“For the Many, Not the Few”
If Labour’s plans for renters are anything to go by, they are certainly sticking to their maxim, for the PRS – for the many tenants, and certainly not for the few landlords.
This is a radical throwback to the era of rent controls and tenant’s security of tenure, an era where private landlords gave up on providing residential accommodation, reducing the industry to a shadow of its former self.
Landlords want to provide long-term accommodation for rent-paying tenants who look after their properties. What they will not do is rent out properties when (1) they cannot reasonably quickly re-possess if they get a bad or non-paying tenant, and (2) they can’t charge a market rent.
“We will end insecurity for private renters by introducing controls on rent rises, more secure tenancies, landlord licensing and new consumer rights for renters.”
Security comes with regular rent payments at a market rent; it’s not the landlord’s fault that rents climb, and private landlords are not in business to provide subsidised social housing.
If that’s what a government wants, for private landlords to house low-income tenants, it should build more homes to increase supply and bring down market rents, provide adequate housing benefits to cover market rent payments for low-income tenants, and/or build more council housing.
“We will make new three-year tenancies the norm, with an inflation cap on rent rises. Given the particular pressures in London we will look at giving the Mayor the power to give renters in London additional security. We will legislate to ban letting agency fees for tenants.”
“We will also empower tenants to call time on bad landlords by giving renters new consumer rights. Renters are spending £9.6 billion a year on homes that the government classes as ‘non-decent’.
“Around a quarter of this is paid by housing benefit. A Labour government would introduce new legal minimum standards to ensure properties are ‘fit for human habitation’ and empower tenants to take action if their rented homes are sub-standard.”
No responsible landlord condones the letting of sub-standard or dangerous accommodation, and by far the majority of private landlords do not do this. But without an adequate return private landlords will not be in a position to provide good quality accommodation, and over time, when rents are capped, instead of standards improving, they will inevitably decline.
Tom Entwistle, Editor of LandlordZONE®
Labour’s Plans for Renting… https://t.co/ogECbRdNQP
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) May 18, 2017