9:38 AM, 8th December 2023, About 3 months ago 43
Are you sitting comfortably? I’m about to be critical of politicians, the media and tenants.
Because it has been another week and another negative story about landlords.
This time it is the Labour Party saying it will end tenant bidding wars and will copy a law in New Zealand that does just that.
Eh? Landlords aren’t making tenants outbid each other – politicians and tenants are.
Tenants are responding to supply and demand and those that can afford to do it will pay extra to ensure they can house their family.
I don’t condone the practice, but I would ask that with more homes to rent, would politicians step in with a law to protect landlords when tenants start bidding DOWNWARD so landlords are out of pocket?
Thought not. Only when a situation affects tenants will politicians move to defend them.
But for me, this situation also opens another can of worms for landlords and tenants in the private rented sector.
And it is this: Is there no aspect of a landlord’s business that politicians will not get involved with?
We run a business that delivers a service – a supply of homes that governments for years haven’t stepped up to resolve.
I appreciate that house prices are now outrageous, but landlords didn’t do that. Politicians with their poor economic policies did.
And let’s appreciate what Richard Donnell of Zoopla says this week that the level of immigration is also adding to the rental crisis.
Landlords didn’t do that. Politicians did.
So, let’s give a big cheer to Mick Roberts, a Nottingham landlord, who put his head above the parapet this week on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss tenant bidding wars.
I thought he handled himself really well and was given room to explain the issues.
I loved his take on the tenant bidding war when he asked why don’t we stop bidding on house prices.
Genius! It’s a fair point to make in a market of supply and demand.
If a buyer wants a particular house they are prepared to pay more. And when buyers are scarce, they will bid lower – because that’s how supply and demand works.
There’s no talk of legislation to ban bidding on higher house prices.
But it’s always a different story when it applies to landlords.
And the 5 Live presenter did the usual lefty/woke nonsense about housing being a human right.
Is it? Does that mean it should be free? I know there are lots of social housing tenants who think that but for the PRS?
Come on, get some perspective. Property costs money. Someone has to pay.
And if housing is a human right, does that mean I can walk out of Tesco with a bag of free groceries because eating food is my human right?
No, it isn’t. The ‘human right’ only applies to tenants who must deal with awful, exploitative landlords.
The other big issue that I struggle with is not that landlords are portrayed badly by the media, hated by tenant activist groups and tenants (probably).
Or that politicians use the PRS as a political football, it’s this.
I don’t understand why a landlord who is running a business has to have their terms and conditions dictated by other people.
I can’t use websites or buy something without agreeing to their terms and conditions.
We apparently don’t get to have a say in how we run our business, who can live in our home (and it is our home) and how long a tenant can stay in it.
We are always the last to be considered in any legislation, no one consults us – everyone thinks they know how it should be improved.
For tenants obvs, not landlords.
Then there’s the scale of the ‘bidding wars’. Just how often does this happen?
It looks like Labour is playing to the stalls once again and threatening to ban something that isn’t really an issue.
At no point do these clowns ever suggest ways for keeping fed-up landlords in the PRS – only ways to victimise us and make us poorer.
I had a friend tell me gleefully the other day that the rental crisis will end when Labour gets in.
I asked why and they said Labour would build houses to solve the problem.
I replied that Labour won’t do it for the same reasons no one has done it for the last 20 years (money, land, NIMBYS and planning departments).
And, to cap it all, Labour won’t like the costs involved.
It’s not going to happen but there’s nothing mentioned about keeping landlords in the PRS. Nothing.
So, here’s a thought for the politicians, media and tenant activist groups.
What do you think will happen when we flex our muscles?
When we collectively decide that ALL new rents will start at double what the last tenant was paying?
Can you imagine the hoo-ha? That’s when campaigners will clamour that something must be done, and our properties will be confiscated.
We meekly surrender because we want to help house people; not exploit them or make their lives worse.
We are good people doing the best we can in the circumstances – even though politicians, the media and tenant groups say otherwise.
It’s a sad, mad world when landlords can be demonised regularly, and no one makes an effort to explain what it is we do.
But wait until we vote with our feet. You might not demonise us when families are living in tents on your High Street.
Until next time,
The Landlord Crusader