Telegraph needs landlord feedback on Renters Reform Bill please – Article Written

Telegraph needs landlord feedback on Renters Reform Bill please – Article Written

11:10 AM, 20th June 2022, About 2 months ago 45

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Hi, my name is Melissa Lawford and I’m the property correspondent at The Telegraph. The Government will be publishing its Renters Reform Bill white paper on Thursday and I’m keen to talk to landlords about how this will affect them.

Particularly the plans to introduce a landlord register, abolish Section 21 evictions and give tenants legal rights to have pets. Is this something that you have an opinion on? Please get in touch, melissa.lawford@telegraph.co.uk

Update: This is the article now written by Melissa >> https://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/buy-to-let/landlords-will-lose-money-next-year-buy-to-let-britain-falls/

Landlords will lose money by next year as buy-to-let Britain falls apart

“Buy-to-let yields have hit a record low, fuelling fears that property investors will sell up.”

NB. A subscription is required as copyright prohibits copy and paste of the article.

 



Comments

JB

12:21 PM, 16th June 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by PJB at 15/06/2022 - 21:47
"Abolishing Section 21 could seriously affect tenants chances of being re-homed by a local council. Many councils have policy of not re-homing Section 8 evictees saying that the evictees "have made themselves intentionally homeless", whereas Section 21 evictees, being essentially 'blameless', are often given priority on the local council's housing list."

I agree with this comment. If one was cynical, one may think that this is the governement's aim (though I'm not sure they're that clever!).

By abolishing section 21, the rogue tenant gets to stay in the property at the landlords and other tenants expense while waiting for an eviction and then the council doesn't have to house them. BINGO what a saving for councils!

POOR TENANTS!

Helen

12:46 PM, 16th June 2022, About 2 months ago

I absolutely agree with all of the above. I am a small landlord and it is my sole income. With Covid voids (no government help for us as we were not deemed as 'self employed' for any grants) and having to evict a tenant for non payment which took a year so I lost over £12K it has been a tough three years. I am nearing retirement and have had enough. It is too high risk and the margins are too small to make the stress worthwhile. I will see the fine print with the mitigation after losing the S21 but if I need to have tenants for 2 years before being able to evict them this may not work with my Fixed Term Mortgage periods. There are very high fees for selling up and redeeming the mortgage early. So far I have decided to sell two this year and will sell as tenants leave or will evict them sooner rather than later if I foresee any issues with being able to evict them when I sell in order to retire.
I really don't have the stomach to take on any new tenants at the moment though if I did I could no doubt charge very high rents.
It is a shame for good tenants who can't find anywhere to live as landlords sell up.
I've had to put my rents up by 3% this year which they all agreed straight away as I guess they were fearful it would be a higher increase and they know I am a good and responsive landlord.

As for the pets issue I reluctantly allowed a dog in a flat a few years ago. It tore up the carpet and the blinds. Luckily I was able to take a £1000 pet deposit at that time. However I had to evict that tenant as well for non payment so that £1000 made a very small dent in the £10,000 I was out of pocket. I allow cats in ground floor flats with outside space. It is cruel to keep a cat indoors, as it is to keep any animal in a cage, and I don't want to be a party to that.

Many large blocks don't allow pets in the Head Lease, something I haven't heard mentioned at all.

As for making outside areas suitable for disabled people, I don't know how that would work and would incur a huge expense. Outside areas are likely to be shared with other residents, owner/occupiers etc and they won't want to pay for changes for the occasional disabled tenant to use. It is enough for disabled tenants to make changes inside a flat which they will not pay to have reversed when they leave, which the Local Authority should be made to do as they would have installed it.

There is never joined up thinking with housing matters and just by asking us landlords the policy makers would make fewer mistakes which shake up the industry and deprive good tenants of homes. As for build to rent - this will be only for the relatively wealthy. And don't get me started on Right to Buy.

Chris Bradley View Profile

12:46 PM, 16th June 2022, About 2 months ago

I have two rental properties. I rely on the income from both to supplement my pension, and I normally give a 12month tenancy, do 3 monthly checks and if the property is being looked after I will offer a further 12month tenancy at the 6-9 month mark with the new tenancy giving a small rent increase, usually 1-2% which is always less that market rent if we were to readvertise.
If the tenant isn't looking after the property i would rely on S21 to end the tenancy at the end of the fixed term. Without this and having to evidence and persue through the courts under breach of tenancy grounds, it would be stressful, time consuming and simply result in bad feeling with the tenant who would likely not look after the property during the process. S21 is an essential element of housing law for me, removing the ability to give notice to get the house back at the end of the agreed period would force me to sell up. Wait- that's what I am doing with my rental property in England.
I'm holding the one in Wales for the time being as I can live with 6months S21 notice.

On the subject of pets, I allow by prior written agreement. I've accepted tenants with one adult medium size dog and refused cats and puppies, when tenants have only been a few months into living in the property. I've always explained my reasons, which is down to what's best for the animal as well as my property, as a property on a main road would not suit a cat and one without a small garden would not suit a large dog.

Coastal

13:01 PM, 16th June 2022, About 2 months ago

As Bristol Landlord covered, there's corruption behind this...what other common sense explanation can there be behind what's been going on since 2015, resulting in such severe shortages of rental housing along with massive rent increases! Suggest you also investigate Shelter and what actual housing they provide.
Have over 50 flats, with some families housed for ten years or more. Had enough now and exiting the business.

richard hennessy

13:10 PM, 16th June 2022, About 2 months ago

I think landlords should have similar rights as the tenants. Currently, a tenant can give two months' notice and leave. A landlord can give two months' notice and wait a year to get their property back; the eviction process needs considerable speeding up.
There is a thought that a landlord will evict a tenant to get more rent. I would never evict a good tenant for more rent, it is far better to have a tenant who always pays the rent than an unknown tenant, and you will also have the property empty until a new tenant moves in. Usually, there will be some work to be done before relet. Pets are not suitable for all properties and can be detrimental to neighbours.

LordOf TheManor

13:24 PM, 16th June 2022, About 2 months ago

I've had several separate properties wrecked by cats. The damage was considerable - so I won't be accepting even the most docile of cats into any of my properties.

In the days when woodchip wallpaper was the norm, the illicit cat clawed every wall in the one-bed flat. On move out day, the tenants had piled up boxes against the walls to hide the damage. They swore blind that they didn't have a cat and wanted their full deposit back. Vet's marketing addressed to 'Bubbles' arrived soon after the tenants departed.

Another illicit cat clawed the black rubber beading around the lower level double glazed windows of every window in the house.

Yet another illicit cat clawed the newel post of the landing of the stairs and shredded the carpet around it. Same cat was allowed to pee on the bedroom carpets. The lot, including underlay, had to be thrown out and replaced. The newel post couldn't be returned to it's previous condition.

A newly fully refurbished furnished flat had its door frames and wooden shutters clawed by yet another illicit cat. The shutter damage was irreparable - as was the rear of the leather sofas. Both punctured and scagged with claw marks - both irreparable.

Carpet fleas and hair in the lounge curtains was another bad experience of an illicit cat. The tenants didn't appreciate the carpet cleaning cost or the dry cleaning of the curtains. It delayed the start of the next tenancy - the incoming relocating tenants had to stay in a hotel for a couple of nights at an unexpected cost to them.

Summary: if another tenant decides to introduce an illicit cat, that is the property I'll put up for sale without a second thought. Their choice is simple: it's a home or a cat (or any other illicit animal, for that matter). Needless to say, there won't be any authorised pets in any of my 11 properties. End of.

JB

13:47 PM, 16th June 2022, About 2 months ago

I've had tenants ask to have a dog when they are out all day at work, live in first floor flats and have no garden. As well as this the lease doesn't allow pets.

I've had an collie dag left at home all day on its own. It chewed all the furniture and door frames. These people shouldn't have a pet if they can't look after it properly.

I've had a puppy farm being run in a first floor flat with no garden. The smell was indescribable. The carpets and hardboard had to be ripped out and the floorboards bleached and the smell still remained. They walked away without paying for any of it so the rent goes up for good tenants to recoup the cost as we're not a charity (unlike Shelter!)

On the other hand I have multiple responsible tenants with pets. I want to be able to decide what risk to take - as it IS a risk to allow a pet.

Kathy Evans

14:55 PM, 16th June 2022, About 2 months ago

I've had enough. Will sell all mine even though they are in negative equity and tenants are all decent. Can't risk not being able to evict in order to sell when mortgages come to an end (which is soon), and don't fancy the expense of getting all properties up to EPC C when tenants are quite happy with them as they are.

Alan Veal

16:54 PM, 16th June 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Bristol Landlord at 15/06/2022 - 20:15
There is another aspect regarding S.21 and that concerns mortgage lenders and what higher interest they may add to their products to offset the risk and loss of S.21 option for landlords. With pets, EPC changes and other risk and rising costs, it all adds up to higher rent for tenants. The Government will argue they are improving conditions for tenants but it will inevitably hit them hardest in their pockets.

TheBiggerPicture

22:37 PM, 16th June 2022, About 2 months ago

Hi Melissa,

The Government are introducing these measures to solve 'problems', but they are just creating a game of whack a mole.

A landlord is a manager of an asset and an owner of its benefits/risks.

By setting the rules centrally, the Government reduces the ability of landlords to manage the asset they know best.

Being responsible for and managing something you have limited control over is a recipe for stress.
While no tears will be shared for the landlords, since they are owners as well, it will cause some to leave the market after bad experiences. Less supply will cause stress for tenants in terms of availability and price.

Since a landlord will not know whether pets will be housed in their property, they will have to make assumptions. A reasonable assumption is that there could be damages from the pets. So the way to manage this risk is to have less valuable stuff to damage, reducing the quality of flat for the tenant.
Another way to manage this risk is to put up the price as a way of self-insuring.
Essentially this means those who do not wish to have pets will be subsidising those who do when the landlord can pass on costs.

On section 21, knowing that a tenant cannot be removed as easily will mean more intrusive stringent vetting to reduce the risk.
It will also mean that when a property is needed back and a tenant were to leave before it was needed back, it will not be let out again.
This is a void cost for the landlord and a lost opportunity for short term tenants.

What the government does not seem to understand, is landlords and tenants are not enemies, they are partners in a mutual agreement.
They need each other.
Interfering with the agreement is an impediment to this partnership and thus hurts both parties.

There is no free lunch.

A landlord register is a tool, it is neither negative or positive. What the government does with this register is the issue. History teaches us what happened when the a great register the "Doomsday Book" was compiled.
I doubt a landlord register will fare much better given recent government inclinations.

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