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WARNING: 'Bashing landlords will make PRS as bad as social homes'

bruce haagensen gb landlords

Standards in the PRS will soon fall to those in the social sector if regulation and licensing continues to push smaller landlords out, a leading letting agent and landlord has warned.

Landlords leaving the market are typically smaller investors with a handful of properties who keep them well maintained, and to whom rhetoric about poor standards and unlawful evictions doesn’t apply, says Newcastle-based Bruce Haagensen (main image), a representative of GB Landlords.

“The bigger, portfolio landlords are the ones staying in the market and they only seem interested in the bottom line - they aren’t doing the repairs because that costs money,” he asserts.

“We’ll be left with a sizeable private sector that is similar to the social sector, namely sub-standard, as most instances of damp and mould tend to be in social houses.”

Haagensen tells LandlordZONE that some landlords are selling up due to high interest rates and increasing legislation, as well as the threat of the end of Section 21.

Crippling licence fees are also hitting hard, and many are forced to add this onto rents. “Effectively, tenants are paying the fees while they are also bidding against each other for properties,” he says.

Student problems

Haagensen also blames councillors in his home city of Newcastle for introducing policies that tries to push students out of traditionally university areas and into purpose-built accommodation.

The city has historically kept a lot of graduates in the area, however some are struggling to find accommodation. This dearth of rental properties is set to create problems for the local economy, he adds.

“Second year students compete with them for houses, so if these graduates can’t get somewhere to live it will have a knock-on effect for local companies who would have employed them,” he says.

“If these companies are forced to offer more money to attract staff so they can afford housing, that will have an impact on inflation.”

Pic credit: BBC News


GB Landlords