Labour government would force landlords to offer indefinite tenancies Watch

nulli tertius
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(Original post by insouciancedward)
I worked in a council housing department for two and a half years: checking social housing forms (applications/changes to living situations), checking applications for disability adaptations to homes and managing B&B bookings for homeless people. Having recently (and extremely unexpectedly) inherited some money from the abrupt death of my uncle (whom had no partner or children), I'll be buying a flat/house on the Kent coast sometime this year, which I'll be letting to tenants whilst I'm studying for my degree.

Having scanned that article, it sounds as though the aim is to curb evictions using s21 of the Housing Act, whereby landlords don't have to give any reason for eviction. They serve the tenants 2 months notice (2 full rental months, at least that was the law in September 2016, when I left that hell job behind) in writing, then after that period has elapsed, apply through a magistrates' court for a possession order. My memory is a b it vague now but I think that once the possession order is granted to the landlord, then if the tenants don't vacate the property, police can be called in to remove them.

So everybody bleating about landlords having no recourse to evict problem tenants.... This proposed change probably has no impact on that. There are other grounds in the Housing Act which landlords can use to evict problem tenants, e.g. s8 for accelerated possession. The reason that most landlords use section 21 evictions by default is that they don't have to give reason and therefore don't have to prove to a court that tenants have withheld rent or damaged the property. In cases where those things happen, it should be quite easy for landlords to make a case; they just don't want to spend their time and effort on such things.

Anyhow, I suppose this proposed measure would have some positive impact on the private rental sector, albeit rather a minor one. The elephants in the room - which all governments have been too scared to address for decades - are the nonsense of the 'right to buy' the council house you've lived in, guaranteed 5+ year council tenancies, the planning system, developers who do nothing with vacant land for years and prioritise profit over construction standards.
I started in the law in the dying days of the Rent Acts.

The "fault" grounds for possession under the Rent Acts were very similar to the "fault" grounds of possession under the present system and the "fault" grounds for possession for Council tenancies.

You have worked for local authorities. What is the cost (at private solicitors' rates (not local authority legal department rates) plus managing agents' time at private rates) of shifting an anti-social Council tenant? £5,000 or £8,000 or £10,000?
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TensorTympani
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Just a hint of the chaos they would inflict if they came to power.
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ns_2
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This would just disincentive landlords from offering tenancies in the first place - destroying the progress made under the Buy to Let scheme.
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insouciancedward
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
I started in the law in the dying days of the Rent Acts.

The "fault" grounds for possession under the Rent Acts were very similar to the "fault" grounds of possession under the present system and the "fault" grounds for possession for Council tenancies.

You have worked for local authorities. What is the cost (at private solicitors' rates (not local authority legal department rates) plus managing agents' time at private rates) of shifting an anti-social Council tenant? £5,000 or £8,000 or £10,000?
Not sure what point you're angling at there, if any. Presumably that the reason landlords tend to default towards s21 (no grounds given) evictions is to minimise the expense to themselves? I thought that was kind of implicit with the time and energy I mentioned, perhaps I ought to have been more explicit.

I have no idea how much it costs for anybody to 'shift' a tenant of any type of tenancy. I was a mere administration drone. Anyhow, considering the things I'd see and hear on a daily basis about what tenants had done to rental properties, I'm not surprised that landlords are increasingly wary and selective about whom they let properties to.
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Libtardian
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Socialists are dumb, they will do this, fail, try another form of control, fail, in the mean time the average person will suffer.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by insouciancedward)
Not sure what point you're angling at there, if any. Presumably that the reason landlords tend to default towards s21 (no grounds given) evictions is to minimise the expense to themselves? I thought that was kind of implicit with the time and energy I mentioned, perhaps I ought to have been more explicit.

I have no idea how much it costs for anybody to 'shift' a tenant of any type of tenancy. I was a mere administration drone. Anyhow, considering the things I'd see and hear on a daily basis about what tenants had done to rental properties, I'm not surprised that landlords are increasingly wary and selective about whom they let properties to.
The key policy change in 1980 (rent control lasted for another 6 years) was no fault eviction. Even though there was originally only a 3 month window every year when it operated, it is that change above all else that revitalised the private rental market. It meant that renting out a property no longer diminished the value of that property.

The problem is that the cost of trying a disputed issue about breach of the terms of a lease is wholly disproportionate to the profits to be made from letting out that property.
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L i b
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In Scotland, the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 removed "no fault" endings of tenancies by a landlord except in restricted circumstances.

The reality is that if there's a complete breakdown in relations between landlord and tenant, then a tenancy cannot realistically continue. Of course the landlord is going to find ways to end the tenancy and there's plenty of scope for that. I think you'd struggle to draft legislation that would genuinely prevent that.

The grounds for eviction remain quite lengthy. Not just wanting to sell the house, but wanting to carry out any significant renovation works, the landlord or a family member wanting to live in the house, "anti-social behaviour" by the tenant, failing to be an eligible landlord (whether by registration or an HMO licence lapsing etc).

It's no huge problem, but equally the legislation doesn't actually provide any great protection to tenants.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by ThomH97)
a landlord not needing to work because she can charge so much rent.
There are many millions of people in the country who do not need to work because they own assets that give them an income. Why is it so unreasonable? I'd be surprised if you do not, yourself, aspire to join them.
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moggis
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(Original post by Good bloke)
There are many millions of people in the country who do not need to work because they own assets that give them an income. Why is it so unreasonable? I'd be surprised if you do not, yourself, aspire to join them.
The housing situation in this country is an absolute disgrace and I very much hope Corbyn can somehow get into power and make a difference . If it makes things worse so be it but the current situation should not be allowed to carry on .
That apparently millions are living off what I would term immoral earnings goes a long way to explaining why this is one of the most overrated countries to live in in the west unless you’re utterly selfish.
I say immoral because very very few charge a reasonable rent .
They all charge a market rent knowing full well how unfair it is.
Landlords make me sick and even though I could I could never join their ranks .
I’d rather cut my right arm off .
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Good bloke
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(Original post by moggis)
That apparently millions are living off what I would term immoral earnings goes a long way to explaining why this is one of the most overrated countries to live in in the west unless you’re utterly selfish.
The people I alluded to are those who have worked all their lives and are now retired. Their assets are placed in investments that will generate an income for them. Some invest in companies who pay dividends; some invest in bonds; some buy property and let it. All perfectly reasonable and honourable.

Those who let property perform an essential service at a price the market will bear. Where would you live if you could not find a property to rent?

Presumably, upon your retirement you will simply amass a few bags of cash and hide it under your bed rather than dirty your hands with unearned income.
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rockrunride
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(Original post by Good bloke)
There are many millions of people in the country who do not need to work because they own assets that give them an income. Why is it so unreasonable? I'd be surprised if you do not, yourself, aspire to join them.
The crux.

Let's not pretend we'd take the decision to give up assets if we earned them through personal progress or fell on good (lottery) or bad (inheritance from death) fortune.

On topic, having been in the London lettings market as a tenant for nearly a decade now, it is really clear that the market has slowed down a bit. I am grateful for this in some ways as it means I can be that little bit more choosy in where I decide to live, and that an awful lettings agent I had the misfortune of dealing with three years ago is probably experiencing tougher times. However, falling property prices are generally a good indicator of slower economic growth.
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Burton Bridge
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(Original post by Libtardian)
Socialists are dumb, they will do this, fail, try another form of control, fail, in the mean time the average person will suffer.
Socialists are not dumb at all!

As a landlord myself and a socialist the devil is every much going to be in the detail regarding this policy. I thought the labour policy was 3 year rental contracts? Indefinite contracts one way could be highly damaging to the market.

Personally I'd rather see social housing rebuilt and remove the right to buy, that would work. This just seems a sticking plaster on a damage caused by the failer of right wing capitists
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by L i b)
In Scotland, the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 removed "no fault" endings of tenancies by a landlord except in restricted circumstances.

The reality is that if there's a complete breakdown in relations between landlord and tenant, then a tenancy cannot realistically continue. Of course the landlord is going to find ways to end the tenancy and there's plenty of scope for that. I think you'd struggle to draft legislation that would genuinely prevent that.

The grounds for eviction remain quite lengthy. Not just wanting to sell the house, but wanting to carry out any significant renovation works, the landlord or a family member wanting to live in the house, "anti-social behaviour" by the tenant, failing to be an eligible landlord (whether by registration or an HMO licence lapsing etc).

It's no huge problem, but equally the legislation doesn't actually provide any great protection to tenants.
That isn't the history in England of literally thousands of battles about security of tenure.
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Quady
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
Not every landlord is some rich fat cat. My parent's mum died and she inherited the ex-council house so rents it off as she has no other income due to my abusive father.
Most likely richer than those renting off her though....
Its all relative.
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Quady
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(Original post by ThomH97)
Landlords contribute nothing to society
They provide short term housing stock.

Not everyone wants to be forced to buy a house.
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ThomH97
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(Original post by Good bloke)
There are many millions of people in the country who do not need to work because they own assets that give them an income. Why is it so unreasonable? I'd be surprised if you do not, yourself, aspire to join them.
(Original post by Good bloke)
The people I alluded to are those who have worked all their lives and are now retired. Their assets are placed in investments that will generate an income for them. Some invest in companies who pay dividends; some invest in bonds; some buy property and let it. All perfectly reasonable and honourable.

Those who let property perform an essential service at a price the market will bear. Where would you live if you could not find a property to rent?

Presumably, upon your retirement you will simply amass a few bags of cash and hide it under your bed rather than dirty your hands with unearned income.
It's as if you're unaware that house prices and rent are growing faster than earnings, and this is contributed to in a major way by buy to let. These people profit from making life worse for others (reducing the number of homes available, making those homes more expensive, making it more difficult to save up a deposit as the most obvious), and have had their gamble subsidised and assured by the government bailouts in the form of future tax money. The government ought to redress this injustice. I'm surprised you do not see a problem.

They do not provide an essential service, especially if they are charging more in rent than their mortgage. They are simply a middleman gatekeeper who happened to luck into money early enough to exploit the system.
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ThomH97
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(Original post by Quady)
They provide short term housing stock.

Not everyone wants to be forced to buy a house.
Read the rest of the post you selectively quoted, and tell me then that landlords are are a positive contribution. Not everyone wants to be forced to pay off someone else's mortgage for the rest of their life, all the while with the threat of no-fault evictions hanging over them.
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Quady
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(Original post by ThomH97)
Read the rest of the post you selectively quoted, and tell me then that landlords are are a positive contribution. Not everyone wants to be forced to pay off someone else's mortgage for the rest of their life, all the while with the threat of no-fault evictions hanging over them.
Yes, if they weren't then people wouldn't use their service.

Unless you think without landlords the housing market would be so cheap those on £15k/year and no savings could buy a place?
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TimmonaPortella
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
Disagree strongly. My parent is a landlord and already has to give them 3 months notice if they want the property back (as is their right - it is their house)
Correct.

What there seems to be outrage about in some of the sillier parts of the left is, roughly, this.

(1) Homeowner decides to let his home

(2) Homeowner finds tenant who wants to rent homeowner's home, and the parties agree a term for the rental. During this agreed term, the homeowner is only able to remove the tenant for specific reasons, including non-payment of rent (with the law giving the tenant a lot of leeway even in that regard).

(3) When the term is coming to an end, the parties (should) consider what they want to do. In the present example, both parties are content for the tenant to stay.

(4) In our example, neither goes to the effort of executing a new fixed term tenancy. As such the law deems a rolling tenancy, usually on a monthly basis (because most people pay rent monthly).

(5) In these circumstances, the landlord can give notice to the tenant that the deemed tenancy will end (iirc) at the end of the next rolling cycle.

... Okay? Seems perfectly fair to me. If you wanted a longer term you should have agreed it in the first place. If you wanted another term of guaranteed occupancy, you should have agreed it at the end of your initial tenancy.

The alternative position suggested means that the homeowner is faced with a stark choice of either renting it out for all eternity or not renting it out at all. Obviously, this will cause a lot of people to opt for the latter. For example, a lot of people have properties that they may want access to at some undefined point in the future, but don't need now. It's to everyone's benefit that such people are able to fill their properties in the meanwhile.

It's also just the proper position. As a property owner, you ought to be able to alienate your interest in your property for a limited time. You should be able to provide yourself with certainty as to how/when the asset will be available to you in the future. These proposals make letting a complete gamble: how long your property remains unavailable to you is placed entirely in someone else's hands. I cannot see what is fair or right about that.
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Burton Bridge
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(Original post by ThomH97)
The issue is bigger than the individual relationships between landlord and tenant.

Landlords contribute nothing to society, particularly after the government guaranteed their 'investments' by bailing out the banks. Their net effect is to increase the difficulty of owning your own home (as you say, a tenant can be kicked out on the street by your mother with 3 months' notice, which you somehow think is too long) by hogging properties, inflating prices by buying even more and draining potential savings someone might have for a deposit. Sure, they'll pay someone to fix your boiler or washing machine every now and again, but that's a tiny proportion of what they charge in rent. Having indefinite tenancies is not a good solution as it does not address the underlying issues, but it does at least try to give people a secure place to live.
OK Thomas what is your solution?

I'm a landlord and I think I do provide more than I take from society. So what's you're solution?
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