Four of the private rental market’s key figures have taken the government to task over its ‘landlord bashing’.

Ben Beadle of the NRLA, John Blackwood of the Scottish Association of Landlords, Eddie Hooker of MyDeposits and Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action debated the ‘future of landlording’ during which a range of high profile topics were discussed.

Several clear messages were delivered, including how extra regulation is frightening new landlords away and forcing many larger portfolio landlords to quit the sector.

Key to this problem has been the Section 24 tax changes, tenant fees ban, selective licensing, the proposed changes to Section 21 notices and now the evictions ban.

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All agreed that government policy is baffling. Private landlords have been forced to take up the slack from the affordable and council home sectors, a role they are often ill-equipped to provide, but at the same time disincentived to invest.

“The constant attack on landlords really annoys me because the government doesn’t seem to have thought about where else are the tenants are going to live,” said Hooker.

Beadle added: “It’s creating a market bubble too, forcing up rents in many areas and going against their aim of making renting more affordable.”

Pressure off

Blackwood said the lack of affordable social housing remains the key problem, and that if government invested in that properly, it would take the pressure off the private rented sector.

“A lot of landlords are telling me the sector isn’t worth it any longer – so if more landlords quit, what will happen? People need somewhere to live,” he says.

“Instead of hitting us over the heads with a stick, they should be encouraging us to invest more.”

The group agreed that Covid has intensified these problems and that the ongoing eviction ban is a product of the government’s lack of investment in affordable and council housing.

These sectors are unable to take up the slack during Covid, and so an evictions ban is the only path left open to ministers.

Worst to come

“The worst is still to come,” says Beadle. “Landlords are now expected to pay the debts of others and suck up not being able to take possession of their property – after years of filing in for government. We can’t carry the can for ever.”

Blackwood added: “Landlords cannot expect to have tenants in their properties for over a year without paying a penny in rent.

“If the government doesn’t want anyone to be evicted then they should pay everyone’s rent – it’s a simple as that.”

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Leading experts, why don’t you mention, that the landlords are obliged to maintain the properties and pay for expensive repairs, like Gas boilers, radiator flash cleaning etc – even if no rent paid? This is already beyond expropriation of the properties as such – the Landlords are expected by the Govnmnt to take an extra job in order to assure an uninterruptible supply of the heat, water, electricity to those who don’t pay rent. Why don’t the good Ministers take each upon themselves at least one none-paying tenant and act as a guarantor for him? Why they don’t convert a spare room into a self-contained flat and give that for free of charge share? For many landlords investing into spare dwelling was not spending a surplus of cash, but the only remaining way to protect hard earned savings from inflation – to survive in old age or during the hardship like now.

  2. Yep totally agree, totally fed up of being kicked repeatedly. After 30 years of being a landlord I am removing all my properties from the housing market and moving into holiday lets. To make that clearer for the government to understand, I am no longer providing homes. You, the Government will soon have a housing crisis on your hands as I know many landlords who are doing the same or selling up. You have been warned!

    • Thanks Sid. I’m so glad to see such sentiments being aired. I was about to sell my house when the current tenant came and implored me to let it to her. For two years she played me for the mug that I was, until I served notice. She stopped paying altogether, requiring me to obtain a court order, costing £1120. She breached that, but inaction on the part of the solicitor meant that she wasn’t removed before Jenrick’s axe fell. Since that time she’s paid almost nothing. But I digress. If thousands of battered landlords abandon the precarious enterprise, the exaggerated housing crisis will become a reality.

  3. Please let’s not pussyfoot around. Regardless of the eviction crisis which is unacceptable, the ever increasingly more stifling laws for property renters needs to be addressed. Firstly the very name “landlord” needs to be changed for something a little more acceptable in these modern times. I shudder every time I read the word. It is as outdated as the medieval times from which it originated. This is the most heavily regulated industry with more at stake than most businesses and it is time the renters were treated with respect for what they do instead of feeling the stigma that is very prevalent. Some of the tenants protected pose a real threat to the safety of the property and other tenants that may be housed in it. It is time for a real shake up and for us all to stand as one to protect our own rights and to instill fairness and reason. In the renting sector there are, after all, many compassionate humans who do not need government officials to intervene and increase the heavy financial burden they already carry.

  4. The problem is that Govt is so blinded by it’s anti-LL ideology that it can’t work out that what it is doing is simply bonkers.

    It seeks to eradicate LL especially mortgaged ones.

    This started with dopey Osborne and his daft S24 policy; a policy he nicked from the even more idiotic Greens.

    Govt simply will NOT assist small LL no matter what.

    Nobody likes LL and it would not play well politically in the UK if LL were assisted.

    It seems very strange that the currently Spanish Socialist Govt has no qualms about ensuring LL are paid their rent.

    As has been mentioned Govt doesn’t seem to have any plan for where all the homeless tenants will live once LL sell up.

    I think they honestly believe that these homeless tenants will buy the properties the LL are selling and that magically FTB will be able to afford what they currently cannot.
    A real disconnect from reality as far as I can see!

    There is a massive shortage of social housing taking into account over 2 million have been bought under RTB.

    Govt shouldn’t bother with waiting for social housing building.
    It should start a buyback of properties on the open market for social housing but this time with no RTB.

    It is spraying money all over the place.
    Why not get something tangible like millions of social homes!?

    • Excellent ! Squuuueeeezzzzeee the Landlords ! Hit em’ hard with regulation, Taxation, limited bank lending with more regulation and increased tenant rights in the PRSector – different rules for Social Housing Sector ! Divide the Landlords – so they are unable to give a collective response ! LLs realize this too late…..This will force LLs to sell up in droves – bringing the house prices down – and reducing supply of housing creating a housing crisis ! Then Govt comes to the rescue – buying up houses at reduced prices – classified as Social Housing – PRS rules dont apply to them…saving the day..with cheaper rents – tenants vote for this Govt again…they got the greedy LLs out….rents are affordable….govt gets…tax and rental revenue….genius….icing on the cake….LLs end up being tenants – it makes sense to rent…rents being cheap and all….

      Target LLs who have set up company structures by selective Tax codes…..hit em with similar Section 24 policy….force em to sell up…releasing more supply for social housing….

  5. It seems that everyone is thinking of the tenants & has no interest in the position of the private landlord! As private landlords the rent pays us an income so if we don’t receive rent then this has a huge knock on financial implications. Not just on our living ability but the ability to pay the mortgages & other financial outlay on our rental property.
    Despite paying income tax we don’t qualify for any government help as we’re not self employed! So how is it fair that we are expected to bear the financial consequence of non payers?

  6. I’m afraid landlords will always be an easy target. When you have Shelter constantly bemoaning the plight of tenants, the big bad landlord will always get the bad press. Landlords are great for the government, they will never get the sympathy vote, hence a drip drip of an ever increasing tax burden.

  7. Agree, Keith. The law abiding are always the easiest to hit – just look at motorists and the self employed (who have to pay income tax in advance!!!).

    Sorry to say that was a very disappointing article. It’s great that these respected and eminent people in the sector are getting together but chatting among our selves achieves nothing. I was hoping that the story was going to go on to say that they took their message to some minister and got a positive reply.

  8. If someone steals a couple of thousand pounds from you, the police get involved. If a tenant steals the same by not paying rent, as far as the law is concerned, bad luck you’re on your own. There is no difference, it’s your livelyhood/wages!. What a crazy country. We are seriously thinking of selling our properties as soon as covid is on the out and investments start getting better. A few more for someone else to house. Why do governments not help landlords. They are all the same. A total waste of space and money. Really disgusted with them all.

    • Yet more refreshing candour. I agree; those rent dodgers who have been unaffected by Covid are thieves. I noticed that the genuine rough-sleepers who were given hotel rooms, ostensibly for their protection, were dispatched sharply, when they were no longer a threat. No sympathy for those eh! Boris? Of course that scheme was costing the government.

    • I wonder if Bungle and all his cronies will set the example by opening up their huge estates to the travelling community. Surely, since they have such big hearts, as demonstrated by their selfless protection of tenants, they will be more than happy to allow a few caravans on their acres.

  9. I’d like to see the faces of all those who are cheering-on this landlord bashing, when it hits home that at some time in their lives, they may want to rent a home.
    No doubt their guns will then be turned on the ‘selfish former landlords’ who have sold-up, just to be spiteful.
    Still, there will always be the £60 – £90 per night Premier Inns.

  10. ***Great opportunities for renters.***
    You are about to see a wave of houses for sale.
    All you need to exercise your right-to-buy, is about £20,000 to use as a deposit*. This is because mortgage lenders don’t trust anyone and are not prepared to take any risks.
    You will need about £2,000 to pay solicitors, surveyors etc. Well you need to protect your investment.
    You will then have the responsibility of dealing with all of those issues, such as roof leaks, electrical safety, plumbing, smoke and fire alarms, subsidence, the list goes on. This can be expensive but that’s no problem.
    *This is for a fairly modest house
    Unless it is in an expensive area, in which case, double it.

  11. Great opportunities for renters, part 2.
    If you feel really adventurous, you can move on and let it to a complete stranger. The conditions will be much stricter and there will be serious liabilities. However, you will enjoy the total respect of the tenants because they will appreciate your providing them with an affordable home.

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