11:29 AM, 25th November 2022, About 4 months ago 15
Unlike the Millwall football chant, ‘No one likes us, we don’t care’, I’d just like to say that while no one apparently likes landlords, I do care.
However, I despise the tenant groups who shout from the rooftops about how rubbish we all are. I despise the media for not offering a balanced view when landlords are being criticised.
But my ire is reserved for national and local politicians, regardless of their political hue, who use the private rented sector to score cheap political points.
And that’s because these mouthy politicians just can’t see the problems that they have created.
All private rented properties are in a poor condition? We need a licensing system to ensure they come up to a reasonable standard, even though no council officers will actually go out and check them.
Landlords are charging steep rents? We must have a rent freeze to help poor tenants deal with the economic hardship brought about by the government and the Covid lockdown.
Families are being forced from their homes because the landlord wants to put up the rent as their bills go up too? We must ban evictions for an incredible amount of time, regardless of whether the tenant is causing anti-social behaviour or not paying their rent.
I despise Michael Gove and his intention to abolish Section 21. We still don’t know what is replacing it, but I’m prepared to offer good money that it won’t be as effective.
And this week we see Gove spending millions to ‘crackdown on rogue landlords’. Considering that councils already have the powers and many have a licensing system in place for these inspections to be carried out but still DON’T bother, what exactly will this extra money do?
He says the money will help various councils fine landlords for not meeting the rules and for pushing up standards in the sector. Don’t make me laugh.
At no point is the service we provide in delivering warm, safe and secure homes for tenants ever appreciated. There’s no political message about trying to keep landlords in the sector. No financial incentive.
Nearly every problem we have as landlords has been created by politicians.
But they can’t – or won’t – see what problems they have caused us and for tenants.
This issue has also been brought up this week by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
The man is obsessed with the media spotlight and Property118 reports that he is urging the government to implement the rogue landlord’s database.
He says that his own creations (and the media output from his department always refer to these as ‘his’ own ideas and creations) have been very popular.
Really? The Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker and Property Licence Checker have been deluged with users?
The article makes clear that council officers are regularly using these but what about tenants?
And that 6,000 renters have reported their landlord (which doesn’t mean they are landlords who have done something wrong) and that the checkers have been checked 128,000 times this year.
But. There’s always a but.
The article highlights that there are 2.6 million renters in London – so take out the council officers and landlords checking their details and I reckon that’s a hit rate of less than 5%. But how many of them are tenants?
This is where we go down the rabbit hole because a very small proportion of tenants will be using these platforms, and apparently that’s a reason to bring in a national database.
There’s no mention of implementing a rogue tenants database. Just landlords.
I keep talking about landlords having to work together on issues that affect us all but the level of apathy in the sector is shocking.
Along with the government’s planned rental sector reforms, it is issues like a national database that need to be debated now. In the open.
I’m guessing most landlords would be in support of a national database depending on what information is available – I’d be twitchy about personal details including my address being on there, for example.
So, Mr Khan might, through his own political ambition, help to put the skids under the private rental sector with this nonsense idea if good, decent landlords decide they want no part of being on a database.
And don’t think I have an axe to grind with the mayor, I don’t. I had a go at him last week, but he keeps popping up like a bonkers ‘Whack a mole’.
Before signing off, I also mentioned last week that we need more landlords to step into the media ring to defend landlords so kudos to Ben Beadle of the NRLA for doing just that.
He was on BBC Breakfast this week talking about landlord issues and did really well (though I’m not sure about the choice of jacket, Ben!). He also dealt with the expected questions from BBC presenters about how bad all landlords are.
Is this when we as landlords decide to fight back and get behind those willing to stand up and represent us?
Sadiq Khan couldn’t care less about what landlords feel about his attacks – he doesn’t want our votes.
Gove is another one playing to the stalls and all major politicians have made it clear they don’t like us.
Perhaps that day when we do stand as one, it might just show our gutless, feeble politicians that we don’t like them either.
Until next time,
The Landlord Crusader
12:29 PM, 25th November 2022, About 4 months ago
I totally agree with all that you say.
The government will have a much bigger problem in years to come than they do now with housing people.
Landlords are leaving the sector in their droves. I have sold two in the last year and planning to sell more of my portfolio off but the market is turning and property prices are likely to fall over the next couple of years. So May have to wait or just sell when the economy gets a bit steadier.
Regard Rogue landlords register, I have said for a long time their should be a register for bad tenants so landlords could check this before renting their properties out.
12:30 PM, 25th November 2022, About 4 months ago
I think that just about sums it up nicely, well written. I'm out asap, fed up with banging my head against a brick wall with these waste of space politicians.
14:52 PM, 25th November 2022, About 4 months ago
Sadiq Khan said was it 40% or 60% of Landlords haven't got a mortgage, in reference to his suggestion that Landlords should be charging cheap rents to tenants cause they can afford to. Aah right, let's all save up, go without for years, so we can then go buy house for someone to live in & let's not us receive what we want or need for that house.
Last time I checked, we din't buy these houses to be a charity & give them for free or at cost. Although many of us are ending up being a charity.
Anyway, what we finding is, many of us end up better off with the MP's talk, as more Landlords sell, our current tenants treat us better as they see their mates can't get anywhere. And should we get one empty, we can charge the earth-And we need to cause we never know where next attack is coming from. Tenant loses again courtesy of Govt.
When Corbyn shouted for Rent Holiday in March 2020, tenants are severely paying for that now.
Ben in a tricky place, he can't shout too much otherwise Govt won't talk to him.
15:47 PM, 25th November 2022, About 4 months ago
It’s the oldest political trick in the book: scapegoating!
They did it to the Jews in the Middle Ages and then modern Germany and always Russia. Richard I even raised a special jew tax!
Then the bigots of the Southern USA blamed everything on the blacks.
And now in modern Britain let’s bash the private landlord ( because we don’t want to house rogue tenants qua, “cherubs”).
I’ve left PRS and many have done the same. Govts are in for a huge headache!
15:51 PM, 25th November 2022, About 4 months ago
Actually I’d like to rent to the lical council which in turn sub-lets to the tenants it finds. I get paid come what may and I can get repairs done and paid for by the council ( and Shelter too would be nice). Then I sit back, count the money and let the council deal with any rogue tenant. See how they like it!
15:52 PM, 25th November 2022, About 4 months ago
There should be a rogue tenant list.
8:50 AM, 26th November 2022, About 4 months ago
10:14 AM, 26th November 2022, About 4 months ago
Reply to the comment left by Ray Lancaster at 25/11/2022 - 12:29
The CRLA use to have a tenant reference list that was only viewable by paid members. It was a list that was made up by landlords, they’d put the problem tenants name/names and aliases they’d go by to trick a landlord and they’d put their own phone number beside the name so if you had the tenant apply for your property you could call the previous landlord and ask why they had put the name on the list. This list saved me from two problem tenants over the years but GDPR rules put pay to the list, sad really.
Why shouldn’t we as landlords have the inside track on problem tenants and stick together.
Old Mrs Landlord
11:21 AM, 26th November 2022, About 4 months ago
Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 25/11/2022 - 14:52
You are right, Mick, most of us decent landlords are benefiting from the shortage of rental housing as others sell up. Tenants realise when they are well off and appreciate their landlords more as they look around at what else there is on offer. Good landlords don't fear being put on a rogue landlord list because they are compliant with regulations and their properties are well maintained. Of course this compliance with additional legislation, combined with rising interest rates and a jump in the cost of materials and labour does mean that rents must of necessity rise. I wish Ben Beadle had mentioned the reasons for rising rents and pointed out that rent rises are well below general inflation. As for Mr. Khan with his ridiculous talk of landlords being able to take a mortgage 'holiday' as some did to their cost during the pandemic, well he has no idea of realities and is concerned only with raising his profile and getting re-elected. As I understand it London rental returns are barely above break even and landlords rely on capital appreciation anyway for their ROI, so have no headroom to subsidise tenants out of the goodness of their hearts. As you say, we all need to keep a reserve to cover us for the next cost bombshell the powers that be hurl at us. Meanwhile, pay no heed to all the bad publicity if you are confident of your own personal integrity and realise that landlords are currently just a useful scapegoat for the failings of those who are the real cause of the housing crisis.
12:00 PM, 26th November 2022, About 4 months ago
Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 26/11/2022 - 11:21
And my repairs bill gone down massively. The opposite of what Govt & Councils would like.