Provision of housing

by Readers Question

8:27 AM, 13th August 2019
About 4 months ago

Provision of housing

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Provision of housing

According to Richard Bilton in the Panorama Programme there are ten million tenants of Private Sector Landlords. I take that figure with a Pinch of Salt! However, for the purposes of this article I will leave it like that.

Shelter’s Chief Executive, Polly Neate, says that the main reason for 300,000 evictions annually is the Section 21. I would go along with that. If I put the two figures claimed together then 3% of evictions are due to Section 21 notices. Now that does not seem too high when the average Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) lasts 5 years!

In my experience it is the tenant giving Notice not the landlord giving a Section 21. As all tenancies have been ASTs since 15th January, 1989 then it follows nearly all evictions are as a result of a Section 21.

There is a terrible shortage of living accommodation particularly in the South East. Left Wing journalists may well believe that by being patriotic they are forwarding the case for the banning of the Section 21 as  it will stabilise the letting market for the benefit of those with children.

It will not! What it will do is to drive away the Private Sector Landlord thus increasing the shortage of housing.

Much has been made of the term “Rachmanism” but why? Rachmanism went out of the window in January, 1989 the same day as the introduction of Section 21 which made Rachmanism redundant. Who needs Rachmanism when you have the Section 21?

What it does do is to indicate that those making such comments are not really up to pace with the game.

Yesterday I increased the rents of my tenancies by £50 per month. That was due to market forces. In the southeast the VP prices are heading northwards so it is little surprise that the rents follow and head northwards. The bread and butter house is the new build two bedroomed mid-terrace house. Always has been and always will be!

However, they are becoming a vanishing animal as developers are moving towards three bedroomed basic houses. They are putting jam on the bed and butter houses. It makes more profit! House builders are in the game of making profits.

Older houses are rather static in terms of the investor as the average length of tenancy is five years. The novice first time landlord or investor then looks to the “Off Plan” game. I say game because that is exactly what it is for many buyers who seek to “flip” houses for a quick profit. For the Buy to Let (BTL) investor that is not his prime objective. He is looking for a, long term, investment of at least ten years but is not adverse to 20 to 25 years.

No doubt Boris will have something to say about Flipping in the fullness of time!

What critics of the Section 21 have to look at is exactly why do we have a Section 21? Indeed, why do we have Assured Shorthold Tenancies?

They were introduced by the Thatcher Government due to the shortage of accommodation. Nobody wished to invest, because when you wished to cash in your investment it was not possible to do so with Vacant Possession. Investors looked elsewhere for a home for their money. For this reason, and specifically to increase the availability of housing to rent, the AST was introduced incorporating the ability to rapidly recover the house with Vacant Possession.

The media must learn the Lesson from the Past and embrace precisely why we now have an AST. No Section 21 means no housing for poorer people. Indeed, do away with the Section 21 and the Assured Shorthold Tenancy becomes an Assured Tenancy. That is a “Life Time” tenancy!

Do away with the word “Shorthold” then the number of houses purchased for renting will be severely reduced. The “critics” need to think it out far better than at present!

Fergus Wilson



Comments

Ian Narbeth

16:54 PM, 13th August 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 13/08/2019 - 16:48
That has been put forward by the Government and if we follow what they do in Scotland (though best not to say it too loudly as English Tories will reject it) then it will be a ground and relatively straightforward where:

The landlord is entitled to sell the property, and
the landlord intends to put it up for sale within 3 months of the tenant ceasing to occupy it.
See e.g. https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/advice_topics/eviction/eviction_of_private_tenants/grounds_for_eviction_for_private_residential_tenancy_tenants Ground 1.

Dr Rosalind Beck

21:35 PM, 13th August 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 13/08/2019 - 16:22
Hi Ian
I don't share your view that the scrapping of s21 is a fait accompli. We are seeing some positive signs from the new administration, and my priority is to keep battling with the Government to reverse what was an out-of-the-blue moment of ignorant madness from Theresa May - thinking, in a supremely deluded way, that she was therefore creating a legacy for herself. Yes, the wrecking of the PRS and taking it back to the '80s would be a great legacy... No, we must keep battling against it. That's what I'm doing behind the scenes and would hope everyone else is. I think it is therefore important that we don't keep talking as though this is a done deal - as we now have a very different Government to the faux Tory one we've had for the last 4 years.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

21:54 PM, 13th August 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dr Rosalind Beck at 13/08/2019 - 21:35
Thank you , Dr Ros.
as I mentioned somewhere in another thread about S21 I have already written to my MP, receiving usual meaningless reply.
But I would be happy to write again, however I would appreciate some guidance / template what to write, as I am afraid I am running out of ideas.
Any help will be highly appreciated!

Dr Rosalind Beck

22:19 PM, 13th August 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 13/08/2019 - 21:54
Hi Whiteskifreak. You could adapt one which I wrote to a minister, depending on who you are sending it to and finding words you are personally comfortable with:

Dear …...
Firstly, congratulations on your appointment. I was pleased to see you appointed as I believe that you are likely to understand the private rented sector and as a private landlord I am hoping that you will push a pro-business and therefore pro-landlord agenda, rather than the anti-landlord trajectory the recent previous administrations have been on.

With this in mind, I hope you have read Jacob Rees-Mogg's excellent report on housing, which I put here in case it's slipped through your net. It really would be a brilliant place to start and put together a coherent agenda on housing; something which has been sorely lacking:

https://iea.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/CC70_Raising-the-roof_web.pdf

In addition, I would like you to take a look if you can at my work with Professor Philip Booth on the absurd taxation of private landlords brought in by George Osborne, which is here. It is this work that JRM refers to in his report, where he calls for an end to discrimination and scapegoating of private landlords. Naturally, you will be pressed for time, but a glance at the summary will give you the gist.

https://iea.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/CC68_Taxation-without-justification-EMBARGOED.pdf

In sum, the two main things you could do to reverse the damage which is being caused to the PRS is to immediately look at reversing Section 24 and at the same time halt Theresa May's 'legacy' of scrapping Section 21 notices. I have explained here on conservativehome why this idea is going to be the most catastrophic hit on the PRS to date.

Rosalind Beck: The Government’s war on landlords will only make the housing crisis worse for the lowest-paid.

Rosalind Beck: The Government’s war on ...

I really hope you can be of assistance in this and I am at your disposal.
Yours sincerely
Dr Rosalind Beck

Whiteskifreak Surrey

22:22 PM, 13th August 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dr Rosalind Beck at 13/08/2019 - 22:19
Great Dr Ros, thank you. I will definitely use the wording!
Kind Regards

Michael Barnes

5:00 AM, 15th August 2019
About 4 months ago

"If I put the two figures claimed together then 3% of evictions are due to Section 21 notices."
That is NOT what the figures say.
They possibly say "3% of tenants are evicted by S21 each year", but probably not even that.
The "300,000 evictions" probably refers to the number of tenancies ended, not the number of tenants affected, and probably includes S8 and social landlords.

And the 10 million tenants is probably vastly overstated; probably included non-tenants such as children.

Appalled Landlord

14:03 PM, 15th August 2019
About 4 months ago

Good to see that Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association, has not accepted the abolition of Section 21, and is fighting to retain it. Well done Richard!
https://landlords.org.uk/news-campaigns/news/government-wrong-say-section-21-leading-cause-homelessness-says-nla

The claim that Section 21 causes homelessness is a lie that Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter, constantly repeats.
https://www.property118.com/shelter-ceo-also-confused-no-fault-evictions/

contradicting the charity’s own body of knowledge.
https://www.property118.com/shelters-website-says-section-21-not-cause-homelessness/

Heather Wheeler swallowed the lie, and repeated it in the debate about Section 21 Evictions last December. She made the shocking statement “The Government acknowledge that the end of an assured tenancy in the private rented sector can cause homelessness”.
https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-12-06/debates/21A6B725-C6F7-4A0A-8BE9-D839A5C8D3BB/Section21Evictions

In April James Brokenshire said “Evidence showed that so-called Section 21 evictions were one of the biggest causes of family homelessness.”
https://www.property118.com/theresa-may-announces-will-ban-section-21/

There is no evidence, because it is not true, as Shelter’s website explained.

I’m so glad Wheeler and Brokenshire have gone. I trust that Esther McVey will not be duped like them.

Dr Rosalind Beck

14:53 PM, 15th August 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Appalled Landlord at 15/08/2019 - 14:03
Yes, according to them the largest group of housing providers who provide rental housing in the UK 'cause' homelessness. In fact, as we know, in the small minority of cases when we have to get possession of our property (which, by the way, belongs to us and not to the state), it is because of the tenants' bad behaviour and breaching of the tenancy agreement. So the bad tenant leaves - eventually - and then another tenant takes their place. So we still provide the same number of people with housing. How would we be responsible then for an increase in homelessness? It is pretty ridiculous that the people who provide housing get blamed for not providing housing.

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