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UPDATED: FOUR leading landlord figures pick holes in renting reform White Paper

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Landlord group leaders have begun picking holes in the government's radical Renters Reform Bill white paper.

silman portsmouth

While welcoming some of the proposals, Portsmouth & District Private Landlords Association chair, Martin Silman (pictured), believes removing Section 21 notices could spell disaster if problems with the courts aren't fixed too.

He also points to potential problems for student landlords following a move to allowing tenants to give just two months' notice.

'They need to put a loophole for students who have to be on a fixed-term contract otherwise the whole model falls apart,'� he tells LandlordZONE.

'You need the confidence that students will leave at the end of the academic year '� if one of them decides to stay on for a few months, you couldn't operate as a student landlord.'�

Silman believes this could also create an issue by combining tourists with tenants needing a house as it would be cheaper to stay in an HMO for a couple of months (by moving in and then giving notice) than in some Airbnbs.

'It will mean that those looking to move back to an area or wanting to come here more permanently but who have not yet secured a job will no longer easily find accommodation.'�

Biggest problem

Charles Clarke, vice chair of the Eastern Landlords Association, says: "I don't like the idea of having periodic tenancies as you wouldn't want people to leave in only a few months time after you've gone to the trouble of paying for an inventory.

Also, the proposal about not being able to refuse children will probably be easy to circumvent as landlords could just say they have chosen a more suitable tenant if they didn't want a particular family - it's a free market after all.

"The biggest problem is a shortage of rental accommodation and these proposals will only make that worse as those landlords who only have one or two properties will probably say the new legislation is too onerous and will sell up. The government needs to commit to building more affordable housing."


Giving notice soon after moving in could be damaging for many landlords who might have paid a letting agent up to �1,000 to find a family, agrees Giles Inman (pictured), business development director at EMPO, who says many anxious landlords will be making some serious decisions if these proposals come to pass.

He believes the suggestion about using an ombudsman for mediation would be largely ineffective. '99% of the time our members have to evict tenants due to arrears, so usually the relationship has broken down completely and no level of mediation would bring it back on track,'� he tells LandlordZONE.

On the subject of being forced to take pets and for tenants to get insurance, Inman is also unconvinced.

'Pet insurance doesn't cover damage over time such as scratching which is most common, just single incidents. Landlords would get scared if they can't say no to a massive dog. It would be more logical to ask for a deposit for pets.'�

Read the White Paper in full.

ihowz peter littlewood landlord

iHowz CEO Peter Littlewood (pictured) says that a leasehold landlord with an existing clause in their lease preventing pets won't be allowed to take them under the new proposals.

He tells LandlordZONE: "Even if a landlord sees appropriate pet insurance before handing over the keys, there is nothing stopping the tenant from cancelling the policy after they get the keys. And how can a landlord ensure the policy is renewed at the end of the first year?"

The group is also concerned that the policy of banning Section 21 notices will hurt the people it is intended to protect. Littlewood says: "Many landlords will be unwilling to offer a tenancy unless the applicant has perfect references.

"This will lead to further stress in the social housing sector when vulnerable tenants can no longer be housed in the PRS, and a reduced supply of rental properties will drive up rents and associated housing benefit costs. More landlords will leave."


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