her to be this serial defaulter who causes havoc and stress for every landlord unfortunate to fall for her initial charm. 'Yes, my mother can be guarantor, but she's on holiday, and will sign next week (when I've already moved in)' etc. etc. And then some people blame the landlord for being stupid rather than 100% blaming her, as the thief. There are some significant gaps in our legal system which should be filled. And I would have thought there might be an MP willing to take this on and make a difference. It also fits in with that ethos pushed by both the Labour and Coalition Governments, on which Universal Credit is based, which is that people should be taught to be responsible citizens.


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