Government And Media Urged To Show More Respect To Private Landlords

by Mark Alexander

9:10 AM, 17th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Government And Media Urged To Show More Respect To Private Landlords

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Government And Media Urged To Show More Respect To Private Landlords

We urge government and the media to show more respect to private landlords and the vital role they serve in respect of UK housing provision and the economy generally. Respect Private Landlords

Sympathisers and supporters of Generation Rent have been systematically brainwashed into blaming private landlords for decades of under supply of new housing. We are also urging these people to consider the facts.Respect Private Landlords

Why Buy-to-Let Deserves More Support

It seems to be widely accepted that as the UK population grows, more housing is required.

A healthy private rented sector provides job mobility and affordable housing for many of the most vulnerable in society.

By borrowing to buy properties, landlords increased the size of the economy.

The Private Rented Sector has been responsible for 83% of all new housing created.

  • By financing new developments, landlords increased the supply of housing. The English Housing Survey on a government website credits the private rented sector for the overwhelming majority of the increase in the number of dwellings between 1996 and 2013, at the foot of page 1.  It reads: “From 1996 to 2013, the total number of dwellings in England increased steadily from 20.3 million in 1996 to 23.3 million in 2013. Much of this was due to the notable growth in private rented housing which more than doubled in size from 2.0 million to 4.5 million over this period.” Thus 2.5 million out of the 3 million increase was thanks to the PRS.  That is 83%.

For every £1 spent on housing construction an extra £2.09 was generated elsewhere in the economy.

So why has buy-to-let been demonised by media and targeted as a cash cow by Government?

Buy-To-Let deserves incentives to increase housing provision and choice. In turn, matching supply of quality housing with demand will stabilise house prices and rents.

Factors discouraging any form of housing supply growth, such as penal taxation, have been proven to fuel rental inflation and create property bubbles.

Home ownership isn’t right for everybody!

Some people don’t qualify for mortgages and many others don’t want to feel trapped by home ownership and associated debt. Many people who are able to buy choose to rent simply because they feel housing is over priced. Many others will not qualify for mortgages or even want one, regardless of the incentives provided by Government. In fact, many would argue that Government led homeownership incentives are a part of the cause of over inflated property values. That’s why it is so vitally important for the continued growth all housing supply to be encouraged. Hard working folk who wish to invest into providing quality rental property need to feel appreciated, not targeted.

Conclusion

Increasing the supply of housing is the best way to stabilise prices and to provide real choices. When supply is exceeds demand, prices will fall and the worst of the U.K. housing stock will be vacated and become prime for redevelopment.

Therefore, increasing housing supply will also raise housing standards.

ACTION PLAN

The message above is downloadable as a PDF document via THIS LINK.

Please download, print and send it with a covering letter to your MP. You can obtain the contact details of your MP via THIS LINK

Why not also send the message to your local Newspaper and Radio and TV Station? They might want to feature YOUR local campaign.

Think about who else you can recruit into YOUR campaign. Maybe other landlords, letting agents, mortgage brokers, your accountant, solicitor, IFA and even your tenants.

Property118 Action Group

Property118 Action Group is doing its bit and has proven that the power of a crowd can make a difference.

For example, £27,500,000 of overpaid mortgage interest was refunded to landlords in 2016 as a result of legal campaign undertaken by 300 members of Property118 Action Group against West Bromwich Building Society. Between them, just over 300 landlords raised just over £601,000 to take their case all the way to the Court of Appeal.

Just imagine what thousands could achieve!

Our target is 50,000 members paying £10 a month. This will generate a fighting fund of £6,000,000 a year.

We are calling upon all letting agents and professional advisers to recommend membership to all of their landlord clients.

Many are already benefiting from tax planning and business restructuring strategies discovered and shared amongst Property118 Action Group members, which are now saving them a fortune in tax.

Our latest legal campaigns are targeting refunds of an estimated £600,000,000 of mortgage interest overcharges made by Bank of Ireland and Skipton Building Society as well as a reversal of legislation increasing tax on landlords with mortgages, many of which will pay more tax on rentals than they receive in profits.

For just £10 a month YOU can be part of Property118 Action Group, TOGETHER we can influence the future of UK housing and we can all benefit by sharing enthusiasm and best practice.

Be part of something important, join Property118 Action Group TODAY!

Membership Subscription - £10 a month via card payment

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Property118 Action Group MEMBER

FIGHTING FOR LANDLORDS & LETTING AGENTS

Monthly Subscription Benefits

  • Be one of the first to hear about new tax planning strategies as they evolve.
  • Have Direct access to our Hon. Legal Counsel (Mark Smith (Barrister-At-Law) when you have legal problems.
  • We will share group legal strategies with you (where possible and under advice) if you are affected by any legal action we are undertaking on behalf of members.
  • Use of the Property118 Action Group member badge (shown above)
  • Optional 7 nights in 5 star hotel in Malta for £199 and meet Mark Alexander, founder of Property118 – details here 

Please note that to be represented in legal action campaigns you will need to upgrade to Lifetime Membership.

Lifetime Member – Additional Benefits

  • As a Lifetime Member you will never be required to pay more money in terms of monthly subscriptions
  • You will never be required to contribute to any action we undertake for the benefit of members.
  • You will receive a copy of the most comprehensive spreadsheet ever produced to allow you and your professional to fully analyse the impact of restrictions on mortgage interest relief for individual landlords. The spreadsheet will also calculate the alternative tax position based on incorporation and the costs and strategies associated with that.
  • You will be able to use the Property118 Action Group “Founder Member” badge on stationery, websites etc.
  • There will never be more than 5,000 Founder Members so you will be part of an exclusive club.

We also run quarterly competitions for Founder Members whereby the person who helps us to recruit the most members wins a 5 star holiday in Malta for a week.

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Property118 Action Group Objectives 

  • To raise standards from suppliers of products and services to the UK private rented sector.
  • To increase the awareness of the social and economic benefits of a healthy private rented sector in the UK.
  • To ensure that greater consideration is given to consequences of legislation affecting the UK private rented sector before it is implemented.
  • To provide an effective deterrent to rogue operators preying on private housing providers, not only with a voice but also with teeth in terms of legal capability and they contacts and money required to back it.

Our vision is crystal clear, as are the steps we need to take, but we need YOUR help.

Together we are stronger

If just a few hundred landlords can take on the might of a rogue financial institution (and WIN!), just imagine what thousands of us can achieve!

When Property118 Action group took on the legal campaign to challenge the actions of West Bromwich Mortgage Company there were obviously doubters who said we would never raise the £500,000 required to go to Court, and even if we did we would lose. We proved them wrong!

The Financial Ombudsman Service had previously ruled in favour of the mortgage lender!

Ongoing Campaigns

  • Assisting with funding of a Judicial Review of the withdrawal of finance cost relief for individual landlords #TenantTax
  • Prosecuting agents who abuse their position and fraudulently use client money to fund their businesses
  • Challenging the Bank of Ireland decision to add a premium to tracker rate mortgage margins. Over 13,000 are affected! Some are landlords, some are homeowners.
  • Challenging Skipton Building Society breach of contract in respect of abandonment of their contractual commitment to cap their standard variable mortgage rates to 3% over the Bank of England base rate. Over 130,000 mortgage borrowers have been paying too much interest since 2010! Some are landlords, some are homeowners.
  • Challenging many more unreasonable laws, organisations and contract terms unfairly affecting the rights of our members

Axe The #TenantTax

Property118 Action Group has committed to pledge £100 to the “Axe The #TenantTax” campaign for every Lifetime Founder Member.

The #TenantTax is arguably the greatest threat to the private rented sector due many landlords considering selling up. Any reduction in supply of quality rental property will negatively impact letting agents and well as increasing demand amongst tenants, thus driving up rents.

In addition to providing funding towards the intended Judicial Review of #TenantTax Property118 Action Group has undertaken significant research and lobbying as well as using our official Google News Publisher website status to promote the cause. The Property118 website attracts more than 1.8 million unique users a year and is considered to be a centre of influence amongst mainstream and regional media groups.

Property118 Action Group Fighting Crime

There are many examples of landlords having been victims of fraud by abuse of position committed by their letting agent where Police and CPS have dropped cases due to lack of resource.

We have several cases ongoing where agents have used client money to pay themselves huge bonuses before putting their businesses into administration. As a result of the Police failing to get involved Property118 Action Group has been helping to raise the funding necessary to mount private criminal prosecutions on behalf of our members. Many of these are now coming to trial.

Property118 Action Group pay all initial costs associated with private criminal prosecutions where groups of 15 or more of our members have been victims of crimes perpetrated by the same business. The Crown picks up legal costs once Magistrates agree that a trial is in the interests of the public, regardless of whether the accused is found innocent or guilty.

Property118 Action Group vs Bank of Ireland

In March 2013 Bank of Ireland raised tracker rate mortgage margins. Over 13,000 borrowers were affected. Many of these originally took mortgages with Bristol & West which was taken over by Bank of Ireland. Two Barristers and one QC provided written opinion that they believed the Bank were in breach of contract. Sadly, Property118 Action Group didn’t exist then. Many of the affected borrowers initially expressed an interest in legal action. However, when it came to having to commit substantial sums of money to fund legal action their enthusiasm quickly dissipated leaving less than a few dozen of the more militant campaigners with the impossible task of raising the required funds. If each of those affected had only needed to commit to paying a one of fee of £600 or committing to a monthly subscription of £10 a month the position might have been very different, as would the level of media attention on the case as it progressed through the judicial system. Many of the affected borrowers have already overpaid 10’s of thousands of pounds. The Financial Services Ombudsman ruled the bank was within its rights to make the changes. However, following the Court of Appeal overruling the FOS decision in respect of the West Bromwich Mortgage Company rate hike, Property118 Action Group plans to take further legal action on behalf of its member in August 2016. All Founder/Lifetime Members with mortgages affected by this lender will be invited to be part of this legal action at no extra cost.

Property118 Action Group vs Skipton Building Society

In 2010 Skipton Building Society unilaterally decided to abandon a contractual commitment to cap their standard variable mortgage rates to 3% over the bank of England base rate. An estimated 135,000 mortgages were affected, many of which had been provided via their subsidiary company Amber Homeloans. The Financial Services Ombudsman ruled the lender was within its rights to make the changes. However, following the Court of Appeal overruling the FOS decision in respect of the West Bromwich Mortgage Company rate hike, Property118 Action Group plans to take further legal action on behalf of its member in August 2016.  Again we have the legal opinion of two barristers, both of which have advised that the lender is in breach of contract and that a Court is likely to award a full refund of all payments over and above what the mortgage contract allowed for. All Founder/Lifetime Members with mortgages affected by this lender will be invited to be part of this legal action at no extra cost.

About Property118 Action Group

Property118 Action Group FOUNDER MEMBERProperty118 Action Group is not insurance based, it is more akin to a Union which utilises member subscriptions to protect and fight for the rights of its members. It does not provide legal services but will procure them where necessary.

Successes in the Courtroom enhance our public profile and drive an increasing number of landlords to seek the security and peace of mind that only Property118 Action Group membership can provide.

As many landlords have learned to their peril; when it comes to funding litigation against mortgage lenders or the Government, legal fees insurance policies often prove to be about as useful as a chocolate fire guard. Furthermore, trade bodies rarely have the necessary experience, resolve, finances or other resources to get involved in action beyond referring their members to their preferred suppliers of legal services, the authorities or Ombudsmen.

Who is Property118 Action Group For?

The UK private rented sector is often described as one of the UK’s remaining “cottage industries”.

Private landlords own around 4.8 million properties providing housing for around 22% of the adult population.

There are thought to be around two million private housing providers (buy-to-let landlords) in the UK

Private housing providers (buy-to-let landlords) often lack the experience and finances to defend their rights. Membership of Property118 Action Group provides a unique and powerful umbrella at a very reasonable price.

Letting Agents are highly reliant upon a healthy private rented sector.

Reaching the market

Successfully defending our members’ rights continues to enhance our public profile through media based PR and reporting.

ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) were the first to agree to promote Property118 Action Group at their landlord exhibitions, by having roll up banners on their own exhibition stand, handing out leaflets to attendees and signing up new members. From time to time we look for volunteers from our membership to represent us at events. Obviously we cover their reasonable expenses for this.

Naturally, we encourage our members to share the advantages of being a member of Property118 Action Group through social media, talking to friends, email and so forth.

We also run quarterly competitions for Founder Members whereby the person who helps us to recruit the most members wins a 5 star holiday in Malta for a week.

In 2015 the Property118.com website had over 3 million page views from over 1.8 million unique visitors. The projection for 2016 is over 8 million page views based on the results in the first half of the year, trajectory of growth and the anticipated additional interest off the back of the win against West Bromwich Mortgage Company at the Court of Appeal.

Strategic Alliances

We continue to form strategic alliances with many more organisations representing large numbers of landlords or letting agents.

We have produced leaflets, logo’s, website widgets, and roll-up banners for use in offices, shops and exhibitions. These, along with other support in terms of copy-writing, Press Releases and joint PR are all available free of charge to any organisation that wishes to form a Strategic Alliance.

If you work with such an organisation please see this link



Comments

Mandy Thomson

19:17 PM, 19th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Well said, Mark! However, if we want to be respected and for landlords to be properly treated, we must also address the concerns of the wider public. Unfortunately, not all landlords are as well informed or caring as most of the landlords on here and other landlord forums, with the result that tenants often suffer. These kind of landlords and the real rogues are what all but the extremists are talking about when they condemn landlords. This was first raised by Mary Latham earlier this month in her post "Warning! Pulling no punches!" on PropertyTribes, in which she also suggests a possible solution of bringing in more PRS stakeholders as gatekeepers to police the PRS; for example, making mortgage providers verify that the landlord has set up the tenancy properly (the rationale being that landlords are often obliged to deal with mortgage providers, while they can get away with not dealing with local authorities, unless they get caught).

Mark Alexander

19:44 PM, 19th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "19/07/2016 - 19:17":

Once there are enough properties tenants will be in a better position to choose their landlord in much the same way as you can usually choose which hotel to stay in when you go on holiday. The problem is that some people haven't got choices due to lack of available properties. When that is fixed everything will be fixed.
.

Mark Alexander

19:47 PM, 19th July 2016
About 2 years ago

PS I would even go as far as to say the only reason that criminal and uncaring landlords are able to exist is because tenant demand is not matched. Competition drives quality.

Mandy Thomson

19:54 PM, 19th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "19/07/2016 - 19:47":

True, but we all know that new housing will not be built anytime soon, even with the most ambitious house building programme. In the meanwhile, something really must be done to make life harder for rogue landlords (unfortunately, such people have always been with us and will continue to be - we can only make it harder for them to operate) and to educate and control the (many more) inexperienced amateur landlords who also do a lot of damage.

Mark Alexander

20:02 PM, 19th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "19/07/2016 - 19:54":

I have yet to see any real evidence there is a real problem. What I mean by that is that a percentage of all society will have rogue and criminal operators. There is no evidence I've seen to suggest that private housing providers constitute a greater number of criminals than any other section of society. I would hazard a guess that it is actually far lower as a percentage.
.

Mandy Thomson

21:19 PM, 19th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "19/07/2016 - 20:02":

Mary Latham says in her post on PropertyTribes, "I probably speak to more landlords, on and off line, every year than most other people and therefore I feel that I am “qualified” to make the following assessments:

We need to accept that there are two types of people who decide to rent property

1. Those who intend to offer decent homes to good tenants and make a profit from doing so
2. Those who see it as a way to get rich quickly with minimum effort and cost and maximum profit
If we keep on insisting that “most landlords are good landlords” we will never be taken seriously.

I see the results of type 2 landlords, these are the ones who cause more regulations, legislation, media hype and distrust of landlords and they are a growing breed!"

While it's not a comfortable fact to digest, if one of the biggest champions of landlords is saying this and even going as far as to say "We need to stop saying all landlords are good landlords because they're not" then we need to sit up and take notice!

Monty Bodkin

23:18 PM, 19th July 2016
About 2 years ago

"We need to accept that there are two types of people who decide to rent property"

I think you will find there are a lot more than just two types of landlord.

"they are a growing breed!"

Unsurprisingly seeing as how the amount of landlords has grown massively.

"We need to stop saying all landlords are good landlords"

Has anyone ever said that?

Mark Shine

23:51 PM, 19th July 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "19/07/2016 - 21:19":

Agree with what you (and Mary) say. My main beef is that the govt's assertion is illogical and factually incorrect in that 'Mrs Residential Landlord' is a rogue, while 'Mrs Residential Landlord LTD' is infinitely more professional and therefore now deserves vastly preferential tax treatment.

In my experience, (rogue vs professional LL) reality is that the reverse is actually true in many cases.

Mandy Thomson

8:01 AM, 20th July 2016
About 2 years ago

@Monty and Mark

You're both right; of course it's not as black and white as type 1 and type 2 landlords. There are many shades in between. I believe most landlords, especially when they start out, are not ill intentioned but unless they're wise and lucky enough to employ a really good agent, they make lots of mistakes because there are little or no checks and balances in place to ensure they comply with the increasingly complex legislation affecting letting, of which they are largely ignorant. They also tend to view their let property in much the same way as they view any other form of investment - something completely passive, often overlooking the fact that their rental property is in fact now someone's home.

I haven't met many other landlords (certainly not as many as Mary Latham has) but of those I have met I am often shocked at some of their ignorance and the mistakes they make. One such landlord got herself into a terrible mess with a tenant who is running rings around her and now treats her like dirt, because the landlord in question did not give her rental business the priority it deserves (she has many personal responsibilities as well as a demanding job, but when I suggested she employ a good agent she said she couldn't afford it).

I'm not for one minute saying that measures such as Clause 24 are in any way justified; I'm just saying that in addition to getting justice for landlords, we recognise the wider issues and take these onboard. I strongly suggest that everyone reads Mary's article on Property Tribes.

Mandy Thomson

8:22 AM, 20th July 2016
About 2 years ago

For the record, I was unfortunate enough to work closely with a very large corporate landlord last year. While I don't know for sure how this chap runs his business and treats his tenants, his treatment of me as a colleague of sorts was far from fair, so I agree that larger landlords are not necessarily better and that just being incorporated does not ensure your knowledge or business ethics are any better than a small BTL landlord.


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