Landlords plan to reduce portfolio after White Paper

The Renters’ Reform White Paper has attracted a sceptical response from landlords due to its perceived focus on shifting the power balance in favour of tenants.

Some 60% of UK landlords don’t support the abolition of Section 21 evictions, Total Landlord Insurance research shows.

Meanwhile a similar proportion (59%) don’t think the government should make it illegal to ban tenants on benefits or with children, while 57% are against having to allow tenants to rent with a pet.

One in five (17%) landlords plan to reduce their portfolios, seemingly in disgruntlement at the White Paper.

Despite the hostility three in five (60%) landlords are in favour of giving tenants stronger powers to cease arbitrary rent review clauses such as unjustified rent increases.

Some 58% also support plans to double notice periods when rent increases are justifiably implemented.

Eddie Hooker, chief executive of the Hamilton Fraser Group, said: “We’ve waited with baited breath for three years to hear the detail of the government’s proposed rental market reforms and while it’s fair to say that their latest plans are rather tenant focussed, any attempts to improve the sector are extremely welcome and should improve standards for all stakeholders regardless of what side of the tenancy agreement they stand on.

“Despite this, our latest gauge on landlord sentiment shows that the vast majority are in favour of greater tenant protection and a fairer, more level playing field across the rental sector.

“This has always been the case and while there are bad apples in every batch, the view that all landlords are money hungry tyrants who forsake tenant welfare to increase their rental yield simply isn’t the case.

“However, while they are happy to see tenant welfare increase, they are also understandably protective of their investment portfolio and don’t want to be powerless when it comes to removing rogue tenants, or preventing potential damages to their properties.”

Landlords seem to be a big fan of the idea of having a new ombudsman to deal with rental market disputes, with 89% supporting the policy.

Of course, the devil will be in the detail regarding how the new ombudsman operates.

Comments 6

  1. According to the new white paper there are an estimated 2.3 million landlords in England. I wonder how many were consulted to come up with the figures presented ? You would need 2,300 opinions to cover just 0.1% of landlords. The types of landlords (one property or a portfolio) and landlord locations are not given. As regards Section 21 I can’t believe that if landlords are asked “are you in favour of the only 100% sure way of getting your property back if you need to for any reason whatsoever, being banned?” 40% would actually go for it. Talk about Turkeys voting for Christmas! I also think that more than 17% of landlords would think about reducing portfolios if they were more ”professional” and not hampered by sentiment and empathy for their tenants. If all my tenants quit of their own accord today, I would sell up tomorrow.
    The article says “their [the Governments] latest plans are rather tenant focussed” They certainly are. All landlords are going to get out of it are more regulations and cost and loss of control over their own property. All this to drive out the rogues who won’t sign up to any of it anyway and will carry on regardless. Councils already have ample powers to prosecute and ban bad landlords or get them to carry out repairs and tenants are already protected by law against “revenge” evictions and I thought it was already illegal to discriminate against specific groups of people? Councils say they don’t have enough staff to police the sector but I believe that the real reason is that if they did their job they would not be able to house the displaced ex-rogue tenants that would be the result. Why else would they treat tenants who actually obey a lawful eviction notice as making themselves deliberately homeless and refuse to help them unless they defy the notice and wait to be evicted by bailiff’s months down the line?
    Nobody knows how this is going to pan out. The law of unintended consequences is bound to apply. I fear that as houses remain unaffordable and the PRS diminishes and the recession bites the Government will have to bring in “temporary” eviction bans (they have form on this), make it very difficult for landlords to sell up and break their recent worthless commitment on rent controls. The last thing they will do is actually build houses, they have already abandoned the 300,000 homes a year target.

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