Renters reform bill

Hi all,

As I’m sure you have all heard, the Renters Reform Bill was introduced in Parliament this year and is currently in the 2nd reading stage.

For landlords, this bill proves a real threat to our returns on our investments. There are many issues with the Bill that can be raised, but for me, the main ones are the following:

  1. The abolishment of Section 21
  2. Not being able to refuse pets in the property at any stage of a tenancy
  3. The abolishment of a fixed-term tenancy, making them all periodic as standard.

With just these three alone, Landlords lose all power when it comes to who they rent to and how long for. Yes, there are plans to strengthen Section 8, but it’s still not enough. If this Bill is passed as it currently stands, tenants can run a mockery. I’m not painting everyone with the same brush! Of course, I know there are some brilliant tenants out there, but these changes essentially give tenants power over our properties, making it much tougher to make our own decisions for our own properties.

I won’t go into too much detail here. I will put the link below if you want to read the Bill in detail, or simply Google it online to get a better snapshot of a landlord’s position. If like me, you’re not happy with the proposed Bill, you can email your local MP to bring it to the attention of Parliament (see link to find out who your MP is).

Not able to reasonably deny. They are many reasons which are reasonable.

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I have sent this email to my MP:

As you are aware, the Renters Reform Bill was introduced in Parliament this year and is currently in the 2nd reading stage.

As one of your constituents I would like to raise my concerns about this bill.

I have invested in rental residential property in the hope that this will help boost my pension when I retire.

Already, the government appears to have had landlords in its sights with the recent tax law changes related to mortgage interest.

With interest rates going through the roof (which are only partially tax deductible), it is not an easy time to be a landlord. In my case, after tax, I would be lucky break even.

I have always sought to do the right thing by my tenants; I was flexible with rent during Covid, I have promptly addressed any maintenance issues reported, and have kept the rent stable constantly below the market rate. This I have always done WITHOUT government intervention. However, I feel that with the proposed changes in the bill I am being tarnished with the same brush as the very few irresponsible landlords intended by this. The truth is, it makes economic sense for landlords to maintain a good relationship with tenants as it minimises tenant turnover with its associated costs (periods of unoccupancy, agent fees, council tax, etc).

This bill, which seems to be a feat in bureaucracy and red tape, will significantly strip me of the ability to maintain control over my property and places power disproportionately at the hands of tenants. While I have a very good relationship with my tenants currently, the potential for abuse is an obvious risk. Quite apart from the potentially crippling legal costs for any future long-drawn out evictions or rent reviews, the cost of implementing this increased bureaucracy will fall on the landlords, further plunging them into loss-making positions. As a private person, I am also very concerned by the idea of a landlord register, where any individual would be able to mine more information on me, whether or not they are seeking to become my tenant.

I am now seriously considering selling my properties, despite the currently unfavourable property market. I am sure I am not alone in this.

In conclusion, I would like to ask, why is the government declaring war on landlords, first with tax reform and now this? Especially at a time when they are already coming under fire due to spiralling interest rates.

This does not seem to be in the interests of either landlords or tenants themselves, who are likely to face reduced availability and even higher rents.

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I lived long enough to realize that government’s decisions are not motivated by the interests of constituents. They make poitical, strategic decisions that are beneficial for them. This particular reform will secure more votes, especially from young people who struggle to get on the property ladder. That’s a lot of votes.
As for the consequences a few years down the road, that can be dealt with as and when. Populistic decisions are made all the time because they help to win elections.

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Clearly. That’s the only motivation. I share your cynical view.

I think MPs need to be reminded though that we are voters. I think that it’s normally older people that tend to vote and landlords are usually in that age group.

Trouble is if young people vote, no experience in life. I have seen all sorts of parties come and go in govement. FEW look after us. stupid laws. eg Sell off council houses. Do away with hard shoulder,. Common sense is not in their diary, lets stay in power is their aim . Same the world over . However TWO good things I got a 10k grant to keep my insulation business going during covid and so did some of my commercial renters (taxable of course) and small businesses get “small business rate relief”

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Indeed. I’m, for example, allergic to fur and fluff. That will affect regular inspections of property. Not sure if I’ll be made to provide medical proof, LOL.

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