To be a bit shocked at the landlord who is evicting 200 families because they are on housing benefit

(383 Posts)
wetaugust Mon 06-Jan-14 19:25:20

Heard this and 'Wow' - I was shocked.

He's being interviewed on C4 News.

He'd rather rent them to Eatern Europeans who are working.

He said that if house prices go up then rents should go up.

He said he's not the only landlord doing this.

Wow!

So some local authority will have to find new housing for all these people.

Where will this end?

I am stunned. shock

Rissolesfortea Mon 06-Jan-14 20:06:56

Many of the EE's who he will now be renting to will be single men or men who have left their families behind, therefore there will be 3/4 or more working people renting these houses instead of maybe a family or single mums with only one wage coming in.

I know the LL is not a charity but to make so many people homeless is IMO disgusting.

StrainingWaistband Mon 06-Jan-14 20:07:41

Two sides to this. One one hand, it's a fucking PITA when people don't pay their rent meaning that I'm not only working my job to keep a roof over my head but theirs as well - it's especially annoying when they are on HB and therefore receiving council money specifically for the purpose of paying their rent. I'm happy to rent to people on HB, however almost without fail every time there's been an arrears problem, that tenant has been on HB.

However, I disagree with taking a blanket approach - it's very general to take the attitude that someone on HB has been in arrears, therefore every HB tenant must be the same. People should be treated as individuals; so if you are in arrears you are at risk of eviction. However if you're paying your rent in full and on time every month then it shouldn't make a difference whether you're paying your rent from HB or other income. Being on HB doesn't automatically mean that you are a higher risk tenant.

PresidentServalan Mon 06-Jan-14 20:07:48

Saucy If private landlords were made illegal, there would be a hell of a lot more people out on the streets. Many people can't afford agencies and don't qualify for council/social housing.

ChoudeBruxelles Mon 06-Jan-14 20:09:37

If the immigrants can find jobs that pay enough to pay the landlord why can the people who are already living there do the same?

LittleDoris Mon 06-Jan-14 20:10:19

So surely the Govt needs to rethink this whole right of people from other EU countries to reside and work in the UK if they then totally displace the habitual UK population in terms of jobs and housing?

People have been saying this for years, but they are accused of being racist and/or bigoted and the discussion gets shut down.

Was this LL the same one that was in a programme that looked at the unnterly dire conditions he was expecting his tenants to live in? Mouldy walls, plumbing broken which left families with no toilet for months on end. Houses almost derelict but tenants had no choice because he was keeping their deposits. That LLs attitude was that it was just tough.

LittleDoris Mon 06-Jan-14 20:14:00

If the immigrants can find jobs that pay enough to pay the landlord why can the people who are already living there do the same?

Because the immigrants are very often living 5 people to a bedroom. In a 3 bed house, I would say its quite easy to make the rent between 15 paying adults. They are coming over for short periods, they don't need a bedroom each and a dining table to eat at. They go to work, sleep, go to work. Repeat. When they have made their money they go home.

Not all immigrants do this obviously, but it is very common.

SaucyJack Mon 06-Jan-14 20:14:46

Saucy If private landlords were made illegal, there would be a hell of a lot more people out on the streets. Many people can't afford agencies and don't qualify for council/social housing.

No dear. Working people would just buy their own bloody houses and leave the social housing to those who couldn't afford any different if private LL's didn't exist and therefore had not artificially inflated the housing markets.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 06-Jan-14 20:16:18

I would imagine most landlords would rather rent to a worker paying their own rent to one on benefits. Insurance companies and mortgage lenders often forbid tennants on benefits due to stats showing their risk.

He is a business like any other, if people are not paying then they know the risks. There are obviously jobs in the area if he can very easily replace with working tennants. If those affected want to stay, then they need to find a way to pay the arrears and meet the rent in future.

rallytog1 Mon 06-Jan-14 20:16:57

Yes, he's running a business. However, some of his hb tenants are in arrears, yet he's evicting all his hb tenants.

This man has been perfectly happy to get rich off government handouts (a lot of his rental income having been hb and all - whatever your views on the rights and wrongs of hb, the main beneficiaries are landlords), but the minute it didn't give him quite as much as he wants, he's making families homeless and turning his properties into over-crowded slums.

The only people more despicable than him are the politicians who have encouraged this kind of morally reprehensible behavior.

I worked for social LLs for ages and direct payments to LL were the only way you had to protect yourself from massive arrears. I wouldn't rent to someone on HB now if I were a big LL, it's far too risky.

There has always been immigration (and emigration, don't forget that) and people to exploit divide and conquer. Don't let anyone make this about Poles or Romanians 'taking' housing. This is about lack of housing, lack of jobs and lack of the will to look after the poorest.

Bettercallsaul1 Mon 06-Jan-14 20:17:10

This is happening because tenants on benefits, who used to be a safe option for private landlords as their rent was guaranteed, are now not being provided with enough housing benefit to cover their rent. Another, iniquitous Tory "reform" which could quite easily be reversed if the government wished. (not, of course, that they ever will)

It is important not to tolerate the widespread private ownership of vast amounts of housing stock in the cause of individual greed. As has already been pointed out, landlords such as these are buying up new housing as it appears, to the exclusion of young people buying their own homes. This may be "business" - for vast sections of the population to be excluded from house ownership so that private landlords can enrich themselves through rents - but the government is not helpless to stop it. All it would take is an enforced sharp rise in the mortgage rate for buy-to-let properties, as opposed to properties to buy, to drastically reduce the huge profits that private landlords are currently making from their property portfolios. Take away the easy profit and there would be no incentive to make money through the exploitation of our limited housing stock. Of course, under this government which encourages greed, easy profits and "I'm all right, Jack", this will never happen.

ssd Mon 06-Jan-14 20:27:46

good post bettercallsaul1

wetaugust Mon 06-Jan-14 20:28:42

The other thing that surprised me was this feeling that the rent had to rise because the house had increased in vlaue.

Why is that so expected? Some of thebhouses would have been bought for realtively cheaper amounts amany years ago. Just because the house has gone up in vlaue why does the rent have to increase.

There appears to be no correlation between the rent and the ability to pay i.e. if would expect that if wages go up then rents should go up but struggle with this idea that rents go up just because there is house price inflation - although that I know is exactly what is happening.

If all the landlords are doing this then it's a crazy escalating spiral that can only have one outcome - a crash.

Sadoldbag Mon 06-Jan-14 20:32:20

Not surprised since labour introduced payments direct to tenants it's been a nightmare.

I volunteer in a soup kitchen and a number of my clients who are drug users simply don't pay there rent and buy drugs with the money

WooWooOwl Mon 06-Jan-14 20:39:21

Rents rise not only because house prices rise in value, but also because the price of everything has risen. Property doesn't maintain itself and it costs more to maintain a building than it used to.

I completely disagree with the view that landlords make their money out of the handout that is housing benefit. They make their money out of providing a service to a tenant. Where the tenant gets their money is irrelevant to the landlord, (although it might be to the mortgage company if they have one) they just want to be paid on time and not have their property damaged.

Housing benefit is not propping up landlords. It is propping up people that for whatever reason cannot afford to adequately house themselves. The only people that benefit from housing benefit are those who claim it.

marzipanned Mon 06-Jan-14 20:50:24

SaucyJack What about working people who don't want to buy a house? There needs to be a way in which people who earn too much money for social housing can find a place to live without being forced to commit to a purchase.

Caitlin17 Mon 06-Jan-14 20:50:32

I'm not in his league. I have 2 properties one of which is not suitable for HB tenants , the area it is in has rent levels HB wouldn't meet. The other is. I couldn't let either to HB tenants as my insurers stipulate students or professional tenants only.

wetaugust Mon 06-Jan-14 20:50:58

The only people that benefit from housing benefit are those who claim it.

I have to disagree with you there Woo. There is no way that a lot of working people can afford the level of rents that are set by private landlords without an HB top-up. And because the landlords know what the LA will pay for 2 or 3 bedroom house, they set the rents accordingly.

I am constantly amzed when I watch HUTH to see a house that was bought as a wreck for £55K, done up with £15K's work of improvement and then rented out at £400 pcm. That's over 6% yield when the BOE interest rate is 0.5%.

That's just cynical and wouldn't be possible without HB. As we keep hearing on the benefits threads on here - many working people need HB to top up their rents. If HB wasn't available rents would have to fall - there just are not enough EEs to occupy every private letting in the UK.

Joysmum Mon 06-Jan-14 20:51:31

I'm 4 years into ownership of a couple of buy to let properties and I still haven't broken even on them yet. My profits will come when I sell them for my retirement. In the meantime, I pay the bills on them and invest in them to keep them in tip top condition. I could have just done the basics but that wouldn't have attracted long term remnants as I wanted. I look after my tenants by being the LL I'd want if I were still renting. The last time I had a change if tenant was 3 years ago and I've never put the rent up. I could if I wanted, but not because I can dictate what price I get, because rents in my town have increased. If they hadn't and I tried to advertise for more then my properties would be empty.

I'm very lucky to have properties, so I'm told by my friends, but I do because we've remained in our home for 17 years despite being able to have afforded to trade up to a dearer home. It's our choice to remain in a poor area in a smaller house and invest what we could have spent on trading up.

Whilst I am in it for the money, unlike a company, I'm not necessarily looking for monthly returns, just a nice best egg lump sum in years to come. My tenants all know me personally and have been encouraged to see their house as their home, not necessarily something they could do in company owned property. In their cases, they benefit from being in homes owned by a small time LL with scruples.

If any of my current tenants fell on hard times, I'd look into refinancing to be able to keep them rather than stick with my current arranger. Hopefully I'd never need to, but I don't know how easy or affordable this would be should the need arise.

Peekingduck Mon 06-Jan-14 20:56:42

I think it's wrong that he is evicting everyone on HB, but if someone is in arrears I have every sympathy. Interesting that a representative from a housing charity was broadcast agreeing with the points he raised, or are some overlooking that?
I think that the government needs to act to prevent the valuable source of housing that is provided by private landlords. They're not all greedy Rackman's, as we all know.
Here's what's wrong with the current HB system - in most areas the default is to pay it to the tenant, who is then supposed to pay the landlord. There are tenants out there who play this system, pocketing maybe 8 - 12 weeks of the benefit (depending on the area they live in), never paying any top-up they should, then handing in the keys and moving on. I used to do accounts for a lovely lady who had invested in 3 BTL properties. She didn't have a pension, the properties were it. She was shafted by a string of HB tenants pulling this trick, and private and HB tenants who damaged the properties, and it broke her. There were even two couples who moved in with jobs, and within a few weeks were suddenly applying for HB. She waited with no rent for it to be approved, then they pocketed weeks worth of money as described above. She lost thousands over a period of two years. She committed suicide. I'm just saying, don't lump all landlords in one box.
HB is a benefit that is to pay rent, therefore it should be paid direct to the landlords. Simple, and it would be a great start to encouraging landlords to rent to people on this benefit.

PasswordProtected Mon 06-Jan-14 20:58:47

No, why? He is in business, if he has a good business ground for his decision, up to him.
You would do the same in his position. As a good businesswoman. Do you want to lose money on an investment?

Peekingduck Mon 06-Jan-14 21:00:10

p.s. I don't think that there are any buy to lent mortgages available at 0.5% Joysmum, or am I misunderstanding you? I think at the moment you'd maybe get about 3% with 60% loan to value.

Caitlin17 Mon 06-Jan-14 21:04:11

I expect I won't be believed on this but there are actually strict rules on the tolerable standard of houses, over - crowding, multiple occupancy houses and deposit schemes. Local authorities have wide powers to investigate, enforce and bring breaches to court.

So far as it not being fair one person should own so many houses in many rural areas the housing stock is likely to be owned by whoever owns the local equivalent of "Downton Abbey" and is effectively operating as a social landlord but being taxed as a private landlord. That's one of the side effects of the best local authority and HA houses being sold under Mrs T's right to buy legislation.

Darkesteyes Mon 06-Jan-14 21:04:29

Interesting that a representative from a housing charity was broadcast agreeing with the points he raised,

This is why some of these "charities" need investigating.

One of the loveliest people I know struggled for a long time to find somewhere that would rent to her as she was on housing benefit. It didn't help that when she finally found somewhere they dragged their feet paying the funds to her.

There are just as many decent people out there on HB who need somewhere to live as there are not, but they all get tarred with the same brush and its harsh.

I do agree with having HB paid direct to the LL if it will help get people a home, but while HB cuts and the bedroom tax mean that more and more people can't afford their rents, I just don't know what the answer is.

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