BBC’s Inside Out programme is set to highlight buy-to-let landlords’ growing plight with renting to the social sector.
On Monday 2nd February at 7.30pm, the BBC’s Inside Out programme is covering “Buy to Let Pitfalls”, with the focus on landlords who have entered into the sector to provide a pension for themselves, but have run into difficulties.
The show will feature a landlord whose portfolio of housing benefit tenants is causing him to scale back his investments following the need to instruct Landlord Action to handle two of the cases shown in the programme.
Mr Brian Nixon, a builder from South East London by trade, has a portfolio of properties largely rented to tenants receiving housing benefit. One of Mr Nixon’s tenants is in £6000 arrears because she failed to fill out the necessary Housing Benefit forms, but never informed the landlord.
Despite numerous warnings of eviction, the bailiff instructed to remove this tenant, who also had 14 other cases that day, is forced to wait around while the tenant collects what belongings she requires, leaving the rest to be dealt with by the landlord.
In addition to the rent arrears, viewers will be left shocked at the state of the property on departure of the tenant who, after being evicted, went straight to the council to be re-housed. An aggrieved Mr Nixon uses some colourful language to vent his frustration.
Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action, who is present at the evictions and can be seen on Monday night’s programme says “I have said it many times before, but a system where landlords do not receive housing benefit directly from the council is simply not working.
Years ago, renting to social housing tenants gave landlords a steady guaranteed flow of income, in return for supporting this sector by propping up the limited accommodation the council could offer.
Everyone benefited. Now, we are seeing fewer landlords wanting to rent to housing benefit tenants because of cuts being made, the uncertainty with regards to Universal Credit and non-direct payment, particularly in the South-East where landlords could achieve far higher rent if they let to the private sector.”
On the strength of the difficulties Mr Nixon has had with social housing tenants, he is now selling of the properties from his portfolio, meaning there are three less properties in the private rented sector being used for housing benefit tenants.
Watch Landlord Action on Monday 2nd February, Inside Out, BBC 1 London or Sky Channel 954 or Freeview Channel 721 at 7.30pm – “Buy to Let Pitfalls”.