A leading private rented sector player in both London and beyond tells LandlordZONE that he and the fellow landlords are getting fed up with the government’s conflicted and increasingly political approach to renting.
A senior figure from the property world has made an impassioned plea for central government and local councils to change direction and work with landlords instead of increasingly attempting to trip them up.
The landlord, who has asked that his comments are made anonymously for fear of upsetting local politicians in the areas he operates within, says he is becoming increasingly frustrated by the rhetoric coming from the government, and the conflicting messages he receives from local councils.
The industry figure, who is a significant player in the UK rental market, says he is unhappy that all landlords are tarred with the same brush of being ‘rogue’ even though this type makes up a miniscule percentage of the landlord population.
“There are a lot more rogue tenants than there are rogue landlords,” he says.
“But the current climate is political rather than common sense – you have a government which is trying to appeal with its policies to the millions of potential tenant voters, even though these policies will eventually work against the interest of tenants,” he says.
“This has created an atmosphere where the message from on top is that landlords are ripping tenants off and that we are the bad guys.”
He says politicians need to realise, and quickly, that landlords are providing a service that national and local governments are failing to provide themselves through the social and affordable housing routes.
“We are doing them a favour and yet the politicians are bad-mouthing us, are making it increasingly difficult to evict tenants while local authorities too often brief tenants against us and make it difficult to get licences for properties,” he adds.
He also believes the current policies are wrong-headed because the extra costs of paying fees that tenants once bore, and the spread of expensive selective licensing schemes, will push rents up and make it harder for people to afford rented properties.
For example, in one London borough it costs him £50,000 to licence his 100 apartments within its selective licensing scheme every five years.
“It’s just crazy – landlords can’t endlessly subsidise what is going on,” he says.