min read

'Stop demonising landlords, it's just not helping the situation'

paul shamplina landlords

'Be careful what you wish for'� is the point I would put to organisations such as Shelter, Generation Rent and other tenant groups. 

In other words, stop demonising landlords - it's not helping the situation especially when we have such a severe rental stock crisis. 

Social housing and temporary accommodation are at breaking point; the private rental sector has been trying to prop them up for years. If you keep poking the bear, it will eventually bite back.

To be clear, I have a lot of sympathy for tenants having to pay more in rising rents, but landlords who are coming off two and three year fixed terms at 2% onto new arrangements at 6.5 % have little choice - their monthly mortgage payments have gone up dramatically. 

Previously, many of the landlords I spoke to had not historically put rents up, as they are very happy with their tenants. Now, the vast majority, forced by the rising cost of living including mortgages, energy, food, and council tax (to name but a few), are being forced to increase rents.

Sell up

We have reported many times on stories of landlords deciding they have had enough and want to sell up, not just because of interest rates, but on top of the withdrawal of Section 24 mortgage interest relief, and now the impending Renters (Reform) Bill. 

The worry that landlords will struggle to gain possession of their property once Section 21 is abolished, as well as the future EPC upgrades in 2028, for some it is just not worth the aggravation of being a landlord anymore, especially when landlords are feeling ashamed of being called a landlord. 

The reality is being a landlord is a profession, but it is not recognised by the swider media as such. If you look at the 12-point plan for the Renters Reform Bill, its intention is to increase property standards, provide greater access to property information, offer tenants redress, as they are customers, prevent discrimination against tenants with children or on benefits, and give tenants the opportunity to request a pet. 

Not unreasonable

These are not unreasonable. But what we need to see in conjunction are changes which also give landlords confidence in the new system when it comes to the abolition of Section 21. 

Will there be sufficient mandatory grounds under section 8?  Will there be a high priority on court lists to deal with Anti-Social tenants and what does it look like as to the evidence sought? We need answers to these questions.

Mediation can work if done properly at the early point in a dispute after the notice period. But there must be major resource put in to the court system to deal with the increase in Section 8 hearings and ensure there are enough judges and bailiffs (which at present there is a shortage). The abolishment cannot be rushed until we have the correct mechanisms in place.

I note in a recent press release from Shelter they quoted that 172 tenants are receiving Section 21 non-fault eviction notices per day. 

If that is the case, it would be interesting to see how many landlords are serving those Section 21 notices because they want to sell.  

Common reasons

On recent stats from my company, Landlord Action, the four most common reasons at present are landlords selling, rent arrears, anti-social behaviour and the tenants requesting the landlord evicts them so they can approach the council to be rehoused. 

My worry is when the date is set to end Section 21, which may be in 18-24 months' time, that there will be landlord panic, as landlords rush to serve notices before the expiry date, as they feel they do not understand the changes or have confidence in the court system. 

Ultimately, evicting a tenant should always be a last resort, but for many landlords who have never had to apply to the court in the past, they are now doing it for the first time, as they want to sell and exit the sector.

It is right that landlords are 'business-reviewing' their portfolios as increased costs across the board are a challenge.

Look at the case of Ian Jackson. He has sold 40 of his 142-property portfolio in Belfast, Manchester and Scotland, 20 in the last 12 months. 

Good tenants

What does that mean?  It means that good tenants are being asked to leave, so those tenants will now have to battle it out with other applicant tenants, for far fewer properties and will undoubtedly have to pay more rent in a new property.

It goes back to what said at the start of this, be careful what you wish for. Without the pressures which have been put on landlords, Ian Jackson, and many others like him, might still be in the market.

Changes can happen but as I have said before, they need to protect tenants AND landlords, as both are required for a thriving PRS.


Here's some stats for you.  In June 2019, there was 370,000 properties in the private rental sector, now we have 241,000.  Rental stock has plummeted by 35% in the last four years according to consultancy TwentyCi.

But let's not be half glass full'� despite these problems there are endless tenant applicants; the best choice of tenant pool; rents remain strong; and the lowest void periods than ever before.

So it's not all bad. Landlords and letting agents have navigated the endless new rules and changes in the private rental sector since 2007, when Deposit Protection legislation was introduced, and I'm sure many will continue to do so.


Paul Shamplina is hosting: Landlords - How to Survive - an educational day for landlords

This will be a no-nonsense, straight talking and practical education day by experts with over 200 years of experience in Property and Buy To Let on the day. This event is for new, part-time and full-time landlords, portfolio landlords and can be CPD-accredited upon request. Sign up here.


No items found.