Tenant bidding wars – Why are landlords being blamed?

Tenant bidding wars – Why are landlords being blamed?

9:38 AM, 8th December 2023, About 3 months ago 43

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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.

Landlords and tenants in the private rented sector

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.

Give a big cheer to Mick Roberts

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.

Landlords are portrayed badly by the media

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.

Keeping fed-up landlords in the PRS

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

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Ian White

9:55 AM, 8th December 2023, About 3 months ago

Absolutely spot on!

Easy rider

9:58 AM, 8th December 2023, About 3 months ago

Very well said. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

I’m looking forward to bidding wars on eBay being banned.

Whenever I advertise a property in the future, it will be at market value. Currently, I have three bed semi at £400 per month and four bed at £500. The market values are £575 and £695 respectively. That is if I decide not to sell them.

My rents are low because I choose the families that I’d like in them and charge what they can comfortably afford.

Markella Mikkelsen

10:00 AM, 8th December 2023, About 3 months ago

I was reading an article about olive oil - you will see my point in a minute.
The olive grower explained that due to this year's terrible olive harvest, there was less olive oil. But the global demand had stayed the same. Therefore, the prices of olive oil had doubled.
I don't see anyone going out beating up olive growers for it. And if they did, surely everyone would say "it's not their fault!".
Now, if an olive grower can explain the laws of supply and demand so succinctly, why can't MIchael Gove, Angela Rayner and the like get it????


10:05 AM, 8th December 2023, About 3 months ago

The problem here is that our property rights are not being recognised or respected.

Following this path will lead to ruin. Just look at the many examples around the world starting with the ultimate property right violator... North Korea.

David Judd

10:09 AM, 8th December 2023, About 3 months ago

Ive been a landlord for 20 years and most of the issues are created by unscrupulous Estate Agents. If a landlord is using an agent, they will have no contact with anyone bidding for the flat, its the agent ramping up the hype and therefore the bidding wars for flats. Don't blame the landlord


10:37 AM, 8th December 2023, About 3 months ago

The PRS is a political football that Gove, Angela Rayner and other ill informed organisations will keep kicking around until they have the same stranglehold over the sector that existed pre 1988 rent act.

Who will house all these migrants, families,young people and others who need a place to live if when they achieve their goals.

They need to get building houses fast!!

James Vai

10:38 AM, 8th December 2023, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Easy rider at 08/12/2023 - 09:58You are too kind.
My stance has changed after housing a Ukrainian family paid for by the council, they made a mess, to put it mildly.
Now I charge market rate and put the rent up by the inflation rate at the anniversary of contract, exactly the same as Government contracts.
We are not a charity!

The Forever Tenant

11:25 AM, 8th December 2023, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Markella Mikkelsen at 08/12/2023 - 10:00
The olive grower thing gives the wrong impression. In that instance it is very much a supply and demand issue.

The big difference is what happens if people cannot afford Olive Oil? Their food might not have quite the same flavour as before.

But if someone cannot afford housing, their entire livelihood and life could be at risk.

It's why the supply and demand argument is not the greatest when speaking about housing. it's one of those things where it has a direct impact on someone else's life.

Going back to the original post, there are good points, but I feel it ends badly.

"It’s a sad, mad world when landlords can be demonised regularly"

That is absolutely a problem, but from the other things that are said, you are absolutely giving people all the evidence they need to demonise landlords.

"When we collectively decide that ALL new rents will start at double what the last tenant was paying?"

"You might not demonise us when families are living in tents on your High Street."

You may not think this yourself but what you have effectively just said is "Make our [Landlords] lives better or we will punish our tenants".

Again, this was likely not your intent. But with statements such as this and so many similar across the internet it gets hard to defend that its not landlords feelings on this matter.

I truly think the only way to get public opinion swayed back to the side of Landlords is for Landlords themselves to show what they are doing to help their tenants directly, over what is normally expected of them. If you want people to be on your side, you need to give them a reason to be on your side.

Mark C

12:57 PM, 8th December 2023, About 3 months ago

Some good observations and those of us that are LL's understand your rhetoric very well.
I don't think The Forever Tenant fully understands the predicament LL's are in.
It's all about economics. People understand well that if you save money, have a pension or have some bonds or stocks you get a return.
LL's returns have not been excessive in the past but we always had the value in the property if we fell on harder times. Now the return has gone in a lot of cases.
A very simple illustration:
I buy a house for £100k, costs me £30k Deposit, SLDT etc. After interest at 3% and agent fees I make £1800 / Year a 6% return on my investment.
Now that interest rates are higher let's say 6%, I make a loss of £450 for exactly the same property.
Now I have 3 choices, 1. Accept the loss and hope interest rates fall 2. Increase my rent, or 3. Sell
I think most LL's point is that we are already under significant economic pressure and that any further stresses and strains financial or not are pushing us towards option 3.
We are emotionally charged and incensed because this is an emotional business, putting roofs over peoples heads.
Let us not forget though that it is a business and eventually economics will win as we also need to pay bills and feed our families.


13:22 PM, 8th December 2023, About 3 months ago

Excellent article.
Economics won't change to suit the political mood, any more than Rwanda will suddenly become a safe haven because some MPs say so? The planes are heavier than air and I suspect they will stay on the ground.
Politicians are lazy until their interest is affected?
The cost of raw fuei has gone up. Ergo, my gas bill goes up, not down?

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