Friday, 17 June 2022

Classic shroud-waving

For anyone who remembers the post war Rent Acts, the government's latest proposals on tenancy reform appear to be fairly mild. Tenancy legislation, historically, has either unfairly favoured tenants or it has unfairly favoured landlords. It is impossible to make both sides happy, so the best you can hope for is that both sides are eqhally unhappy. This goes some way towards that. Despite that, there is, of course, a barrage of squealing from landlords, as summed up in this Telegraph article:

Small-scale buy-to-let investors say the new plans make their business models unviable and they will have to sell up for good.

So they are not really landlords, they are "investors".

Amy Jones, 50, who manages a portfolio of five buy-to-lets in Wales, said scrapping “no-fault” evictions means that many tenancies will be too risky for landlords to consider.

So not being able to get rid of perfectly good tenants who are behaving themselves and paying the rent is "too risky". I suppose, if you view the property purely as an investment, you want to be able to sell at the drop of the hat and sod the people who have to find somewhere else to live, there's a bottom line to consider here.

Bethany Jameson said: “I for one am selling up, all of them. I will sell one this year and the rest next year. By next year, you’ll be left with no small landlords and tenants will be left with higher prices.”

Ah, that old chestnut, without which no article such as this would be complete.

She said: “I’m appalled at the Government’s constant interference in the private rented sector. Landlords own the properties, not the Government. We have paid for these properties and they are our pension. It is a big assault on our property rights."

No, dear, the state owns the properties, all you own is a right to use that land as you see fit, exclusively, paying no rent. Also, if there was no government, you wouldn't have any "property rights", or any rights at all for that matter.

“I have many allergies and my husband is allergic to dogs, in no circumstance can we allow tenants with pets. We wouldn’t be able to enter the house to do any checks.”.

FFS! (noise of barrel being scraped)

David Carter, 60, who has a portfolio of 13 properties in the South West, said the Government’s plans will backfire because they mean he will no longer let properties to renters on benefits if he cannot easily evict them.

If your tenants are behaving themselves, why would you want to evict them and why is it more likely that you will want to evict them if they are on benefits?

Mr Carter said: “I cannot take risks on tenants without the safety net of Section 21 and being able to get repossession without having to explain."

Ah, so since the law won't let me be a complete bastard to my tenants, I'm not going to be a landlord any more. Well, hurrah! good riddance.

The Government’s ban on discrimination against tenants on benefits will mean little in practice for two reasons, said Mr Carter. Landlords will be able to refuse them easily because they will not pass credit checks. Crucially, because local housing allowance rates have been frozen and are out of kilter with market rents, benefits tenants will also be unable to afford the rates, he said.

So what are you complaining about, then, you twat?

"The eventual legislation needs to recognise that government actions have led to a shortage of supply in the sector at a time of record demand. It is causing landlords to leave the sector and driving up rents when people can least afford it.”

So good they said it twice.

A Government spokesman said: “We make no apologies for improving standards for renters across the country and cracking down on the minority of landlords who don't provide safe and decent homes to live in.

Presumably they were thinking of Amy, Bethany and David. Honestly, these people make me ashamed to be a landlord.


DCBain said...

We have a cracking landlord and do our bit by being exemplary tenants. Our neighbour, by contrast, has a fuckwit - or a shyster - for a landlord. She hides behind her poor Chinglish and repeatedly flaunts her contract as she did with a previous tenant who successfully did a moonlight owing three months' rent. HaHa. I don't know if the ganja grow in between tenants made her money or if she was taken advantage of - I hope it was the latter.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, Homey logic never adds up.

"We will not consider benefit claimants". Fair enough, many LLs never have done. But that means working tenants have less competition, so for them, rents will go down.

We've done the Missing Homes Conundrum too many times, but it's nice to see it trotted out twice.

Better off working tenants are also latent FTBs, so they can now snap up the ex-BTL homes flooding the market.

And BTL's have been threatening this for years, the stats show that their share of the housing market is stable or increasing overall. Rents have bounced back from Lockdown blip.

That said, by LL standards, our last LL was OK. Barely put up rent over six years, which started off on the low side anyway. After I messed up the renewal, they decided they wanted to sell. We bought it with a massive sitting tenants discount of about 20% (compared to what they would have got had they bothered to tart it up and bit and deal with the crappiest things).

mombers said...

@MW 'We will not consider benefit claimants'
Last I heard, 25% of landlords are on Housing Benefit or UC equivalent. I reckon most of them don't even know that they are on it, just assume that because their tenant has a low to middle income job means they can afford the worst value per square meter rents in the world. In my area, landlords get rent top ups for families earning more than £60k FFS. When UC is uprated by inflation next year, this will push £70k I reckon

Mark Wadsworth said...

M, this wasn't my post, but ta.

For sure, at least 25% of private tenants get Housing Benefit or similar. Four million claimant households, half of those in social housing = 2 million, and there are 5 million private renting households, or whatever the numbers are.

I didn't know that they subbed higher income households like this, that is truly taxpayer's finest down the crapper.

Bayard said...

M, so HB is paid to the tenant now, is it?

Bayard said...

" But that means working tenants have less competition, so for them, rents will go down."

You know its bonkers when tenants on benefits can afford to pay more than those not on benefits.

Lola said...

"No, dear, the state owns the properties, all you own is a right to use that land as you see fit, exclusively, paying no rent. Also, if there was no government, you wouldn't have any "property rights", or any rights at all for that matter."

This confusion about 'land', as in 'real estate' or 'land and buildings' bedevils these discussions. I make a point of talking about 'land' as separate from 'landlords improvements'. And most people really do not know that a 'freehold' is just a rent free leasehold.

Just saying really.

There is a parallel terminological confusion with the word 'inflation' - but we won't go there pro tem.