National Landlords Alliance

by Mark Alexander

15:11 PM, 30th November 2018
About A week ago

National Landlords Alliance

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National Landlords Alliance

The National Landlords Alliance is a fledgling organisation and has just a few hundred members at the moment.

However, driven by controversial discussions on Social Media about the aims and the aggressive nature of its campaigning, the membership of the National Landlords Alliance is growing fast. This week its founder and Chief Executive Larry Sweeney reported on a BBC Radio interview that the Alliance recently received 50 new member applications in just one morning!

It is not attacking Shelter, rather exposing some home truths about the charity which some of their supporters seem to be finding uncomfortable. An example of that is that Shelter has a £60,000,000 + annual budget but doesn’t spend a penny of that on providing a roof over anybody’s head. Instead, they seek to invest a huge amount of their donations into attacking private housing providers and discouraging private investment into much needed additional affordable rental accommodation.

Some have suggested the National Landlords Alliance exposure of Shelter’s failings is some sort of reprisal from landlords in response to Shelter’s support for changes in the sector, and to an extent that is true. By way of example, Shelter’s support for legislation which disallows finance costs for private landlords, but no other UK business, is short sighted and is more likely to increase homelessness as it did in Ireland where a similar but less aggressive policy has now been reversed.

According to Shelter, street homelessness has doubled in the past 12 months and the National Landlords Alliance and its members agrees this is a horrendous statistic. However, they find it equally disturbing that Shelter do not provide any shelters whatsoever for people living on the streets, and that their anti-landlord policies will make the problems worse.

MARK MY WORDS, when private landlords start selling their rental properties in their droves to people who can afford to buy them, due to the impact of legislation supported by Shelter, the people who cannot afford to buy will have a desperate struggle to find somewhere to live. I fully expect the amount of people living on the streets to rocket by this time next year. Perhaps we should look back a year from now to reflect on my predictions?

Meanwhile, many members of the National Landlords Alliance have vowed to boycott Shelter’s retail supporters including B&Q, Direct Line Insurance and M&S.

https://landlordsalliance.co.uk/register/



Comments

Richard Adams

15:39 PM, 30th November 2018
About A week ago

Quite excellent perspective Mark. Surely nobody can conceivably pick holes in what you have expressed but I'm not holding my breath!

Dennis Leverett

16:12 PM, 30th November 2018
About A week ago

Excellent summary of reality Mark and you will be proven right unless changes are made. I'm that close to selling up even though never had a bad tenant because it just ain't worth it anymore. I worked very hard for what I've got in order to provide for myself in retirement rather than be a burden on the state and will soon be 70 years old. It's my lovely tenants I worry about cos' Shelter won't home them even though they (Shelter) are partly responsible for how I feel.

Lyndon Whitehouse

8:37 AM, 1st December 2018
About A week ago

Absolutely correct. I’ve been a landlord in the Black Country for 18 years. As an age yew manage roughly 400 properties- we have served more S21s in the past 5 months than we’ve served in the past 18 years.
Why?
Because of the impact of the following-
1. Universal credit
2. Restrictions on mortgage interest tax relief

Mark your 12 month prediction is a certainty and I don’t suppose government will do anything until this situation is causing them the embarrassment it surely will.

I find that local councils here in the Midlands are trying to offer incentives to good landlords to help with the lack of available properties but are increasingly hamstrung by the number of landlords exiting the market and the number refusing to accept UC tenants because of delays in the first payment and the difficulty in obtaining an APA for vulnerable tenants prior to them going headlong into rent arrears

Gary Dully

18:47 PM, 1st December 2018
About A week ago

I was talking to a Licensing officer of Cheshire East Council earlier this week and the intentions of them seem quite clear.

They no longer want amateurs or anybody else that are not running a professional business and management of property without full compliance in the Private Rented Sector.

She assumed I knew little of procedures and licensing, and sort of took pity of me, and suggested that I pass my portfolio onto a professional company to manage.

She spoke to me, like an old age pensioner being helped across the road.

Cheeky bugger, I was thinking, if only she knew anything about me, she might show more respect.

I house over 54 people and I’m currently suing 4 ex tenants for arrears and damages and I don’t like being messed about.

Simon Williams

10:50 AM, 3rd December 2018
About 6 days ago

Shelter's huge budget gives them a profile that other homeless charities can't hope to match and therefore it must, to some extent, unintentionally squeeze those other charities out.

So, I think it is legitimate to draw attention to the fact that they provide no accommodation for the homeless in marked contrast to a charity like St Mungo's that provide thousands of emergency beds every night to rough sleepers and are desperate for donations.

It's not wrong for Shelter to decide only to be a campaigning and advisory organisation - it's just that I can't help thinking that when the good people of Tunbridge Wells or wherever buy their M and S sandwich with the Shelter logo on it, that they probably think they are donating to a charity more along the lines of St Mungos. Instead, their money funds campaigns that take a decidedly political view of the housing problem, with an obvious ideological slant against the PRS. If the good people of Tunbridge Wells knew that, some might prefer to send their donations elsewhere.

The CEO of Shelter will say that the leading cause of homelessness is evictions in the PRS. We landlords know that is a essentially a political opinion because it deliberately conflates outcomes with underlying causes.

By contrast, this is what St Mungo's say about homelessness:

"Many of the people we see have mental or physical health problems, or have issues with drug or alcohol use. Sometimes people face a complex mix of these factors, on top of more difficult family backgrounds than most.

Many people who become homeless had traumatic experiences during childhood. Sometimes it was sexual or physical abuse, other times it was an unstable environment, such as moving between foster homes. For some people, these experiences put them at risk from an early age. In fact, some people we work with say that their early experiences led them to become dependent on drugs or alcohol while still in their teens.

Research that we carried out in 2013 showed that 43% of people who slept rough for the first time had problems with alcohol or drug use. For some people that was a contributing factor to them becoming homeless; for others, it was a symptom of trying to cope with other problems that they faced.

Poor mental health is widespread among people who are homeless or sleeping rough. Over 40% of people we work with have a mental health issue. Many, however, may never have had access to adequate treatment or support."

So there you have it - a leading cause of homelessness is a toxic mix of mental health, past abuse and alcohol and drug dependency. Not surprisingly therefore, St Mungo's majors on mental health as well as providing real accommodation.

What a pity that when the good people of Tunbridge Wells select their sandwiches at M and S this Christmas, they won't be able to choose a sandwich with the St Mungo's label on it.

Annie Landlord

16:51 PM, 3rd December 2018
About 6 days ago

Reply to the comment left by Simon Williams at 03/12/2018 - 10:50
There is a need for more than one charity to help the homeless:) St Mungos only operates really within the M25, has a budget approaching Shelter's, pays its directors around the same amount and has had similar issues with 'not paying its staff enough'
https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/insight/insight/howards-way-41384
Crucially, it is a Registered Social Landlord, so you would rather expect it to provide accommodation. The focus is also mainly on rough sleepers, though its publicity, rather confusingly, seems to use the terms 'rough sleepers' and 'homelessness' interchangeably.

Richard Adams

17:21 PM, 3rd December 2018
About 6 days ago

Reply to the comment left by Annie Landlord at 03/12/2018 - 16:51
I'm confused. St Mungos albeit overpaying directors etc can & will provide accommodation within M25. Correct?
I understand the Salvation Army if contacted by homeless or rough sleepers can get you off the street and "sheltered" pretty fast.
Certainly for ex servicemen The Royal British Legion will assist in getting a roof over someone's head if necessary paying for cost of said roof.
Shelter though cannot/will not do any of the above be you a rough sleeper or just a homeless person. Therefore waste of a phone call ringing them!!
So well meaning from Tunbridge Wells when reaching in his pocket for a well intended donation should consider Shelter bottom of the queue.

Annie Landlord

20:28 PM, 3rd December 2018
About 6 days ago

Reply to the comment left by Richard Adams at 03/12/2018 - 17:21
Once again I think its misleading to use rough sleeper and homeless person interchangeably. There are approx 8 to 9000 rough sleepers, while there are around 250000 people classed (under the various categories) as homeless. I just think its pointless to target one charity when ALL charities have plus and minus points.
Crisis, whilst not currently running a S21 campaign, also promotes the opinion that the major cause of homelessness is the ending of a private sector AST:
'This reflects the rising number of statutory homeless cases where the immediate cause of homelessness
is recorded as ‘end of Assured Shorthold Tenancy’. It is acknowledged that Assured Shorthold Tenancies
may be utilised by social landlords as well as by private landlords. However, while Assured Shorthold
Tenancies are the norm for private renters, they remain unusual in the social rented sector.
On this basis we believe it appropriate to reference this trend as a proxy for homelessness arising from private tenancies.'

Barnardos closed its last orphanage more than 30 years ago (and has a very questionable history), but the public probably thinks donations are going to house destitute children!
I can't see how this ongoing obsession with Shelter is going to help landlords or tenants

Larry Sweeney

22:20 PM, 3rd December 2018
About 6 days ago

Annie.
It is not an obsession. Shelter are misleading the public by calling themselves a homeless charity. They should come clean and rebrand as an advisory service
Secondly we want Shelter to give an undertaking that they will not advise tenants to defy court orders.
Thirdly ,Shelter accuse us of discriminating against benefit tenants. Wrong. We make commercial decisions and we suggested Shelter offer bonds for said tenants
So where does this leave the Alliance. We will never accept that a section of society is attacked and abused as has been the case with us. Any entity that attacks us will be exposed for what they are ie Bullys. Shelter have many questions to answer and we are going no where. In 2019 we will work non stop to ensure the public know exactly the type of Charity Shelter is. To summarise 'Shelter aint seen nothing yet'. Having said that ,I can also confirm that today we extended an olive branch to Shelter, in an attempt to see if we could find common ground. We only insisted on one simple condition. An assurance from Shelter that they do not condone defying court orders. We do not expect a constructive response from this £60M PR machine. The Alliance is going nowhere, even Shelter must have grasped that by now. We are prepared to talk to Shelter but under no circumstances will we have truck with them ,if they cannot confirm that they do not advise the public to defy the court. If they are engaged in that type of behaviour with tax payers cash, im afraid we will not be talking to them .

Annie Landlord

22:40 PM, 3rd December 2018
About 6 days ago

Err. They don't want to talk to you Larry. No-one ever responds to any of your tweets, and Shelter isn't likely to conduct professional business through Twitter, are they?
I'm sorry, but I do find your language to be obsessional. Its not a gunfight!
Of course they advise (often, sometimes?) tenants to stay until the baliffs arrive. Its b awful for the landlord, but if Shelter, CA, councils, didn't give that advice, they would basically be saying "Leave the property and put yourself, your kids and your possessions on the pavement" because emergency accommodation won't be made available. They are simply providing lawful advice. The battle, surely, should be with the government to change the law around lawful possession?

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