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Furious investor slams 'anti landlord' Keir Starmer

keir starmer labour fuming landlord

A furious landlord has criticised Keir Starmer for claiming landlords are ripping off tenants and making a fortune from huge deposits.

Leeds-based Richard Watson says in the final TV clash on the BBC between the two main party leaders, Starmer’s sweeping comments such as, “housing isn’t what it should be” were defamatory.

“I go to great efforts to ensure my tenants are well looked after in well maintained houses and I bend over backwards to assist them by complying with rent payment instalment alteration requests,” Watson insists in a letter to the Yorkshire Post.

Starmer referred to “huge deposits” having to be paid by tenants when there is already legislation stating that a deposit cannot be larger than five weeks’ rent. The Labour leader continued “we have to stop the landlords ripping off tenants”, while he criticised alleged bidding wars, by constantly saying, “who will pay more?”


Watson objects to the constant references to a “bidding war…a bingo” for landlords who are “making a fortune”. He says: “I have worked very hard over the years buying and maintaining the properties – I would not use the word bingo – and have certainly not made a fortune. I started with nothing, with a 100% mortgage on my first house – and have worked very hard.”

Watson reckons rents are high because demand exceeds supply – which is not the fault of any individual landlord, but more so one of governments of both parties interfering with the PRS.

“Interference has made it more and more difficult to be in business and many people I know have sold – hence restricting the rental supply,” he adds. “The government has reduced council housing in some areas – yet ironically, under ‘the right to buy’ legislation some of these same houses are now being offered, by private landlords, back to councils who need accommodation.”


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