Underoccupied property?

Underoccupied property?

10:53 AM, 3rd December 2021, About 2 years ago 10

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Minister for Housing, Christopher Pincher, spoke to the Lords recently about underoccupied property. He wants the properties to be used more efficiently. What happened In 2015 the Finance act penalised landlords and some sold up.

There was a large Victorian house off Bedford Hill in Balham which was an HMO. It was home to seven or eight young singles (or claimed to be single!) The landlord sold up and evicted the HMO.

A City Lawyer bought the house and reconfigured the house into a family home. He moved in with his wife, baby and nanny. Three/four people accommodated where there had been home to eight. The housing crisis just got worse, but most importantly, house prices continued to rise. They became less affordable!!!!!!!

Many journos will have read Keynes and tell you that this would not happen, and they would be wrong.

The proposition was that the net effect of the Finance act 2015 was to make property more affordable because landlords would sell up, but it caused misery to the tenants and house prices went up. The landlord went overseas and took his money with him, and we collected less income tax.

We encourage all on here to write to your Local MP and copy in Mr Pincher.


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Seething Landlord

11:59 AM, 3rd December 2021, About 2 years ago

Sorry if I'm missing something here but which provision of the Finance Act 2015 are you referring to and how is it linked to the changes made to the house in Balham and the increase in property prices?


12:00 PM, 3rd December 2021, About 2 years ago

The rule finance act was a political move not a practical move. No other industries have this rule, it's designed to punish landlords not help the housing market.
Fully support getting this removed, but good luck getting it replealed or modified.

Happy Landlord

12:39 PM, 3rd December 2021, About 2 years ago

Completely agree with 'The Bigger Picture' The trouble is you have a government who thinks they know about housing and wants to appeal to everyone, particularly the left - most of who will not vote Tory anyway. The trouble is that this government knows nothing about the PRS they are driven by a whole bunch of left wing civil servants whose main aim is to close down the PRS and revert to council run housing departments. God knows what the other bunce of Marxists would do!! The government completely misses the point - yes we do run property as a profit making business - we do not generally make anything like as much as the green eyed civil service would have you believe, but in 90+% of cases landlords offer good sound accommodation for people who pay on time and are good tenants - its the bad apples which hit the headlines be it tenants or landlords and that taints the whole industry - the current legislation driven also by people like Shelter who have never housed anyone is way over the top, most councils are extreme left wing and will try to trip up landlords at the ,least opportunity, they see the whole situation as a cash cow and forget it is the tenant at the end of the day who pays for everything


13:07 PM, 3rd December 2021, About 2 years ago

Will Mr Pincher then promote the removal the property licensing schemes which dictates or restricts many landlords to offer their accommodations to many more potential tenants than is allowed by the licensing schemes, many such accommodations could help house a single tenant if it was not for the smallest room just a wee bit undersize, for instant some rooms could house two room mates but under the licensing scheme only one adult could be homed, in other cases young children where a couple rented a large room licensed for just 2 adults, and when they had a baby, they would now be classed as having 3 occupants, meaning the landlord would need to give them a notice to go as 3 persons of any age (Newham Selective licensing policy) are not allowed in a room that was licensed for 2 occupants.

So I think Mr Pincher needs to do some homework, and realise why there is a shortage of rental accommodation as selective licensing brought in many rules regarding overcrowding and anti-social behaviour, but there were many tenants who were perfectly happy to occupy sub-standard properties provided they were not being ripped off, so one pays rent according to the standard of accommodation, a run down accommodation would still perfectly house low paid workers, on a cheap affordable rents, but Selective licensing drove those away, on to streets. Would someone not rather live in a garden shed with minimal amenities, a shared toilet, a wash hand basin, and a shared bathroom, with winter heating, or would you prefer them to sleep rough in cardboard boxes on streets being kicked and urinated upon.

So Selective licensing meant many low paid renters who shared accommodations with their mates, were displaced and rents therefore went up as higher standards were expected by conditions of the Selective license, this is what in my opinion drove house prices as well as rents higher and higher.


14:09 PM, 3rd December 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 03/12/2021 - 11:59I think he may be he is referring to buy to let Mortgage interest relief that has been taken off, so many landlords sold off and Balham property was given as a real example where a Landlord sold off as he was no longer able to get tax relief on interest so a new owner purchased that property for his own use, and no longer offered it as a rental accommodation, so what this meant was those single tenants had to find an alternative accommodations, but what business does Mr Pincher has how a new owner uses his property or how many people live in it, it is not a rental property any more, and so if it were for Mr Pincher he would say to many thousands of owner occupiers where 3 bedroom houses only house a couple as children have moved out or even where only one partner lives alone as the other may have died, I know many such properties where only one old person is living in large 3 bedroom houses which could effectively house a family of 4 to 6 person, but we live in Democracy and is Mr Pincher going to propose a bill to force single surviving partner being forced to sell his or her home to downgrade to a smaller home and disrupt his or her life that person has spent perhaps for the past 50 years of his or her life, where he has made many friends and knows the local area well and everyone knows him or her.
It is the failure of his Government who have not kept up with more affordable housing, and he is now looking to alleviate housing shortage on underoccupied houses accommodating fewer people mainly owner occupiers. This is nothing but totalitarianism.

Freda Blogs

16:08 PM, 3rd December 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 03/12/2021 - 13:07I wonder how many rooms just under 6.5 sq m are out there that can no longer be let because of licensing rules.
Many tenants were more than happy with those smaller rooms (which were more affordable), but now they have to stand empty whilst tenants cant find accommodation.
Mr Pincher: How does that make any sense at all?


16:12 PM, 3rd December 2021, About 2 years ago

Section 24 finance cost restrictions, together with SDLT and CGT surcharge rates on residential property in the PRS, are part of government's long term goals:
- Driving out smaller landlords to increase professionalism
- Enact the policies promoted by Shelter and Generation rent, on the basis that there are more renters than landlords, so more potential votes
- Use the above to tax the PRS at a higher rate while refusing to accept that active landlords should be treated to the same benefits and exemptions as other businesses
All this while stoking property prices with SDLT holidays and support for large property developers - yes, the guys who installed unsafe cladding and put everything on leases with unsustainable service charges.


16:24 PM, 3rd December 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 03/12/2021 - 16:08And how many garden sheds that could be converted to a small self contained annex, to house tenants as a living accommodation but planning permission is refused, would that not alleviate housing shortage?

Seething Landlord

17:00 PM, 3rd December 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 03/12/2021 - 14:09Yes I thought he was probably referring to s24 but he did not specify that and did not say that the sale of the house in question had anything to do with the loss of tax relief on the mortgage interest.
If you remember, the justification for the introduction of this measure was that it would level the playing field and stop investors snapping up properties that would otherwise have been available to first time purchasers. Arguments for and against that proposition have been rehearsed ad nauseam. The reality is probably that highly leveraged private investors were the real target and I suspect that those who were severely affected have now either sold up, incorporated or reduced their borrowing to a level which can be supported under the current rules. New purchases since 2015 will almost certainly have been made through limited companies so the argument for repeal of s24 becomes weaker year on year.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

21:24 PM, 3rd December 2021, About 2 years ago

This is all a matter of opinion, but opinions I share with you for sure!

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