Tag Archives: sadiq khan

Sadiq Khan calls for a national rogue landlord database Buy to Let News, Landlord database, Landlord News, Latest Articles

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is calling for a national rogue landlord database – after revealing that half a million tenants in the capital have accessed the Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker and Property Licence Checker.

According to the mayor, new figures show the Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker has been used 388,000 times since 2017.

And the Property Licence Checker, launched in November 2020, has been accessed 125,000 times.

The checkers have been viewed 128,000 times in the last year alone as many of London’s renters grapple with soaring rents and – the mayor says – ‘poor standards’.

6,000 Londoners have reported concerns

Mr Khan points out that 6,000 Londoners have now reported concerns about their rental property through the mayor’s ‘Report a Rogue’ tool.

Now he wants the Government to follow his lead and come good on its promise to roll out a National Rogue Landlord Database.

The Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker is a unique database that ‘names and shames’ landlords and lettings agents who have been successfully prosecuted or have faced civil enforcement action for housing offences.

The Property Licence Checker allows Londoners to find out if their rental property is properly licenced with both platforms enabling renters to make informed decisions about who they rent from.

‘Cracking down on rogue landlords’

Mr Khan said: “I’m determined to continue standing up for London’s renters by cracking down on rogue landlords.

“London’s 2.6m private renters deserve a decent home at an affordable price, let from a fair and honest landlord.

“The fact that my online tools to root out unscrupulous behaviour of landlords have been used hundreds of thousands of times is a sad indictment of the state of the London rental sector.”

‘Tools to help avoid dodgy landlords’

He added: “However, I am pleased to see tenants using these tools to help them avoid dodgy landlords and to stand up for themselves when they are being mistreated or misled.”

David Beach, the director of Enforcement at Waltham Forest, said: “The private rented sector is incredibly important in Waltham Forest.

“We work to ensure that the thousands of residents who rent from private landlords are living in homes that are properly maintained and free from significant building hazards.”

‘Mayor’s Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker’

He added: “Our private sector housing and licensing officers make routine use of the mayor’s Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker in their work.

“If we are to continue building a better London for everyone, it’s essential that we continue to stand up for and empower renters.

“We’re doing everything we can in London, but we also need the Government to step up.

“This must include creating the long-promised National Rogue Landlord database, properly funding borough enforcement teams and increasing the fines for landlords who break the rules.”

Landlords! We have lost the moral high ground and it’s not coming back Landlord Crusader, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Renters Reform Bill

While landlords have never been flavour of the month, we have lost the moral high ground over standards in private rented accommodation and it’s not coming back.

It’s hard to believe that landlord associations do not do more proactive PR work in reaching out to media organisations and that those media outlets don’t bother contacting landlords for our side of the story.

It struck me this week while watching Shelter’s Polly Neate on BBC Breakfast (again) talking about the awful death of a two-year old in social housing that had an incredible issue with mould.

Polly, rightfully, criticised the social housing provider but then went on to say that the situation is much worse in the private rented sector.

I have two issues with statements like this:

  • Polly and Shelter run a hotline with tenants complaining about the quality of their home, but they will only hear about awful landlords – those callers won’t be saying how great their landlord is
  • Shelter et al will bring in the PRS for criticism even if the subject is quite clearly about social housing providers.

Presenters and journalists never quiz deeper

I do have a third issue in that presenters and journalists never quiz deeper to find out whether the problem being discussed effects ALL landlords or just a few. They seem to accept landlord criticism at face value.

The difference is never made clear that decent, hardworking landlords are never given credit for providing quality, safe homes for tenants. It never happens.

I could gloat about the news on Property118 that Shelter’s staff are going on strike for more pay because they can’t afford to pay rent – I could highlight why this has come about (read last week’s article) but I feel sorry they can’t afford to pay. Good landlords offer good homes – and most won’t be charging the market rate.

However, when asked about the two-year old’s sad death, Michael Gove said it was incredible that the chief executive of the social housing provider was still in their job. And he is right.

I don’t like to agree with Mr Gove on anything but the problem here is that he is probably thinking that the situation is worse in the PRS. It must be – because that’s all he ever hears.

Two-year rent freeze for London’s tenants

So, let’s talk about Sadiq Khan and his bid to bring in a two-year rent freeze for London’s tenants.

Yes, the mealy-mouthed politician was deriding landlords while calling for a rent freeze to help tenants. Not landlords – we are so rich that we can easily absorb mortgage rises, apparently.

However, I caught his interview on Good Morning Britain and was staggered when presenter Susanna Reid said tenants would undoubtedly be happy with a rent freeze – but what about landlords?

Khan started his well-rehearsed offering and said that 40% of landlords own their property without a mortgage and said: “The choice is this, people being made homeless because they can’t afford to pay their rent or landlords making a bit less profit. I know what I’d choose.”

Hurrah! Down with those nasty landlords providing homes for people who can’t afford to buy or get social housing.

The issue of banning evictions came up and then came a bombshell.

Scottish landlords leaving the PRS

Susanna raised the problem of Scottish landlords leaving the PRS and Khan raised the 40% of owned rental properties again but was stopped by Susanna saying that if landlords can’t cover their costs, they will simply withdraw their properties from the market.

I was stunned. Am I hearing this right? A journalist who is asking the questions you never hear on the BBC? A journalist who is showing the consequence of what might (will?) happen if rents are frozen.

Khan wriggled and squirmed with his stock reply and seemed to think that landlords who decided to withdraw their property will ‘earn zero’. The prospect of landlords selling up altogether rather than leaving a property empty has obviously never reached his ears.

He also raised the prospect that 40% of Londoners are facing homelessness and dismissed the rising mortgage costs that landlords face.

Watch this because I can’t believe that someone on our side of the fence would be so strident or effective in tackling Khan and his nonsense idea of a rent freeze:

Time for a character to step out of the PRS shadows

This last point leads me to wonder that if a landlord association won’t step up to defend the PRS at times like these, perhaps it’s time for a character to step out of the PRS shadows to go on TV (not me! I don’t think I could keep my cool…).

For example, Tim Martin owns Wetherspoons and will stand up to discuss the pub and beer industry and Brexit – and other issues.

Is there not a landlord with a large portfolio who speaks at public events not willing to go on TV and tell people what the consequences of a rent and eviction freeze will be? No one?

I appreciate that criminal landlords won’t be reading this because they don’t care about the properties they offer or the welfare of their tenants. They care even less about how this feeds into public perception of our industry.

The drip-drip of negative stories about landlords hasn’t even reached a peak because I look at the upcoming Rental Reform white paper and I’m horrified at the prospect of MPs, media commentators and the likes of Shelter, Crisis and Generation Rent lining up to condemn private landlords everywhere.

And there won’t be a squeak from landlords in the media because we won’t be asked.

If ever there was a time for the PRS to stand up as one, that time is now. We are like a rabbit caught in headlights – except it’s not a car that is bearing down on us, it’s a massive juggernaut that won’t stop until most of us have called it a day and sold up.

What a terrible, avoidable situation this is.

Until next time,

The Landlord Crusader

Mayor of London calls for emergency private renting summit Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, London, Property News

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has called for an emergency private renting summit – but landlords aren’t invited.

He will bring together private renters, charities, advocacy groups and politicians to call on the Government to urgently tackle London’s spiralling rental crisis.

The call comes after a survey reveals that 40% of Londoners think they will struggle to meet rent payments in the next six months.

As part of the call, Mr Khan says the average advertised London rent has hit £2,343 – that’s more than double than other parts of the UK.

But the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) says the mayor must invite landlords if he wants to resolve the problem.

Freeze rents in London

The mayor has also repeated his previous call for the Government to freeze rents in London.

He says that London’s tenants are facing ‘multiple crises’ from escalating rents, insecure tenancies and unsafe homes.

The mayor says he is making a ‘call to action’ for Ministers to immediately implement long-promised renters reform legislation to give tenants the security and safety they ‘urgently need’ – and to take action to make ‘rents more affordable’ for Londoners.

‘London’s private renters are facing a triple whammy’

Mr Khan said: “London’s private renters are facing a triple whammy with rising rents, bills and the cost of household essentials putting a major strain on their finances.

“Ministers must take this crisis seriously and act now.”

He added: “There is no time to waste so we have come together to speak with one voice.

“Our demands to ministers are simple: implement your long-promised renters reform legislation and take action now to make rents more affordable for Londoners, using all powers at the government’s disposal.

“As we continue working to build a better, fairer London for everyone, it’s vital that we stand up for renters in our city and find common ground on the action that needs to be taken to support them through the cost-of-living crisis, pay their rent and keep their homes.”

‘No private renter is safe’

Alicia Kennedy, the director of Generation Rent, said: “When rents are rising on new tenancies, no private renter is safe.

“It is too easy for your landlord to demand a higher rent when they know they can evict you and re-let to someone else who is willing to pay it.

“People who don’t want to move are being priced out of their homes and forced to compete in this hellish market. And the cost-of-living crisis is making it even worse.”

She added: “The government can alleviate rising living costs for renters immediately with a freeze on rents on existing tenancies and suspension of Section 21 evictions so landlords can’t evict simply to re-let at a higher rent.”

‘Solve the challenges without any input from those who provide the homes’

Responding to the Mayor’s plans to hold an emergency summit on the private rented sector, Ben Beadle, the chief executive of the NRLA, said: “It is disappointing in the extreme that the Mayor of London feels he can solve the challenges faced in the capital’s rental market without any input from those who actually provide the homes.

“The stark and simple reality is that whilst the demand for private rented housing in London continues to increase, the supply of such homes is falling.

“This is a direct consequence of Government policy aimed at shrinking the size of the sector, along with rhetoric from the mayor that suggests private landlords are simply a problem to be managed.”

He added: “If the Mayor wants to address the cost pressures faced by households across London, he needs to focus on boosting the number of homes available.

“Anything else would merely be tinkering with the symptoms of the challenges in the rental market, without tackling the root cause of them.”

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