No Respite for Landlords

No Respite for Landlords

13:56 PM, 25th January 2021, About 6 months ago 43

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The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space) guidance was a shock to landlords when we heard about it this week. It is a truly atrocious bit of legislation, heaping even more worry and misery on landlords and also likely to have a very damaging effect on the prospects of any potential tenants looking for private accommodation who have any experience of mental health problems.

I have laid this out in an article this week, which I hope to get to the attention of the powers that be.  Hard cases make bad law: landlords, debt and mental health | TheArticle

The most egregious parts of the rules are the lack of any clear definition as to what constitutes a ‘serious’ mental illness and secondly the idea that someone facing a mental health crisis would be able to live rent-free until the crisis was over – however long this takes.

I have also laid out what this would mean for a landlord surviving on the state pension and the rent from one property. They could go from living on an income of £850pm to having to manage on £50. Of course, as we learned with the effects of Section 24, there will also be cases where they have to live on less than zero.

The worry for landlords unlucky enough to suddenly find their tenant is officially granted the ‘breathing space’ is going to be immense. It is of course already a common experience for landlords to suffer ill health because of their tenants.

Landlord, Bansi Soni, who was on dialysis and couldn’t sleep with worrying about her non-paying tenant said: ‘she’s still occupying my flat and currently owes me 11 months’ rent at £13,750.  The stress aggravated my physical condition which worsened the life-threatening infection I had and meant I had to be hospitalised.’

This was before this latest outrage.

Where is the consideration for or even acknowledgement of the financial and psychological strain that the Government is heaping on landlords?

What about landlords’ mental health? What kind of breathing space are we going to get? I think we all know the answer to that.



Comments

by Kathy Evans

10:14 AM, 26th January 2021, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by peter-sharples@outlook.com at 25/01/2021 - 17:57
I don't think you will, but only set losses against tax you might pay in future years or get back overpyaments for current year. I've got nothing back for losses, but I hadn't overpaid on account for current year.

by Mick Roberts

10:15 AM, 26th January 2021, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark at 25/01/2021 - 18:38
Just sent u.
It is about 1597 words though & far too long at moment, I will edit down to 800 words in next few weeks, as my stuff is always far too long & then won't end up getting read.
U can send as is or cut some stuff out u feel is unimportant to your case.

Jenrick knows me, his/My Mp's have took him stuff before, we just get standard reply from him telling us what we already know.

by llsimpleton

11:00 AM, 26th January 2021, About 6 months ago

The debtor has to have an agent who needs to use a debt adviser. This won't be popular with debt companies etc as they cannot charge for this service, so they have do the same work as the debt management plan , but can't get paid for it.

by Steve Masters

11:22 AM, 26th January 2021, About 6 months ago

In the introduction of the gov.uk "Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space) guidance for money advisers" page under "What your client needs to do" for a standard breathing space it says they must meet 'ongoing liabilities' but this is not mentioned for a Mental Health breathing space.

In "1.1 Debt advice providers" at the bottom it says: "There will be times when you will need to make subjective decisions about a client. Like whether a breathing space would benefit a client, or whether cancelling a breathing space would be unfair or unreasonable for a client. There are no defined rules for these sorts of decisions. In these situations, you will use your professional judgement."

Where is the guidance on exactly what is 'unfair or unreasonable' regards not meeting 'Ongoing Liabilities' eg. failing to keep up with making rent payments during a breathing space. Could the risk of T losing their home be considered 'unfair or unreasonable'?

In "9.4 Ongoing liabilities in a standard breathing space" it is repeated that the debtor must meet 'ongoing liabilities' and making ongoing rental payments for your primary residence is specifically mentioned. The bottom of this section reads: "If your client does not keep paying these ongoing liabilities, you’ll have to decide if the standard breathing space should continue. You can take into account whether cancelling the standard breathing space in these circumstances would be unfair or unreasonable to your client. A creditor can contact your client about, or try to enforce any arrears of payment of, an ongoing liability that the debtor incurs during the standard breathing space. This obligation and review process do not apply to debtors during a mental health crisis breathing space."

Again suggesting meeting 'ongoing liabilities' is exempt for a Mental Health breathing space.

There is no corresponding section for Ongoing liabilities in a Mental Health breathing space.

Am I right to believe there is no mechanism in this bill to enforce 'Ongoing liabilities' during the entire lifetime of a Mental Health breathing space?

If so, this loophole needs to be closed.

by James D

11:55 AM, 26th January 2021, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 26/01/2021 - 10:15
I have written two letters to Jenrick and got my MP to write too. All we get is the standard official statement , one from an un signed Housing minister government official, and one from Kelly Tolhurst (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Local Government and Homelessness) She's left now.
However, dont get me wrong . Im not saying dont bother with the letter (s) Im saying well done for being a landlord whos trying to do something about it. Keep at it. Meanwhile, ive started to compose my 3rd. Its all about persistence.

by Dr Rosalind Beck

12:17 PM, 26th January 2021, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by James D at 26/01/2021 - 11:55
Yes, well done those of you who are at least trying and not taking this silently. As others have intimated it would be good to know what action the NRLA is taking on this - especially to lobby for a maximum of 2 months - even though that is in itself completely unfair.
As , in the example I used above, I would ask why a pensioner should have to live on £50pm for any period at all, while their tenant lives rent-free?
Of course, many landlords with one or two properties and very little other income are already facing long periods with no rent because of the effective moratorium on evictions - whereby action can only realistically begin when the tenant is 12 months in arrears and is likely to then take up to another 12 months.

by paul robinson

12:27 PM, 26th January 2021, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by James D at 26/01/2021 - 11:55
You have a good MP 👍

I chased my Labour MP for ages over scrapping S21, finally had a surgery meeting (he promised stuff) then nothing. Finally got a response when I took to social media before the last election. He Totally ignored or provided any info as promised. Would have preferred if he had just been honest when we met and told me my concerns were not inline with labours housing stance (that was made very obvious on them producing their manifesto) rather than waste more of my time. I’m afraid I no longer have any faith in the political system, certainly don’t be contacting him again as sadly still a Labour stronghold! 🤷

by James D

12:52 PM, 26th January 2021, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by paul robinson at 26/01/2021 - 12:27
Now that is very interesting because my local MP is.................Rebecca Long-Bailey (who will also be updated)

by moneymanager

12:52 PM, 26th January 2021, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dylan Morris at 25/01/2021 - 17:36
If we could sell our EWS incumbered properties we would bu that's another great cock up by Robert "Degenerate".

by James D

12:57 PM, 26th January 2021, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dr Rosalind Beck at 26/01/2021 - 12:17
Thanks for reminding me about (updating) NRLA , so letter number 4 to write .
Speaking of updates , did we get anything back from that Daily Telegraph journalist?


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