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.


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

Where will this end?

I am stunned. shock

PinkandGreenStripes Mon 06-Jan-14 19:32:39

I understand that the LL stated that the some of his tenants on benefits were in arrears.

I can see both points of view. If I'm running a business, I don't want people owing money. On the other hand, it's not the fault of the tenants if their benefits have been cut (bedroom tax).

I'm not sure how this will be resolved. The local councils do not have an endless supply of low cost housing. Where are people on benefits supposed to live?

specialsubject Mon 06-Jan-14 19:33:30

according to the report I saw, he says that he has large numbers of his HB tenants in arrears and so can no longer afford this. He is running a business.

he can charge what rent he likes - but if it is too high, people won't rent there.

the reasons why landlords can't always rent to HB tenants have been repeated many times here. Some of these reasons could be changed by intelligent government.

jacks365 Mon 06-Jan-14 19:35:46

The majority of ll will not rent to tenants on housing benefit at all this is nothing new.

RandyRudolf Mon 06-Jan-14 19:36:00

the reasons why landlords can't always rent to HB tenants have been repeated many times here. Some of these reasons could be changed by intelligent government


holidaysarenice Mon 06-Jan-14 19:36:25

I completely understand his predicament, like him I want the tenant who will pay their rent.

Other than that I don't give to flying cares where they come from. As long as they pay the rent and don't damage the place.

Tenants want a business like landlord. He is acting like a business and I'm sure tenants would complain if he was acting like 'my mate jimmy' as a landlord!

wetaugust Mon 06-Jan-14 19:36:27

Where are people on benefits supposed to live?

I have no idea.

I just found the whole thing pretty shocking and scary.

Immigration is changing things and making life tougher for people who cannot find work that pays enough, in the UK.

It is also impacting on services.

I have had numerous friends who used to rely on cleaning jobs, mainly chalet cleaning in Butlins in Southport/Blackpool. A coach used to pick everyone up. Those than ran the agency had buy to let houses, evicted all HB tenants, priced working tenants out of them and filled them with migrants. Then they paid them less than min wage, because of the loop hole.

Large employers were/are paid a premium for employing migrants.

Houses and jobs were lost, to migrants.

The LL's are scum, worse than benefit frauders.

So are the exploitative employers.

It isn't racist to want the ability of migrant workers to enter the UK to be questioned.

"They do the jobs we won't do" may apply in London, but doesn't up North, we don't have a housing crisis, but jobs are few and far between.

tallulah Mon 06-Jan-14 19:37:33

I used to live where this LL operates and this doesn't surprise me at all. What really makes me angry is that he buys up all the lower priced new properties as they are built (off plan) before ordinary people can buy them so he really has the monopoly on housing in the area.

Panorama did a feature on him a few years ago for keeping tenants deposits.

RightInTheKisser Mon 06-Jan-14 19:37:36

He's a business not a charity. Quite frankly it's not his problem.

IIRC the council used to pay the private landlords directly but now pay the benefits to the tenant who pays the landlord hence the arrears.

wetaugust Mon 06-Jan-14 19:41:34

I agree he's running a business. I don't ahve an issue with that as it's obviously a business-driven decision, but I'm more interested in the social effect this is going to have.

I'd always thought that HB tenants would be protected by the fact that there were not hordes of potential renters waiting to take their places over. It appears I was wrong and it is in fact very easy for a landlord to find an latentaive tenant to the HB tenant.

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?

I'm worried because situations like this are usually the precursor for bad things happening.

ParenthoodJourney Mon 06-Jan-14 19:43:20

It's a shame that the minority ruin it for the majority. Housing benefits should be seen as guaranteed income as there shouldn't be an excuse for a HB tenant to not pay their rent. Yet some people including my sister, unfortunately believe that there are more Important things than rent like cigarettes, nights out, etc hmm and then end up in arrears and giving HB tenants a bad name.

When i was younger and on my own I used to receive HB and my rent was always paid that money the government paid into my account was not mine, it was my landlords. I can fully understand why a landlord would want to evict tenants who weren't paying their rent when they are being given the money to do exactly that

Plateofcrumbs Mon 06-Jan-14 19:45:24

I don't really blame the landlords for this - they are running a business not a charity.

I blame government cuts to Housing Benefit so it is no longer keeping pace with rising rents, an inefficient system that means that people whose circumstances change (get a job or lose one for instance) can find themselves without HB and in arrears through no fault of their own. A long-term failure to build enough homes. Not enough jobs and those that are being poorly paid so people have no option but to get support from Housing Benefit.

Joysmum Mon 06-Jan-14 19:45:32

My mortgages precludes me from renting to those on HB.

My first but to let years ago was rented to a lovely family who ended up on housing benefit (weren't when the tenancy began) and there was a difference between the HB and rent that the tenant was supposed to pay, in those days the HB was paid directly to LL's. They never did and I never chased it as they were a nice family fallen on hard times and saw the house as their home. I was a soft touch and the margins in the house meant I could afford to take the loss of income.

Things have changed dramatically now. I can't afford to take a hit as I know don't work and have a family of my own, it's my income, rules have changed too. Having said that, I choose my tenants based on my feeling for who they are and have accepted a bankrupt couple who were upfront about their plight and just needed a break. My mortgage doesn't preclude against bankrupts and my other properties were ticking along so I took a change and have never regretted it as they are fab.

If things were as there were back in those days then I'd prefer HB as I'd know the rent was coming from the council and that has advantages.

JumpingJackSprat Mon 06-Jan-14 19:48:23

I think a large proportion of the problem is people like him buying up all the cheap housing so it makes it harder for low-middle earners to buy their own property. I don't have a problem with landlords I have a problem with them owning 20-30 or more properties. In this guy's case I'm assuming he owns hundreds. That's just wrong imo.

soldasseen Mon 06-Jan-14 19:48:29

I do not allow tenants that are on benefits.

PresidentServalan Mon 06-Jan-14 19:48:29

My landlord rents to HB tenants but he finds it a pita because he has to chase the tenants for it all the time, plus they aren't too quick about paying the Topup. He has had several sets of tenants doing a runner owing lots of money (all from the same property, weirdly!).

woodlandwanderwoman Mon 06-Jan-14 19:49:02

It raises an interesting point, the outcome actually smacks of govt objectives to get more people off benefits and back into work... I just don't think even Dave and Nick could have planned this one!

Ultimately the LL has a business to run, it sounds like he has chosen tenants who are more reliable in paying their rent but potentially more transient over unreliable tenants who are there for the long term. This is no easy decision for any landlord to make, you have to choose what's right for your business. He has no moral duty not to make the right decision for himself.

TheGreatHunt Mon 06-Jan-14 19:51:07

This illustrates the need for social housing. Landlords are in it for the money. However housing is a basic necessity. Those in arrears are most likely so because they're struggling, not, as the DM would have you believe, buying fags and booze.

SaucyJack Mon 06-Jan-14 19:52:04

I'm not shocked in the slightest. Just very depressed that owning 1000 rental properties is even legal- let alone evicting 200 odd "single mothers"

He's a cunt. The only thing that could possibly improve him or his policies would be a noose around his neck.

wetaugust Mon 06-Jan-14 19:57:53

Woodland - I'm not suggesting he has any moral duty. It is interesting that most landlords with this amount of housing stock would normally be actual housing associations, that would have to operate under a completely different set of rules.

As I said upthread, it's the social effect that interests me. I cannot see the habitually UK resident putting up with losing their home and being housed in a B&B while Eastern Europeans now occupy what they once had. It's a recipe for social discontent on a large scale and that is a very scary thought.

mollypup Mon 06-Jan-14 19:58:44

Saucyjack, seriously?! What a disgusting statement! At the end of the day he is a business owner not a charity. Who in the right mind would prefer renting to DSS tenants if it meant arrears and unnecessary problems.

lljkk Mon 06-Jan-14 20:00:53

I heard the LL interviewed on radio; there was a housing charity spokesperson who agreed with his points, about how the govt have created this mess. I wouldn't vilify the LL, he's not running a charity.

SaucyJack Mon 06-Jan-14 20:04:12

Who gives a shit how he'd prefer to rake in his hundreds of thousands of pounds a month off of the backs of other people's misfortune and/or hard word? All for doing fuck-all? Boo fucking hoo if can't put the prices up every year for absolutely no reason other than sheer greed

If I had my way, private landlording would not be a legal business. There is no benefit to society in it whatsoever. It's lower than the lowest of the very lowest ways to make money.

I do apologize unreservedly for calling him a cunt tho. It's an insult to vaginas. He's just scum.

stilldazed Mon 06-Jan-14 20:05:27

I think the big issue for many landlords is that the government (i think it was labour but not sure) decided to pay the rent directly to tenants where as before it went to landlords.

when it went to landlords I had no problem with housing benefit tenants like holidaysarenice's business all the same to me. but since this change every time I have had a hb tenant they don't pay the rent and it's very costly. If the government went back to paying hb directly to landlords I'd be happy to have hb tenants.

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.

ziaren Mon 06-Jan-14 21:18:26

I don't mind that he is evicting people/men/women/families/single parents/whatever that cannot afford their rent (I would do the same and have been evicted for not paying rent myself).

What I struggle to understand is how one man can own ONE THOUSAND + PROPERTIES! There is something VERY wrong there.

Lamu Mon 06-Jan-14 21:18:31

saucyjack I really doubt LL are totally to blame for high house prices. It's a basic supply and demand issue. And maybe if foreign investors weren't buying tens of flats at a time from new developments the average joe would have a chance. Not that they'd be able to save a deposit with the high rents in London.

I agree with the LL and also understand the plight of the tenant. It's really unfortunate that all tenants are tarred with the same brush but given that profit margins are so small I'd always go for someone who was employed than not. Not worth the risk IMHO. I have two properties that only just pay for themselves, if my tenants didnt pay their rent then we'd be pretty screwed very quickly.

wetaugust Mon 06-Jan-14 21:23:59

Can you please explain this term quite a few of you have used i.e. that the properties 'only just pay for themselves'.

To me that presumes a breakeven situation.

I can't undertsand that. For instance if a house is renting for £400 pcm that's £4800. The interest on the mortgage can be offset against the profit and you have the wear and tear allowance.

So surely quite a chunk of that £4800 is still going back to the owner who uses it to pay a mortgage on the house thus enriching themselves.

That's not 'break even' as I understand it.

LittleDoris Mon 06-Jan-14 21:27:31

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?*

When you are in the business of providing something as fundamental as shelter, I don't think its appropriate for you to just see the money. These are peoples lives he is messing with. Being a LL carries a social responsibility whether we like it or not. And if one doesn't like it, and can't act in a well balanced manner, then one should sell up and find some other way of making a mint.

House prices have fallen recently. If a LL's rent is not more than the mortgage and repairs, and the house is worth less, they are not making money.

yellowknife Mon 06-Jan-14 21:34:27

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

notundermyfoof Mon 06-Jan-14 21:40:26

I agree 100% with Saucyjack

DizzyZebra Mon 06-Jan-14 21:43:39

Is it solely because theyre on benefits though, or is it because theyre in arrears? Maybe he has spoken to the tennants and theyve said they cant pay it? If they need a council house they stand more chance of getting one if he evicts them than if they leave willingly.

DizzyZebra Mon 06-Jan-14 21:46:54

Either way though i feel sorry for the god landlords and hb tennants. A few give them a bad name.

My landlord and agent are amazing. The young girl at the agency put up with my pregnant hirmonal crying and ranting and really bent over backwards to get us in as we were in the shit due to a benefits cock up.

DizzyZebra Mon 06-Jan-14 21:50:32

Oh and the only people that benefit from hb is claimants" thing is rubbish. My old landlord rents his house for £320 pcm if you work. If you claim hb he tells them its £400 pcmHe doesnt charge a bond though etc. But he is benefitting from that. And plenty do the same.

brettgirl2 Mon 06-Jan-14 21:53:08

I also agree with saucyjack. Yes we need a small number of rental properties for young people who are not ready to settle/ people to move but in general landlords are greedy and feeding off the misery of others. Few people choose rentals with one month notice for long term living.

brettgirl2 Mon 06-Jan-14 21:54:17

Of course its the landlords who benefit dizzy, it imposes a minimum rent angry

creamteas Mon 06-Jan-14 21:56:57

The real problem here is the chronic lack of social housing.

We need to build large numbers of social houses again (which councils can't currently do).

These need to be rented at affordable prices (which might vary across the country).

We also need to bring back secure long-term tenancies (with provision for bad tenants of course), rather than this ridiculous 6 month/year renewal system (which involves gross profiteering though 'admin' fees).

specialsubject Mon 06-Jan-14 22:01:23

in general landlords are greedy and feeding off the misery of others

there's nothing like reasoned argument, without generalisations and backed by evidence. And this is nothing like it.

FFS. Making money from property is not a crime. EVERY human need makes money for someone - food, clothing, shelter, medicine, education.

yes, I'm a landlord. Because that way I get a whopping 4% on my money. IF all goes well.

wetaugust Mon 06-Jan-14 22:04:59

It's totally changing society.

When the young have nothing to aspire to they may as well just go out and get drunk (or, if you believe that report last week, they feel suicidal).

You can hate Mrs T as much as you like but one of her tenets was widespread home-ownership. What;s forgotten is that, in addition to selling the council houses to their occupiers, she introduced help for first time buyers.

Trouble is that help for first time buyers now would only fuel the situation of house price increases.

Peekingduck Mon 06-Jan-14 22:08:02

"We also need to bring back secure long-term tenancies (with provision for bad tenants of course), rather than this ridiculous 6 month/year renewal system (which involves gross profiteering though 'admin' fees)."
I know a few landlords and they tend to let the tenancies run one once the first Assured Shorthold Tenancy ends (as long as the tenants are good),

Darkesteyes Mon 06-Jan-14 22:08:57

wet august the next stage could well be some of them feeling homicidal

marzipanned Mon 06-Jan-14 22:09:55

brettgirl It's not just the young who are not ready to settle for whom we need private landlords. DH and I actively choose to rent because, in the area in which we live, it makes more economic sense than buying.

So, yes, our landlord is really feeding off our misery hmm

jellybeans Mon 06-Jan-14 22:10:01

YANBU housing should be primarily somewhere to live with enough for all and not a mass business. Disgusting that all the cheaper housing is bought up and rented out by people with hordes already. So selfish but sadly reflects our me me me competitive society.

marzipanned Mon 06-Jan-14 22:10:59

Peeking yes, agencies are useful to find tenants but not for much thereafter!

Wallison Mon 06-Jan-14 22:11:24

I would bet any money you like (admittedly I don't have a lot) that what this shyster is doing is turning family homes into HMOs because there is more money in that. So he will rent to four single Europeans because they take up one room each, rather than to a family of say five comprised of two adults and three kids where it would only be classed as a two-bedroomed place despite there being four rooms. If he's anything like the landlords round this way, it would mean even more than four people to collect rent from, if they sleep in shifts and there is someone there in the day and a different person there in the night.

brettgirl2 Mon 06-Jan-14 22:11:31

Marzipanned you are the minority.

Wallison Mon 06-Jan-14 22:12:43

So nothing to do with UK people being workshy and not paying their way and everything to do with milking every penny he can from a transient population who will put up with shit living standards in the short term because the money they can make will buy them a home back in their own country after a couple of years of slumming it here.

SaucyJack Mon 06-Jan-14 22:14:06

Is it solely because theyre on benefits though, or is it because theyre in arrears?

It's because he wants to be able to put his rents up every year in line with the rise in house prices (just through sheer greed) and due to to the recent benefit caps/LHA tenants who rely on housing benefit can no longer get their full rent paid, leading them to fall into rent arrears- through no fault of their own.

There has been absolutely no suggestion from anyone- LEAST of all him (if you read the interview in The Guardian) that the tenants are in arrears because they are spending their housing ben. on drink or drugs.

So, instead of doing what anybody with a micro ounce of decency- or even business sense- would do, and just keep his rents in line with what the local council deems a "fair" rent, he has instead elected to through 200 "single mothers" (as he calls them) and their children onto the street, and overcrowd his properties instead with the poor bloody Poles.

It's utterly, completely and absolutely indefensible and anyone who thinks it's OK because it's only "business" needs to take a look at themselves in the mirror.

brettgirl2 Mon 06-Jan-14 22:14:33

Well as he says in mitigation 'rents have headed north' hmm

SaucyJack Mon 06-Jan-14 22:15:03

throw, not through

dozeydoris Mon 06-Jan-14 22:18:44

How can migrants find work which pays enough to pay the rent but locals can't??????????

What the LL wants is the gov to pay more benefits so he can charge higher rents.

He just says he is letting the properties to migrants to cause anger and anti-gov sentiment in the hope they are forced to pay more benefits to increase his income.

ethelb Mon 06-Jan-14 22:19:15

It was an awful interview. I don't understand why he wasn't questioned on his assertion that raising rents in line with house prices was 'common sense'.

Umm, why? House prices were in part pushed up due to banks lending more and more money, where as rent payments are ultimatly very much limited by income/hb levels. Why can't he see the difference?

yellowknife Mon 06-Jan-14 22:21:49

food, clothing, shelter, medicine, education.

Making money from providing these things is fine - however a private landlord does not 'provide' shelter, they hoard shelter and then allow somebody to use it in exchange for profit. People who produce food, shelter, medicines and provide education do not hoard a limited supply to extract a profit, they actually do something useful in creating products that wouldn't otherwise exist. Private landlords, unless they actually built a house that would not otherwise exist, are parasites on those who work and do something useful for society.

NearTheWindmill Mon 06-Jan-14 22:30:39

What absolute claptrap yellowknife. Often private landlords pay taxes ( like everyone else on theor prpofits) and those taxes can fund benefits and social housing. I don't let to claimants because the cash flow, disappearances and defaults would be too high, I would make a loss and there would be no taxes. Reality check required.

Squidwardtenticles Mon 06-Jan-14 22:33:33

The government needs to sort out the private rental market. it's an absolute disgrace. A home is to nest, not to invest!

PresidentServalan Mon 06-Jan-14 22:33:52

Actually Saucy as a single person I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of ever buying my own home. So my landlord rents my home to me for a reasonable rent, as I said before I couldn't afford an agency and don't qualify for social or council housing.

itwillgetbettersoon Mon 06-Jan-14 22:35:08

I don't think the British are work shy. However a lot of low paid jobs are so poorly paid, lack contracts and lack any kind of security. There is no way someone on minimum wage can look after a family etc. The east Europeans are paid less again no contacts etc but often it is short term as they return home.

My direct debits alone come to £1k a month for mortgage, energy, water, council tax and insurance in the south east. There is something very wrong in the UK where one needs to take home £1k just to live without food and petrol to even get to work. Christ knows what I would do if I lost my job - it wouldn't take long to lose my house but working on minimum wage will not help in the slightest so I would probably become work shy too!

wetaugust Mon 06-Jan-14 22:42:48


I think you'll find that pharma companies would fail your test. They sell medicine at quite a cost to us.

I'm constantly amazed at just how widespread private landlordship actually is.

SaucyJack Mon 06-Jan-14 22:44:17

Actually Saucy as a single person I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of ever buying my own home. So my landlord rents my home to me for a reasonable rent, as I said before I couldn't afford an agency and don't qualify for social or council housing.

But if your landlord did not own your home because he wasn't allowed to own multiple properties for profit, then it would be available to buy on the open market and would have to be sold at a price someone who wanted to live in it could afford to pay. So you (and everybody else in work) would be able to buy your own home. Houses would not cease to exist if private landlords were banned. They would just be sold to owner-occupiers for sensible prices instead.

marzipanned Mon 06-Jan-14 22:45:56

brettgirl Perhaps, though many of my friends have made the same decision (both where I live and in other parts of the country). The desire to to own your home is often emotionally rather than financially motivated.

Danann Mon 06-Jan-14 22:47:30

I am an ex-tenant on of his, he kicked out 70 families back in June for the same reason and there are on-going legal cases. He is well known for it round here, he evicts people, keeps as much deposit as he can then uses it to do up the houses and up the rent, if you google his name this isn't the first story like this published about him.

In our case (which is all sorted now) he tried to take our deposit for something that was already broken when we moved in, luckily for us we had written proof that he said he was going to fix it and never bothered and FIL threatened him with legal action and he apologised and backed down but not before he had made false claims to the council about us being in arrears when we weren't, we were homeless for 3 months because of his lies, I know other tenants are more vulnerable than I am and don't have the same support so are far worse off.

It is also worth noting that he owns the majority of private rent houses which take hb in Maidstone and that there are still people waiting to be housed from his last set of evictions.

PresidentServalan Mon 06-Jan-14 22:53:51

No - if landlords didn't buy the properties, other people would if they could afford them. Or do you think that house prices would magically come down so that everyone could afford them? I couldn't have afforded a mortgage when I left home and no mortgage company would give me one now.

And berating landlords for making profit - honestly? My landlord actually reduced my rent a few years ago because he had a new mortgage deal which was costing less.

howrudeforme Mon 06-Jan-14 22:56:42

If he really wants to rent to 'eastern europeans' who work then fine but then I'd also say that I live in an area where this is happening and it means they are renting to people who are 10 to a flat. The consequences for those living in and around people squashed in flats ain't great.

But business is business.

What about reluctant landlords who enter the profession only because they need to move and can't sell their property? Are they soulless, scum sucking maggots too? (I have a sense that some of this type may be worse than "professional" landlords since they are not doing it through choice).

Amazed/aghast that any one individual could own so many properties. How does he have the means or motivation? [shocked]

I live in an area where this is happening and it means they are renting to people who are 10 to a flat.

The law should definitely be tightened/enforced around that.

SaucyJack Mon 06-Jan-14 23:05:27

Or do you think that house prices would magically come down so that everyone could afford them?

Yes of course they would. Houses are only worth what people are willing and/or able to pay for them. Basic supply and demand.

Where I live, a bog standard 3-bed sells for roughly 275,000-300,000. It's an average family home, but the average family cannot afford anything like that.

wetaugust Mon 06-Jan-14 23:08:39

.. because they need to move and can't sell their property

There's no such thing as a property that cannot be sold - at the right price.

There's no such thing as a property that cannot be sold - at the right price.

And if the right price plunges the sellers into horrendous negative equity? That's preferable to renting it?

Plateofcrumbs Tue 07-Jan-14 00:01:20

The reason why charities "agree" isn't because they think tenants on HB deserve to get kicked out - it's because they agree thr government has created a mess by cutting HB.

The reason the landlord has suddenly decided to evict isn't that he's had a snap relisation that all tenants on benefits are feckless layabouts who'll spend the rent money on fags and booze. It's because he knows the they're increasingly not going to get enough HB to keep up with the rents he wants to charge.

catinboots Tue 07-Jan-14 00:07:31

It's not a bedroom 'tax' FFS

catinboots Tue 07-Jan-14 00:09:28

It's a start of an attempt at solving our housing crisis.

If you want a home for life with more bedrooms than you need, then buy one.

TheBuggerlugs Tue 07-Jan-14 00:12:58

He's going to end up paying an awful lot in Court costs if all 1000 tenants approach the local LA for housing advice or a homelessness assessment. The tenants wiklb3 advised that they have a legal right to remain in the property until the execution of a bailiffs warrant.

Cerisier Tue 07-Jan-14 00:25:09

Interesting debate. My thoughts are that landlords will be losing money if they are getting less in income minus costs than their money could have earned through other investments.

If you can make 10% per year through stocks/shares/bonds then a 50,000 house must bring in more than 5000 per year profit else why bother with all the hassle? House price rises may or may not happen and reaping a profit on the sale is a long way down the line so is only really suitable for retirement planning.

Personally I would not want the grief of being a landlord.

PrincessFiorimonde Tue 07-Jan-14 00:34:08

Danaan, that's interesting. Bears out my feeling that it's pretty sick to chuck all his HB tenants out, whether or not they're actually in arrears with their rent. If all landlords do that, where will all these tenants go?

It is also rather disingenuous of Mr Wilson to say that "not one of our working tenants is in arrears" and imply that his HB tenants are out of work. In fact, about a million people in work now receive some amount of housing benefit. This figure has been rising steadily and will surely continue to do so.

AgaPanthers Tue 07-Jan-14 00:51:53

The Wilsons are definitely straight out of Little Britain. A ghastly couple.

It's possible, of course, that with them owning 1000 properties, that they can actually force local HB rates up, if they increase rents, because their inflated rents would put the 30th percentile rent up for the area.

AgaPanthers Tue 07-Jan-14 00:56:18

Cerisier the point about BTL is that it is very highly leveraged. In other words, while house price growth/income might not be better than shares, you can't buy shares with a 10% deposit and 90% borrowed from the bank.

That essentially means that BTL growth is leveraged by a factor for 10.

CallMeNancy Tue 07-Jan-14 01:20:33

Wow. I love threads like this. Whilst the Wilson's aren't my type of people, it is heartening to be called both a cunt and a parasite grin
Makes my job worthwhile, and is such a change from the lovely letters of thanks I get from my tenants, as well as the great references for future tenants.

So, how exactly do you plan to halt capitalism? Are we having a full on democratic people's republic style voluntary 'conversion', or just a military coup?

I bet you read the mail & rant about immigration too.

Want2bSupermum Tue 07-Jan-14 01:22:41

IMO the problem is with the government. The LL is operating legally.

I find it ironic that where I live in the US rent increases are restricted to a maximum amount set by the local town. When they had a 47% increase in property taxes LL's were allowed to apply to the town for an increase in excess of the maximum amount set by the town. This is what should happen in the UK. You don't increase rent with what is happening in the housing market. You increase rent in line with your costs, at least that is what I did when I rented out my flat.

House prices are so high now it is a joke. Who, with an income of GBP80k/yr, can afford a GBP500k home?!? The arguments for supporting house prices are unfounded too. If all the house prices fall, those who already own a house can always send the keys back to the bank or continue to pay the difference if they want to continue living in the house. You don't pay income tax on the unearned income portion of a written off mortgage so I don't see what the problem is. When the government bailed out the banks they had a fanastic opportunity to repair the housing market. I think this is the biggest mistake made by the government.

Another thing the US does really well is allow for interest on a mortgage to be deductible for primary private homes. This allows first time homeowners and landlords doing a BTL to be on a more equal footing.

Rather than get angry with LL's I think the wrath should be directed at our MPs who continue to fail the lower socioeconomic groups in our society.

delasi Tue 07-Jan-14 01:36:57

PrincessFiorimonde This is what I wanted to say. HB does not mean you are not working. I bamboozled a lettings agent once when I responded, "Both", to the question, "Are you working or receiving benefits?".

Like another PP said, fair enough that letting is a business but an LL is in the business of providing a home. There has to be some improvement in this area so that both LLs and tenants can benefit - greater access to housing for tenants, greater security for LLs.

C3P0 Tue 07-Jan-14 02:01:12

It's not up to him to set benefits policy. He doesn't get a workable deal so he doesn't serve that market.

Eastern Europeans take jobs that his tenants could have applied for.

There are empty houses in less expensive areas that housing benefit claimants can move to.

CallMeNancy Tue 07-Jan-14 02:15:05

I used to let to refugees. Did so for over a decade, but eventually got fed up of the extra paperwork & council claw backs when they moved. It was fun trying to prove 5 years down the line that one of 50 people you'd let to in that time was entitled to HB (then DSS). And since they'd moved on, and their English was generally still poor, they couldn't help.

Now I let to professional. Most of whom earn atleast 5 times what I do.

They actively want to rent.

Without outing myself or breaching DPA, I will describe a few of my current tenants;

I have a couple who've lived in the same property for 6 years. They both work full time, much of the time abroad. They expect utter privacy when home & want any issues to be fixed whilst they are away, with my supervision. Last year the new roof alone came to more than their annual rent, which thankfully I only had to pay a share of. They did not want the hassle of property ownership at that time, but have recently decided to buy, stop working so hard, move out of London & I expect start a family soon.

Another is retired, and he and his two animals moved with his wife to the other side of London after many years. They aren't ready to commit to a new area just yet, & are also considering moving abroad. They too have no experience in property maintenance, don't want any, and just want things fixed quickly at no expense to them. Their outgoings are fixed, leaving them plenty to enjoy retirement and travel. They have always had tied accommodation prior to retirement.

Another's father pays her rent. He could buy her any place she wanted in London for cash smile, but wants her to save and to experience a normal rite of passage of flatsharing with a friend, & standing (almost) on her own two feet. I really admire him for that.

delasi Tue 07-Jan-14 02:18:58

His tenants might be working.

They also might not be able to take the same jobs that Eastern Europeans are doing - it depends on how they're contracted. Freedom of services means that people and companies can compete for jobs across Europe, so people or companies with higher wages (eg in England) may not be able to compete with the those who have lower wages (eg in Eastern Europe).

Plenty of HB claimants do look for housing in less expensive areas. Plenty of LLs in less expensive areas still don't want HB tenants.

Sometimes a HB claimant ends up in a 'nice' area because it's actually the only place they can find a property. Whenever I see an ad that says 'DSS Welcome' I'm interested, regardless of the postcode. They're like gold dust these days.

delasi Tue 07-Jan-14 02:23:16

Also consider - people coming from Eastern Europe to work here may be coming with a skill set, experience, a trade, a profession and so on. Some people here who receive benefits may well not have any of those. They may only have very basic qualifications, if that. They may have little to no work experience. They are less attractive as prospective employees and it's not as simple as telling them to go out and study and get experience.

marzipanned Tue 07-Jan-14 03:52:56

CallMeNancy quite. There are many reasons why people choose to rent rather than buy, not least that it can be far more financially efficient to rent depending on mortgage rates/how under/over valued house prices in an area are compared to rental yields. That's before you start thinking about stamp duty, upkeep, etc.

The 'outlaw private LL' posters seem to assume that everyone wants to move into their first home age 20 and stay there for good...

MrsWifework Tue 07-Jan-14 04:43:01

Why should the government patronise tenants by paying their rent direct to LL? I'd be so indignant if that were me. The money should be paid to the tenants and if they are then irresponsible with it then that's their own fault!

Damnautocorrect Tue 07-Jan-14 04:45:36

One thing that doesn't sit easy with me is that private individuals are taking money out the benefit system
Not knocking landlords or people that privately rent (I am a someone that rents privately as I don't have the deposit to buy).
There was a time when it was council houses and the council collected and kept the rent. Yes it was a bit 'plastic money', but that plastic money stayed in the system.

dozeydoris Tue 07-Jan-14 06:03:27

Can 'immigrants' live 10 to a house without breeching any letting laws?

I've wondered how they can afford to live in London but people from the UK can't, and are they really paying their full whack of Council Tax from these meagre wages?

Can't help feeling if someone went after these people for what they really owed in taxes fewer would be able to afford to move here. Don't intend to sound anti-immigrants but feel that there can't really be a level playing field for UK residents, and, come to that, the immigrants, are many of them being taken advantage of on illegally low wages?

sashh Tue 07-Jan-14 06:21:39

IIRC the council used to pay the private landlords directly but now pay the benefits to the tenant who pays the landlord hence the arrears.

Not yet, the paying money to tenant is still going on. BUT, big fat BUT housing benefit is always paid in arrears.

redshifter Tue 07-Jan-14 06:39:54

It's not a bedroom 'tax' FFS

No it is called the spare room subsidy but as this does not apply to private tenants it is largely irrelevant in the case this thread is about.

Roshbegosh Tue 07-Jan-14 06:41:54

Well he won't be taking money out of the benefits system now. How does that help? You can't have it both ways.

redshifter Tue 07-Jan-14 06:48:21

Ha. Good point Roshbegosh

Mrsmorton Tue 07-Jan-14 07:20:12

Some people on here are so incredibly bigoted. Immigrants pay tax into the uk system and a huge number of them take nothing out of it in benefits or education or housing benefit.

roshbegosh has the post of the thread there. You can't have it both ways.

yellowknife Tue 07-Jan-14 07:36:51

Often private landlords pay taxes ( like everyone else on theor prpofits) and those taxes can fund benefits and social housing.

I'm sure anybody who doesn't have a vested interested in desperately scratching around for a justification for their method of deriving an income can see how badly flawed this argument but is but anyway - Iain Duncan Smith pays taxes on the income he makes from his job, does that make him a force for social good? His taxes help pay people's benefits too! If a drug dealer pays tax on their earnings does that make them a force for social good? Or what about if I set up a company that buys all the bread in the supermarket every morning and sells it on a stall outside for a tenner a loaf, I'll pay tax on the profit and people need bread right? does that make my company a useful social enterprise?

I think you'll find that pharma companies would fail your test. They sell medicine at quite a cost to us.

Not sure what test I ever mentioned, and pharma companies may sell drugs at a profit, but if they didn't those drugs wouldn't exist in the first place. Neither is anyone forced to buy drugs if they prove to be useless. Churchill was bang on the money in his explanation of how landlordism is not like other useful business activities:

"Roads are made, streets are made, services are improved, electric light turns night into day, water is brought from reservoirs a hundred miles off in the mountains -- and all the while the landlord sits still. Every one of those improvements is effected by the labor and cost of other people and the taxpayers. To not one of those improvements does the land monopolist, as a land monopolist, contribute, and yet by every one of them the value of his land is enhanced. He renders no service to the community, he contributes nothing to the general welfare, he contributes nothing to the process from which his own enrichment is derived."

So, how exactly do you plan to halt capitalism

a) We don't live in a pure capitalist system, otherwise there would not have been any bank bailouts.
b) If you think the housing market, one of the most heavily government manipulated markets around, with artificially restricted supply and artificially inflated demand is in any way representative of capitalism you don't know much about economics.

dozeydoris Tue 07-Jan-14 07:41:52

Immigrants pay tax into the uk system and a huge number of them take nothing out of it in benefits or education or housing benefit

Do we know this for sure? Maybe they are working cash in hand and living in crowded accomm, aren't declared on any system here so not paying council tax or anything else, who knows??

Round here the immigrants I see are families who pay tax but also have social housing (with several children they get to top of list quick) and naturally use the education system. They are skilled and hardworking but are taking houses and jobs but are probably better at them than UK people.

CallMeNancy Tue 07-Jan-14 07:47:36

and all the while the landlord sits still


Selective quoting is marvellous isn't it. Try the fuller text.

^Winston Churchill: " The landlord who happens to own a plot of land on the outskirts of a great city … watches the busy population around him making the city larger, richer, more convenient. .. and all the while sits and does nothing. Roads are made … services are improved … water is brought from reservoirs one hundred miles off in the mountains and -all the while the landlord sits still … To not one of these improvements does the landlord monopolist contribute and yet by every one of them the value of his land is enhanced … At last the land becomes ripe for sale – that means the price is too tempting to be resisted any longer … In fact you may say that the unearned increment … is reaped by the land monopolist in exact proportion not to the service, but to the disservice done."
- Winston Churchill during debates on the Finance Act 1910, ^

He is clearly talking about feudal landlords not private rental landlords who work bloody hard and offer a great service to those who wish to rent. Yes, wish.

I too have rented. shock

Recently too. I chose to, because it suited my family situation at that time. I couldn't not have rented for almost a year from a social housing landlord as they do not have enough stock, or stayed in a hotel for that long.

CallMeNancy Tue 07-Jan-14 07:51:35
yellowknife Tue 07-Jan-14 07:58:23

Selective quoting in that quoting the entirety of a lengthy speech would be silly on a forum like this, I 'selected' a quote that most summed out the relevant point. It may not be 100% the same thing he was talking about but the principle still applies, hoarding of a scarce resource to extract money, either from later sale or through rent, is not a socially useful activity.

I rented for the best part of a decade and can count the number of times the landlord did anything significant on one hand. To call a few hours in 10 years "bloody hard work" seems a bit of a stretch.

Mrsmorton Tue 07-Jan-14 07:58:33

This has good sources. Of course, a DM link would say precisely the opposite.

yellowknife Tue 07-Jan-14 08:01:52

I should clarify I have no problem with landlords who take in lodgers into their own residence, as they are adding to the housing supply.

CallMeNancy Tue 07-Jan-14 08:05:34

Then you chose the wrong landlord.
You could have chosen to find another, but chose not to exercise your right to do so.

I do work bloody hard.
I am proud of what I do, despite people like you calling me names.
I offer a fanstastic service, to people who want to use my services.

HorizontalRunningOnly Tue 07-Jan-14 08:09:42

This man owns 1000 properties - worth 200 million. He owns entire streets of homes. It's scandalous really, I live with my dad following a relationship break down, I work part time and have a 3 year old. If I was to rent privately I would need housing benefit just to help that little bit with rent - according to him if be u reliable and not a tenant he would want. But I work - rent it so high I'm priced out.

CallMeNancy Tue 07-Jan-14 08:11:01

"...a small masterpiece..."

Indeed ;)

Custardo Tue 07-Jan-14 08:12:36

I read this article yesterday and I can't blame the LL. Not only is he running business but the mortgages on the rental prooerty probably have a caveat that he is not allowed to rent to people on HB

the appeal of HB used to be that it was guaranteed income to the LL if paid direct ( for those LLs who were financially allowed to rent to people on HB)

now the rules are going to change, with universal credit when it eventually comes in, every claimant will be paid HB direct.

now anyone who had read my political rantings on various threads over mumsnet - will absolutely know I detest the government and the housing crisis that they refuse to alleviate

I cannot blame the LL here, it is a business, even if his mortgages allowed HB, this is not a long term sustainable way to run a business

he is not a social landlord, he is a business man driven by profit, not for the social good

LittleDoris Tue 07-Jan-14 08:16:07

*Then you chose the wrong landlord.
You could have chosen to find another, but chose not to exercise your right to do so.*

Are you serious? Do you think the tenants this man is evicting have any kind of choice as to where they live next and who their LL will be? They will most likely be without a deposit, unable to find a wide range of suitable properties, and they will be facing homelessness.

Tenants anywhere very rarely have any choice. That's the whole point.

CallMeNancy Tue 07-Jan-14 08:18:45

I was replying to yellowknife's assertion that s/he rented for a decade from the same landlord who they were unhappy with.

Not the Wilson's and their latest plan, which personally I don't agree with.

Tenants have choice. That is precisely the point. Tenants claiming benefits have far less choice due to government policy.

LittleDoris Tue 07-Jan-14 08:20:05

he is not a social landlord, he is a business man driven by profit, not for the social good

When someone owns 1000+ properties he has the power to affect society in that area.

Is it really ok that one citizen, without being elected, can have so much power over a community?

yellowknife Tue 07-Jan-14 08:39:34

I was replying to yellowknife's assertion that s/he rented for a decade from the same landlord who they were unhappy with.

I didn't rent from the same landlord for a decade, rather several different ones over that period, and I never said I was unhappy with them (although one in particular was a Wilson-esque twat as it happens).

Simply that there was bugger all for them to do - some utility went wrong maybe once a year, they called some person out to fix it, the end. Quite often they didn't even do that, the letting agency did it or I was allowed to call the British Gas Homecare people directly. I just struggle to tally your description of being as a landlord as "bloody hard work", with my experience of doing long tedious jobs that take 40, 50, 60+ hours a week, that actually were hard work.

bochead Tue 07-Jan-14 09:35:05

We are going to have a summer off civil unrest and rioting again if the government doesn't get it's head out of it's arse and sort some of the serious social issues brewing.

When I left london several grammar school worthy (levels 5 & 6's) Sats kids of my acquaintance had no secondary schools to go to because there just aren't enough places. We've known about the primary issue for years. SN kids are being forced out of state education by cuts to funding, post qualification teacher training and support services. The NHS is cracking at the seams. Our sewers need urgent upgrading in several major cities. Other areas are reeling from flood damage.

The long term sick and disabled have already been hung out to dry by the benefits system and 20,000 old folk snuff it due to the heat or eat conundrum every winter. More and more people in full-time low paid work join the queues at the food banks every week.

White collar jobs in technology and industry have been off-shored over the last couple of decades. Call centres are now based in Calcutta. The number of living wage jobs available does not match the number of desperate applicants and hasn't for a while.

The pension system is a joke so many baby boomers and younger are relying on income from private rentals to avoid penury in old age. Given the demographics of this nation we cannot afford for every person who hits old age to be totally reliant on the ponzi scheme that is the state pension. Public sector workers are reliant on the productivity of the current private sector workforce for security in their old age, so they are not immune despite the fuss their unions create.

Private rentals only give a family 6 months security before the landlord can ask them to move on. Moving can affect their ability to commute to work and get their kids to school. It's not sustainable to have a massive minority of the working age population living with this level of insecurity.

SME - traditionally how this nation pulls itself out of recession has been regulated out of profitability by the demands of the corporate off shorers. The government is aware that civil unrest has riven many other European nations recently but stubbornly sticks to policies that throw many British families into penury and then homelessness.

I honestly think we are going back to a social situation like that we had pre WW1 over the next generation or two. No pensions, no healthcare, no schooling for the majority with an upper class who have everything. There will be no middle class, a very poor majority working class and a small underclass dependent on church/charity handouts for survival.

SaucyJack Tue 07-Jan-14 09:37:25

The 'outlaw private LL' posters seem to assume that everyone wants to move into their first home age 20 and stay there for good...

No, we're not assuming that at all.

The plain fact is, that in large areas of the country owning your own home is now something the majority of people will never ever achieve throughout their entire lifetimes. It's not right for normal, working people to be forced into paying over half their salary every month off of somebody else's mortgage- with not a ha'penny to invest themselves for their retirements.

Some people will always choose to rent, and that's fine- but I'm willing to bet they make up just a tiny percentage of current UK tenants.

CallMeNancy Tue 07-Jan-14 09:39:27

This week's job is to redo and collate deposit protection prescribed information for all my tenants moving into periodic tenancies. That will be a ream of paper, at least. In duplicate, to be signed and returned in the prepaid envelope I provide. Technically, until the government pull their finger out and tidy up the poor legislation they drafted, I should do this once a month, but clearly that is ludicrous. Instead I will attend several forums and meetings about changing this, as well as learning about all the new and exciting ways they have thought of to make my life more enjoyable. Like checking tenants have the correct visas. And finding out if all rental properties within entire boroughs are to become additionally licencable HMOs.
I'm finishing off the work involved in clearing up after an insurance claim, supervising cleaning and chasing the insurers for payment, as I've paid the builders and cleaners already. Ensuring that the tenants are happy with all the work that has been done, to rectify a sudden and quite unexpected issue stemming from the adverse weather.
And then I'm referencing new tenants, whilst handholding those trying to move out and stuck in a protracted chain, who gave notice 6 months again and still have not moved.

Holdthepage Tue 07-Jan-14 10:18:53

Fergus & Judith Wilson - serial publicity seekers, they would evict their own parents if they thought it would get them in the news.

CallMeNancy Tue 07-Jan-14 10:31:48

Quite Holdthepage

They probably see it as free advertising for the 1000 vacant and available properties they will soon have.

According to some reports, they are heavily in debt and arrears to Bradford & Bingley, who since renationalisation closed their books to new lending. They, B&B want everyone to pay off their BTL mortgages, and 'investors' such as the Wilson's are at great risk of having multiple properties sold from under them at less than market value for breaching the terms on any one of their mortgages.

The house of cards is looking very fragile, & if I had that much borrowing and leveraging I'd be very concerned. They may find new investment as they are so well known, but it won't be on the terms they got when they embarked on the process.

So Universal Credit, continued payment in arrears, ending direct payments and a cap on benefits will be a real and serious issue for their 'business' model.

specialsubject Tue 07-Jan-14 10:37:39

yellowknife, what do you do for a living? I hope it is totally moral.

this big landlord is a poor example. It's like tarring all those who have children and claim benefits with the same brush of the people who have about ten kids, TVs, games consoles etc and live the life of riley on it. There ARE families like this but very few.

Balistapus Tue 07-Jan-14 10:51:06

It seem wrong for anyone to own 1000 properties, whether it's this bloke or the Duke of Westminister, but it would also be wrong to ban private LL.

What about accidental LL? I lived in London, on an average salary. I took all the overtime I could, didn't go out for a year and saved up a deposit to buy a small home. 3 years later I moved in with my partner. My home was my security that I'd worked hard to achieved so I rented it out. I was also in negative equity at that time too so, yes I could have sold, but that would have wiped out everything I'd worked so hard for plus left me with debt.
The rent is the same as the interest on the mortgage so I make no profit, plus I have maintenance costs. When I switch mortgages I lowered the rent to pass on the deduction. I didn't realise that I was 'scum' for doing this.
I find the idea that all poor people are worthy, while everyone else deserves a kick in the teeth, quite tiresome.

LittleDoris Tue 07-Jan-14 11:01:06


You could exercise your right to no longer do a "job" that you feel is not financially viable.

yellowknife Tue 07-Jan-14 11:12:43

specialsubject the job I do involves the creation of a product that enhances the quality of life for society, so I would say it is moral. That's not to say all jobs are moral and being a private landlord is the only immoral way to make money. Many people who work in investment banking in it's current form for example, are not doing a socially useful job.

Private landlording is what it is - if you want to do it that's up to you but don't go round saying what a great 'job' you do providing a 'service' people desperately need, and acting like the housing wouldn't exist if you didn't own it. It's leeching money from the efforts of others and nothing more.

It's only shocking because he is a LL on a massive scale, renting out a thousand properties.

I am a LL, I only rent out one property and I won't rent to HB tenants either - nothing against them but sometimes it is a real hassle I don't need.

I don't leech money from anyone.

SaucyJack Tue 07-Jan-14 11:15:09

I find the idea that all poor people are worthy, while everyone else deserves a kick in the teeth, quite tiresome.

I find the idea that we live in one of the richest countries in the world, but still have poor people pretty fucking tiresome myself.....

Lazysuzanne Tue 07-Jan-14 11:17:59

It's the job of govt to regulate the housing market so as to promote the long term best interests of society as a whole.

Private landlords are bound to act out of rational self interest, but they are in a Position to exploit the poor and needy.
We need social housing.

Balistapus Tue 07-Jan-14 11:19:58

Unless you live in a communist state you're always going to have 'poor' people as it's a relative term.

Lazysuzanne Tue 07-Jan-14 11:21:19

I don't think we should blame landlords, what they do is inherently exploitative, that's because the profit motive conflicts with the need for housing.

LittleDoris Tue 07-Jan-14 11:25:47

I don't think we should blame landlords

I don't blame anyone for wanting to get ahead.

What fucks me off is when they come on to threads like these bleating about the hassle and the hard work.

Its a job. If it doesn't pay you, get a different job that will pay you.

Fleta Tue 07-Jan-14 11:33:37

Quite Little Doris.

BUT I do not expect to be called a cunt etc etc.

Just to clarify it seems we cannot state - quite rightly - that all people on housing benefits are scum. Yet we can make the sweeping statements that LLs are?

I'm a bloody good LL. I look after my tenants. I evicted one for none payment after we bent over backwards to give him time to sort himself out.

But I won't - because of him - now rent to people on housing benefit because (a) it isn't worth my time and energy if it all goes pear-shaped and (b) the conditions of my Buy-to-Let mortgage state I'm not permitted to.

If I had a tenant who was made redundant and then went on HB I would not evict them in that instance, provided the rent was still paid on time.

Lazysuzanne Tue 07-Jan-14 11:40:08

There have been some very informative and insightful posts on this thread, and many which show a limited understand of the issues involved.

Then again it's difficult not to be influenced by the prevailing rhetoric, politicians and the media constantly prodding us for the visceral response, the emotional reaction.
Oversimplifying, painting it all black and white

Never encouraging us to take a calm look at the facts, appreciate the complexities and contradictions, rationally weigh up the pro's and con's

Lazysuzanne Tue 07-Jan-14 11:44:18

Fleta, very true and good for you but your post is all besides the point.

Point being that the government ought to regulate the rental market so that landlords aren't able to exploit tenants.

It's no good just hoping they'll be moral and philanthropic, some will but most won't.

Bowlersarm Tue 07-Jan-14 11:47:54

Fletas post isn't besides the point.

The OP is about a landlord withdrawing from renting to people on housing benefit. As was Fletas. Totally the point of the OP.

Lazysuzanne Tue 07-Jan-14 11:52:13

The underlying problem is not the behavior of landlords, it is our badly regulated and dysfunctional rental market.

Surely any fool can see that, Bowler?

ediblewoman Tue 07-Jan-14 11:53:30

A couple of things occur to me;

80% of people who claim HB work in low paid jobs
By public ally stating that he is evicting all tenants on HB Mr Wilson is effectively saying that he is making them homeless not because of an act or omission they have committed (even if they are in arrears) but because of a blanket reason. This means that if they are in priority need, eg have resident children, or significant health needs those households can present to their local authority as homeless and as long as they have a connection to the area (minimum 6 months of last 12 months residency) the local authority will have to house them.

In my area we have such limited social housing (15,000 households waiting 750 let's a year) that we have to lease properties from landlords to use for homeless families, this is at a greater cost than HB levels and is subsidised by central government ie the taxpayer. I wonder if Mr Wilson is aware of this and hoping to bleed more money from the public purse?

Custardo Tue 07-Jan-14 11:58:47

ah but those tenants that are in arrears could ( it could be argued by the council) have made themselves intentionally homeless and therefore ineligible to be housed by the council

CallMeNancy Tue 07-Jan-14 12:17:36

Doris, I never said it wasn't financially viable. I love my job. But it is work, and sometimes hard work at that. I do provide a service, which is very much wanted by the people I let to.

Translated to Prole I'm sure some will take this to mean - I stamp on the poor and count my money whilst laughing maniacally.

If you do, please go and shout at a pigeon, and hit an immigrant with the daily mail.

Wallison Tue 07-Jan-14 12:24:06

'Prole', eh? Lovely.

CallMeNancy Tue 07-Jan-14 12:30:39

It was a joke, based on the Marxist suggestions up thread by some of the more radically left posters. ;)

Now I'm off to do some work.

Custardo Tue 07-Jan-14 12:40:22

im a lefty

but recognise landlords must operate on a business level - they are not in it for a heart warming feeling

just as a banker doesn't or a shop worker

BarbarianMum Tue 07-Jan-14 12:42:23

<<IIRC the council used to pay the private landlords directly but now pay the benefits to the tenant who pays the landlord hence the arrears.>>

Would just like to point out to all those that think a return to the above is the answer, that most landlords hated this system because, if it turned out that HB had be overpaid (ie your tennant had lied/made a mistake about income, cohabiting etc) it was the responsibility of the land lord to repay it. So you could be hit with a big bill with no warning.

The 'pay direct to tenants' provision was put in place, in part, to make HB recipients more desirable tennants by getting rid of this problem.

kilmuir Tue 07-Jan-14 12:45:35

If they are in arrears then he should get rid of them. Good for him

Custardo Tue 07-Jan-14 12:53:42

often arrears occur thorugh HB fuck ups rather than an unwillingness to pay

Wallison Tue 07-Jan-14 12:54:11

Thing is, landlords often don't operate in a business-like way. We've seen it on this thread - people who are too emotionally invested in the properties they own, clinging wretchedly to self-belief and self-worth in terms of the work they do. They see it as a personal slight and affront if the tenant doesn't leave the property looking like a newly-cleaned hospital ward. If the tenant can't pay their rent, they bleat about their own financial well-being etc. I think the problem with all of this is that anybody can call themselves a landlord in this country. It is hard to think of any other money-generating exercise that is so loosely regulated. It is not a 'profession'. In other countries where renting is better regulated, the kind of small-time shysters make up the majority of landlords in the UK just do not exist - landlording is done by big-time investors, is properly regulated including rent controls and giving tenants proper security of tenure. You just don't get the whole 'woe is me' bullshit because the scale of the business means that the people running things don't take setbacks personally or see what they do as an extension of who they are.

ediblewoman Tue 07-Jan-14 12:59:11

Custardo; my point is that those applicants can't be found intentional even if they are in arrears because Mr Wilson has public ally stated that the arrears are not his motivation for eviction. I work in homelessness and the arrears are irrelevant if they are not the motivating factor.

Lazysuzanne Tue 07-Jan-14 13:07:13

Hear hear Wallison!

Balistapus Tue 07-Jan-14 13:11:53

You just don't get the whole 'woe is me' bullshit because the scale of the business means that the people running things don't take setbacks personally or see what they do as an extension of who they are

I don't see anyone being woe-is-me on here, just people defending themselves against the accusation of all being 'greedy' 'cunts'.

Without small 'emotionally invested' landlords, you wouldn't have HB tenants in my situation where my HB tenant is consistently in arrears so I'm charging her below market rent. Even though I currently have no income I'm subsidising my tenant to the tune of £1200-£1500 a year.

Custardo Tue 07-Jan-14 13:15:11

it depends where you read Mr Wilson told The Guardian: "The gap is such that I have taken the decision to withdraw from taking tenants on housing benefit. From what I can gather just about all other landlords have done the same. Our situation is that not one of our working tenants is in arrears - all those in arrears are on housing benefit."

and the fastidiousness of the housing options department. In reality, I suspect you are right (I hope).

Lazysuzanne Tue 07-Jan-14 13:22:24

The rental market needs to be regulated, rents need to be controlled not just left to the 'invisible hand of the market'

The invisible hand will inevitably seek to line it's own pockets, housing is a basic human need it should not be at the mercy of market forces.

yellowknife Tue 07-Jan-14 13:28:15

At the moment if housing was left to the mercy of market forces it would be an improvement - as things stand the government are preventing enough houses from being built to even keep up with population growth, and are artificially increasing house prices not only with low interest rate policy but with 'help to buy', ie big government backed loans to give buyers more scope to outbid each other and push up the price of housing. If there was a supply of reasonably priced housing to buy rents would have to fall.

It says a lot though that buy-to-let is a favourite sideline of MPs.

Balistapus Tue 07-Jan-14 13:41:55

yellowknife How is the government preventing enough houses from being built?

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Tue 07-Jan-14 14:02:01

Probably already been said, but this will only get worse when universal credit comes in and people getting housing benefit will have to be responsible for their own finances.

In theory, I think people should have to be able to manage their finances, it's a skill and a responsibility and it makes evident the value of money. But I can see a lot of people skipping paying their rent, a few people I know included.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 07-Jan-14 14:14:03

But housing has and always will be controlled by market forces.
When house prices are high, renting is high.
There are many LL who can't afford to lose money, lower their prices due to having to pay a mortgage on the property.
Also, there are very few EA who would touch you if you wanted to sell/rent under the current market price.
We tried this on the sale of our parents home, we'd had enough and just wanted out. there is no way the agents would let us lower the price to less than they suggested as it would change the market locally.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 07-Jan-14 14:18:41

I know I sound like a broken record but I don't get how a family receiving hb are more likely to default paying their rent.
If the alternative is nowhere to go, they will surely prioritise rent over everything else.
You would have to be pretty dim to make your family homeless, rather than keep up rent payments.

Custardo Tue 07-Jan-14 14:21:26

if you receive HB you can presume that that person does not have a good income and could be very poor

a quick google will show you how being poor costs more than if you are not.

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Tue 07-Jan-14 14:25:55

morethan Your point is exactly right, they would have to be stupid wouldn't they. But like I said, there's quite a few people I know personally who are stupid enough to do it and most definitely will.

It's not just families, it's young people, and it's people who have alcohol and drug problems. Some people just aren't responsible with money, and for those with addiction problems it's even harder to make the right decision.

And this is not to say it's just people on benefits, people who aren't do it too. But some landlords may find security in the fact they know they'll get the money off their tenant because it's paid direct - and now that will stop it's a worry.

higgle Tue 07-Jan-14 14:36:43

Surely someone in the business of letting houses would want a % return on their investment, so if the value of the house goes up they will want an increased rent? I don't see that as being odd.

Someone mentioned how the European immigrants share rooms and work long hours before going home and aren't bothered about having a dining room. If the young people here who have not got jobs were prepared to work for say, 5 years, in this way then they would have the deposit for their own home. Speaking as someone who has difficulty finding any staff to work 4- 11pm on Fridays or weekend with wages between £9.50 and £10.30 per hour I don't really understand this total moaning about other people coming here who are prepared to work hard, save up and don't expect a palace to live in.

ethelb Tue 07-Jan-14 14:38:58

"We tried this on the sale of our parents home, we'd had enough and just wanted out. there is no way the agents would let us lower the price to less than they suggested as it would change the market locally."

Is that not a cartel?

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Tue 07-Jan-14 14:40:52

higgle I can't believe you find it hard to get people to do those hours at that wage, are you in the north? I know loads of people who would love to do that, any job in fact.

BlueSkySunnyDay Tue 07-Jan-14 14:41:46

We looked at buying a rental property and letting to a HB tenant but the mortgage companies we looked at specifically ruled this out.

I would only ever have considered it if the rent were coming to me directly but after hearing horror stories on here of the money being claimed back from the landlord due to overpayment decided it wasnt worth the risk.

I definately wouldnt trust a HB tenant to pay me - I personally know way too many for whom paying the rent is way down their list of priorities.

Ultimately it is a business so whilst I dont agree with him linking rent to the present price of the property - I can understand him evicting tenants who are not paying.

I do think something will need to be done about landlords who own large amounts of property though, this is making it very hard to people who want to buy smaller properties for themselves to get a look in.

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Tue 07-Jan-14 14:45:29

Yes I agree, people shouldn't be able to monopolise the housing market.

specialsubject Tue 07-Jan-14 14:48:54

ah, Wallison, one of our many knee-jerk landlord-haters. No-one says a house must be like a hospital ward, specious argument.

'if the tenant can't pay the rent, they bleat about their own financial well-being'

go look up 'mortgage', and what happens if you don't pay it.

security of tenure - tenants can sign up for as long as they like, six months is the minimum. Specious argument.

go on, make my day and let's have a sensible argument why making money from property should be a crime.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 07-Jan-14 14:57:42


What is a cartel?

We, (my dsis) and I were selling our parents home, they died.
The market was unpredictable and seemed like prices were dropping, it was 2008. It took for ever and we'd had enough and were prepared to drop the price to just get rid. The EA wouldn't have any of it and would only allow us to drop to what they would allow. We were still there several months later.

BlueSkySunnyDay Tue 07-Jan-14 14:58:49

I do find there are a lot of people on MN who dont seem to realise its a business With any business you have to fix your price taking every eventuality into consideration.

We decided it was a no go - we couldnt afford to support a non paying tenant and its very easy for "profit" to be swallowed up by "maintenance" if you are the kind of person who would not expect a tenant to live in lower standards than you would consider acceptable.

Our neighbours owned a house which was completely ruined by the tenant - crayoning on all carpets and walls, every kitchen door hanging off, water damage due to sinks over flowing. It was something we would have liked to do but just too much of a risk as we are OK rather than flush financially.

I do know of a few people locally who have been looking for properties to downsize into but are struggling to get a look in as the landlords just walk in money in hand with no properties to sell and get first dibs/gazump them.

DoYouLikeMyBaubles Tue 07-Jan-14 15:00:42

they bleat about their own financial well-being

Why shouldn't they? They have mortgages and bills to pay too y'know.

And why shouldn't they expect it to be left in a clean state as it was when they moved in?

I'm a tenant, not a landlord, and really don't take issue with the fact it is a business and I should have to take good care of their property.

ethelb Tue 07-Jan-14 15:02:12

I mean it is a non-competitive practice. it would only be a cartel if other estate agents in the area were knowingly doing similar things.

If they refused to drop the price to the one you wanted they were not strictly speaking supporting a free market.

Which is ironic as many people have defended house prices in this country as the product of a free market.

BlueSkySunnyDay Tue 07-Jan-14 15:02:24

more than - could you not have gone to a different EA? Its not up to them who buys your property or the price *you are willing to accept - it all sounds a bit dodgy to me.

Locally some of the less ethical EAs have property developer mates who they would always give priorty to in exchange for cash

BlueSkySunnyDay Tue 07-Jan-14 15:09:26

Interestingly I rented with a mate when we were single - now I expect a lot of landlords would have gone 2 single party girls, no i'd much rather rent to a nice young professional family The kitchen was a horrible mess (all peeling paintwork) I got permission rubbed it all down and painted it, we looked after it as though we owned it and left it better than when we arrived.

The other house (with the crayonned walls and carpets) was rented by a nice young professional family the bill to put right ran into thousands, not to mention the arrears on rent as they couldnt just be chucked out with young children.

I think there are ethical landlords and hideously unscrupulous ones, same way there are good and bad tenants.

Fleta Tue 07-Jan-14 16:32:00

Wrong Wallison.

I don't expect my property to be like new. I do expect there not to have been a fire. Not for the floor to have massive holes in it. Not for the carpet to have been vomited/defecate/pissed on and not cleaned up. Not for the floor in the bathroom to have been ripped up and I can only presume binned.

And financial well-being. Can you let me have your list of people who ARE allowed to complain about it, just so I know for future reference?

higgle Tue 07-Jan-14 16:38:25

DoYouLikeMyBaubles - Home care work, nice area, lovely service users. I struggle to find staff who will work these shifts, they all say they need to have a social life. As most of my staff are on 25 - 28 hour a week contracts and get every other weekend entirely free I don't consider them very reasonable.

StrainingWaistband Tue 07-Jan-14 17:13:58

Morethan - yes, you would expect people to prioritise the roof over their heads above everything else. But a number of people don't and it's the belief that common sense will prevail that is the undoing of many landlords and which leads to the £1000s in rent arrears that can be run up. Most LL (me included) don't want to evict someone - apart from the expense and the hassle I don't want to be responsible for putting a family out on the street

However it is truly amazing (and not in a good way) how many tenants I have had, who have refused to pay their rent despite being in receipt of HB. The problem is it just sounds like you are playing benefit-bashing-bingo if you say that when you visit to discuss the arrears, you are faced with empty takeaway cartons, packets of cigarettes and a SKY box in the corner of the room. I absolutely don't give a shit what someone chooses to spend their cash on, but it's hard to swallow when the money that person is being provided with specifically to pay their rent, is paying for non-essentials (when compared to a roof over one's head). I have to keep paying the mortgage and maintaining the place - bit difficult not to become disillusioned when you end up doing it for free.

The thing that pisses me off the most is that people like this spoil it for genuine families in need who are claiming HB and who are good tenants, but who end up being tarred with the same brush.

StrainingWaistband Tue 07-Jan-14 17:17:55

Wallison - I have had properties handed back where the loo has not been cleaned in god knows how long. If you've ever wondered how long it takes to clean off human excrement that's been left dried on for 18 months, then I'm happy to share! I also don't expect to walk into a house to find entire doors missing, cupboard doors ripped off, paint all over the carpets and an insect infestation due to the general lack of hygiene.

I used to be a tenant and no matter how messy the place was while I was living in it, I always handed it back clean and tidy and with any breakages made good. That's all I ask of my tenants, but I've yet to have one experience where that has actually been the case.

FixItUpChappie Tue 07-Jan-14 17:52:38

Why should the government patronise tenants by paying their rent direct to LL? I'd be so indignant if that were me. The money should be paid to the tenants and if they are then irresponsible with it then that's their own fault!

Its not patronizing. Its ensuring taxpayers investment is going where it was intended - to rent. Its a fine theory that the irresponsible will just have to tough it out because 'its their own fault', but in reality a lot of irresponsible people still have children who suffer the consequences. There are people on benefits who have MH issues, drug/alcohol issues etc, etc.

When you don't have basic necessities their acquisition takes all your focus - not resolving deep set personal issues that could elevate you to a more contributing member of society. It benefits everyone for everyone to have decent housing.

Paying benefits recipients directly is a disaster.

Lazysuzanne Tue 07-Jan-14 18:00:19

I thought that one reason for paying housing benefit direct to tenants was so that the landlord didnt have to know that the tenant was claiming HB?

StrainingWaistband Tue 07-Jan-14 19:00:25

Why should the government patronise tenants by paying their rent direct to LL? I'd be so indignant if that were me. The money should be paid to the tenants and if they are then irresponsible with it then that's their own fault

Why is exactly the reason that the last government changed the system, so that HB was paid to the tenant rather than the LL. The net result has been a substantial increase in the number of people receiving HB who are in arrears with their rent and a reduction in the number of LL who are willing to accept HB.

You might feel indignant - I do too when I have been paying the mortgage for a number of months with no rent in sight. Then the prospect of the legal fees of serving an eviction notice. Funnily enough most tenants who are being evicted don't tend to pay their rent during that period, nor look after the property either, so I have the rectification costs for the damage to look forward to as well.

StrainingWaistband Tue 07-Jan-14 19:05:34

Lazysuzanne - most LL will either specify no HB or ask if the applicant is in receipt of HB. The reason being that many BTL mortgages will prohibit HB tenants, or insurance will not cover them. I'd be pretty pissed off if a tenant lied to me about being in receipt of HB, if it meant that there was potentially a problem with my mortgage/insurance.

My understanding is that the reason for the change in payee, was to try and encourage financial responsibility/planning. It was a good idea in theory, but unfortunately it has been exploited by a group of people who view the HB as an extension of their disposable spending money and their rent as a purely optional payment.

LittleDoris Tue 07-Jan-14 19:49:40

Translated to Prole I'm sure some will take this to mean - I stamp on the poor and count my money whilst laughing maniacally.

If you do, please go and shout at a pigeon, and hit an immigrant with the daily mail.

Get over yourself. A joke? How funny.

Wallison Tue 07-Jan-14 20:23:08

<,they bleat about their own financial well-being

Why shouldn't they? They have mortgages and bills to pay too y'know.

This is exactly the kind of thing I am talking about - a lot of small-time landlords are permanently teetering on the edge of financial disaster - can't afford tenants who won't pay, can't afford void periods etc. These type of people should not be in the business of providing housing - it's just too precarious, and it makes them into over-entitled arseholes simply because they haven't got the resources to deal with, for example in the case of StrainingWaistband, dirty toilets. Over on the continent where big institutions are in the business - and that is business in the proper sense, not in the small-time typical UK shyster landlord sense - of providing housing, they can cope of someone doesn't pay their rent on time. They can cope with doing repairs, or cleaning toilets. It doesn't matter to them personally, and they factor those costs into their business plans. The situation we have in this country is not fit for purpose, and that is largely because a lot of landlords shouldn't be being landlords at all.

LittleDoris Tue 07-Jan-14 20:50:57

Totally agree Wallison.

We actually have to chase our LL to pay him the top up. It takes about three calls before he will arrange to get it. We have offered to take it to him but he always says he's going past, he will call in, and then a week later he appears. (We are not messy, so he's not trying to catch us at anything, we always welcome him in etc.) More than once it has ran into the next month. He has 8 houses, I think. He is aware of how shitty the HB system is, and never puts pressure on.

Previous LL was up to all sorts, raising the rent without notice at the same time he was telling us how he had three weddings to go to in that month! We always paid but got out of there sharpish. That house has now been repossessed and is going for half the market value.

Another LL was so attached to the house she used to drive past it everyday, slowly, looking in. That's illegal. But she did it. And if the rent was due on a monday, she would ask for it on the sunday "as she hadn't budgetted properly" and then get arsey if we said we couldn't get it until the monday when the bank opened. Just bizarre.

Wallison Tue 07-Jan-14 21:01:15

Yes, that's exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about. These people are not fit to be providing housing.

One place I was living in got repossessed due to the landlord not paying the mortgage - the first we heard about it was when the notice got slapped on the door. I think we had 48 hours to get out or something - can't remember the details now as it happened years ago. That sort of antic would be unthinkable somewhere like Germany, for example.

sunnybobs Tue 07-Jan-14 21:07:38

I saw this report today on C4 and was sickened by the man, his wife and their whole foul justification. He owns entire housing estates bought off plan more cheaply than most normal people could get them & this controls housing in these areas. People in his houses were too scared to speak on camera & his wife was talking about evicting people who "came to her attention". Vile bullies the pair of them & I'm shocked so many think its ok because that's just "business". Agree totally with what bettercallsaul & saucyjack said further up. It will be bloody workhouses next.

WitchWay Tue 07-Jan-14 21:10:36

The government gave back folk on housing benefit the responsibility for paying their own rent, rather than having it paid directly to landlords as they felt this latter was "demeaning". The benefit was paid to them to pass on - the amount is the same. Guess what? Loads are now defaulting - no surprise there then! Can't believe HMG was that stupid - actually I can - bunch of idiots!

3asAbird Tue 07-Jan-14 21:11:45

Ahh i love you little doris you raise such interesting point.

Dot they say sometimes new businesses can take 3years to break even,

if someone posted on mumsnet god know which forum but they setting up business have no contigency funds, needs to make x amount money little risk right away im sure they be laughed at whys being private landlord any blooming diffrent really is a few people who accidentally aquuired house no people with inheritance who inherited houses ever wish to live in due area, people who struggling sell and have let and for sale sign at same time.

Quite likes sarah beenneys property snakles and ladders as for so long was propery brought by amatuers painted everything white spent very little made huge profits. usually ended up living in it themselves or or by default renting as couldent sell.
Blooming homes under hammer programme i detest but husband likes full of pretend landlords hoping get rich quick.

To own one property wuld feel lucky to own more then be fab.

Houses should become homes again and not investment pension vehicles.

I have lives in some holes mostly student days.

lived current house 10 years nearly managed by agents who are snooty reedy shits,

Our property is falling apart kitchen/bathroom 30years old whole property dated we repaint every year, landcsape garedn , spent own money new flooring and fixing broken things estimate landlords maybe spent 1000on repairs/costs over last 10years not including agents fees,
every year we ask 2years he gves us ear was 6onths so he can put up rent and agents charge us admin fees yet never ever in 10years been late with rent.

recently he made hints he may sell, might spend some money and up rent as reckons he can get more but hes being greedy he wont.
Hes retired has his own property plus 3rentals and admitted mortage paid up on this place so reckon he makes tidy return.

we hoping to move as this property too small not good value for money yet moving costs high, shortage pf private houses in area and cost 1 months rent, deposit, agents fees works out hefty.

Complicated by partial housing due to hubbys new job low basic +commison.

some ads say no children. Would so love a dog but few renters allowed pets.

Wallison Wed 08-Jan-14 09:37:21

<<The government gave back folk on housing benefit the responsibility for paying their own rent, rather than having it paid directly to landlords as they felt this latter was "demeaning".>>

Do you have proof of this? Because I always thought the reason it changed was because landlords didn't want to be liable in the event of a fraudulent claim and put pressure on the govt and LAs. It mostly applies to private sector tenants anyway - tenants in social housing typically have the rent paid to the landlord directly, and the majority of them (I'm talking something like over 80%) would prefer to have it stay that way. Of course this will change under Universal Credit.

Danann Wed 08-Jan-14 10:30:01

TheBuggerlugs when he evicted us the council advised us to stay until a bailiffs warrant was served and he represented himself in court and the judge ordered us to pay court fees, which I gather from his wife is what usually happens, add on to that how good he is at holding onto deposits he probably won't lose much.

My old house is still empty and on rightmove for £200 more a month than the already quite high for the area rent we were paying as are at least 6 other properties from last years evictions so he's clearly not having much luck renting them out.

PrincessFiorimonde the reason he gave last time was that he had an argument with Maidstone Borough Council because they witheld rent because he was leaving tenants without hotwater or heating, with dodgy locks and/or dangerous electrics, he actually sent me a really nasty letter when we first moved in coz having waited a month for his electrician to fix a dangerous socket and waited in 7 times for him I got an electrician in (which I paid for and provided him with the safety certificate).

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Wed 08-Jan-14 16:56:55

Witchway, don't you think it is interesting timing to be giving back responsibility to HB tenants? If you factor in lower rates for those allocated housing with "spare rooms" due to no smaller properties available, together with the spiralling cost of living; the handing over of responsibility to tenants rather than direct to landlords could well be seen as a convenient smoke screen?

I always handed it back clean and tidy and with any breakages made good. That's all I ask of my tenants, but I've yet to have one experience where that has actually been the case.

Do you not check references pre-contract, carry out regular inspections and have a deposit held in a tenant deposit scheme to minimise this risk?

An agency we went through made sure the house was professionally clean at start of tenancy, and was made clear as tenant's responsibility to provide receipts for professional cleaners (incl windows, oven and carpet clean) on exit or if agency hired would be taken from deposit with an admin fee charged in addition.

Tenants were clearly taken on knowing to budget for that on exit. The agency also held a small amount of Ll money (£200 or so) on agency agreement for small repairs from their recommended tradesmen, only needing approval from Ll and multiple quotes for anything larger. Worked really well in these respects.

That was quite a professional outfit.

Yes2014 Wed 08-Jan-14 17:24:03

Really interesting thread.
Seems to me that HB is a way for private landlords to rake it in in state handouts- that's scrounging in my opinion. Private rental of homes may be a business, but it's just about the least socially beneficial business I can imagine- the impact of the loss of social housing stock+ the proliferation of private rentals has caused social devastation by over inflating house prices, plus a lack of rent controls is one of the biggest contributors to a spiralling welfare budget- that plus low wages.
Why does no political party say so?

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Wed 08-Jan-14 17:29:52

I wonder how many politicians and key party players are private landlords


Wallison Wed 08-Jan-14 19:37:33

Yes2014 - absolutely spot on that in the case of private landlords, HB is a transfer of public money to private hands. All private landlords get other people to pay for their 'investment'; in the case of tenants who don't rely on HB, it is the tenants that pay for it and in the case of HB tenants it is the state who pays for it. This arsehole in Kent has been getting the govt to fund his personal property empire for years.

Danann, I wonder if he's realised he's too highly leveraged and is panicking and trying to bring in more money as a result of this. Hope he goes bust - he sounds like a vile creature.

Darkesteyes Wed 08-Jan-14 22:06:40

I did see a recent report in the Guardian on how austerity is backfiring on landlords
A lot of properties are suffering from more damp where tenants cant afford to put the heating on.

CallMeNancy Wed 08-Jan-14 22:10:26

Get over yourself. A joke? How funny.

I thought it was. You need to get yourself a grip & a sense of humour. It helps.

CallMeNancy Wed 08-Jan-14 22:14:54

Sorry, that was meant for Doris.

And as for regulation, I subscribe, voluntarily to regulation already. I work in London.

I am AIIC, ALL, and NLA Accredited.

I choose to do so at my own cost, although I can claim it as a business expense.

I am not scum, or a cunt or a parasite, as so many have delightfully chooses to call all landlords on this thread, whatever you think, & am happy to forward references from current and previous tenants and clients, to anyone interested in renting from me.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Wed 08-Jan-14 22:42:15

Nancy I don't think all lls are terrible, and good for you for voluntarily subscribing to regulation. But perhaps it is because it is only voluntary that is the issue. The point made earlier about tenants often not having a choice about who they let from is so significant, especially in areas of high competition. Agents also have a huge part to play in that.

Wallison Thu 09-Jan-14 09:12:16

Nancy, these regulatory bodies, do they control how much rent you can charge? Do they give your tenants any more security than other private sector tenants? Do they stipulate what you need to provide to your tenants? Do they have anything to do with your repairing obligations for eg can your tenants contact them if you do not fulfill your side of the contract re this?

If not, then that isn't regulation.

Oh, and if you want to tell a joke, try being funny as opposed to fucking rude.

Joysmum Thu 09-Jan-14 10:14:57


I don't know where this assumption is thatcwe LLs can charge any rent we want?

I can only charge the going market value, if I try to charge more, my house sits empty. Added to that it's in the tenancy agreement that I can only increase the rent by a max of £25pcm per annum if I did choose to increase rents.

It make better business sense to me to attract a good tenant, treat the first 6 months as a trial introduction and then put in place a longer tenancy agreement. It costs me money to have an empty house, money to advertise for new tenants and it's risky to find the right new tenants. I also can't charge the outgoing tenants for wear and tear and would need to redecorate throughout to attract in the right new tenants and that takes time (empty houses cost money) and more investment.

All our tenants have been in for a minimum of 3 years now. I got fed up of the agencies renting out to the first people who wanted it and them being less than ideal so I took over managing my own tenant find process and also mange the properties themselves. The tenants come to me if there are problems, they know I'll sort anythings ASAP and see their properties as their homes rather than my investment.

I started off in rental housing on a nationally notorious housing estate. Our first house was £26,000 in the late 90's on this same shithole estate but it's the only way we could get on the housing ladder. Now, we live in a modest semi detached worth not much more than our rentals but chose to stay here and invest the money we could have spent in trading up the past 20 years. We are fed up of seeing others who refuse to live in a shithole and over stretched themselves on a mortgage to buy moaning at us because we played it cautiously and are happy to sit tight rather than keep trading up and it's paid off for us.

The rentals are long term investments for us, and are for my retirement. I won't apologies for being a LL and the fact that I have long term tenants in all the houses who are happy and have no intentions of moving says I'm doing something right. Having started out in rentals ourselves, we know the type of LL we would have wanted and strive to be that because our tenants are just as important to us as we are to them. I guess in the case of LLs with large portfolios this isn't going to be the case always but not all LLs are bad.

I guess many tenants have bad experiences because when others find a good landlord, they stay in their home and don't move on.

It's really opened my eyes to see how little control and power I have as a LL compared to tenants, that's why I highly value the tenants I have.

FraidyCat Thu 09-Jan-14 10:21:06

I find the idea that we live in one of the richest countries in the world, but still have poor people pretty fucking tiresome myself.....

I find the idea that a country is rich quite tiresome. "The country" doesn't have any money, the money in question belongs to various individuals. The idea embedded in that phrase is political doublespeak intended to conceal this fact and legitimise confiscation from one set of individuals for redistribution to another set. There is no rational moral basis for this redistribution. If there has to be a law, motivated by morality, allowing confiscation from the better off for the benefit of the poor, then logic would dictate that the money was spent somewhere like Somalia, where it would go much further. The suffering in the UK resulting from canceling all benefits here would be more than offset by the good done elsewhere.

2rebecca Thu 09-Jan-14 10:32:35

My main thought when watching this was that he was a good example of how money doesn't make you happy as he had a naturally downturning mouth.
I think that individuals (or small groups of individuals) shouldn't be able to own more than 10 -20 properties each and only registered housing associations and councils own more. All houses should pay full council tax (unless the people living in them qualify for discounts) so having second homes lying empty much of the year is a luxury, and we should build more well insulated but affordable housing in areas where the jobs actually are, its pointless building more in areas with high unemployment even if that's where people are from as it just perpetuates the cycle of living on benefits.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Thu 09-Jan-14 10:57:14

Am I the only one a bit worried about all this new house building given the recent flooding?

Do we really not have enough housing already? Is it not more a matter that there is just not enough available in the £££ reach of most ordinary people?

I'd far rather see proper rent controls and reduced house prices and have society bail out and support landlords/homeowners facing "crisis" due to negative equity (than say, £40 billion spent on a high speed railway) in recognition that this will ultimately be a better way to resolve the housing crisis and stabilize the economy long term.

But no, let's make the state liable for risking more people taking out stupidly enormous mortgages, with the goal of maintaining this artificially high house price lark, which we seem hell bent towards. hmm

AgaPanthers Thu 09-Jan-14 12:30:58

All what new house building?

House building is at its lowest rate in decades.

Yes we need more homes.

More houses means lower prices.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Thu 09-Jan-14 12:58:25

All the house building that is going on that isn't affordable by those who need housing most. Maybe it's where I live Aga - houses are flying up left, right and centre, only a small proportion are questionably "affordable".
And all seems to be leading to a housing bubble?

Wallison Thu 09-Jan-14 14:17:38

<<they know I'll sort anythings ASAP and see their properties as their homes rather than my investment>>


<<The rentals are long term investments for us, and are for my retirement. >>

Hmmm. Anyway, well done on getting others to fund your investments.

As for this:

<<It's really opened my eyes to see how little control and power I have as a LL compared to tenants,>>


WillBeatJanuaryBlues Thu 09-Jan-14 14:19:39

Landlords get easy money in our country. we have LL near us who rent to EE, the houses are in appalling state, vile, he gets rent weekly in hand
( no tax declaration), he doesn't have to do anything to the property to keep it nice, and those that live near the house suffer the consequences of anti social behaviour and the LL does nothing, nothing to control them or anything because there is no tenancy agreement and they will be gone in one or two weeks.

I think all Landlords need to be brought to heel to make sure properties are habitable and of a certain standard and they must make sure they are in charge of their property and if their lodgers are causing problems for the neighbours, they must be held accountable.

Wallison Thu 09-Jan-14 14:20:08

<<I'd far rather see proper rent controls and reduced house prices and have society bail out and support landlords/homeowners facing "crisis" due to negative equity (than say, £40 billion spent on a high speed railway) in recognition that this will ultimately be a better way to resolve the housing crisis and stabilize the economy long term. >>

NoseWiper, completely agree with this. Housing needs to come down in price. I wouldn't want to see people losing money though and would far prefer the £20bn a year that currently is spent on HB - ie propping up the unsustainable cost of housing - used to bail out people in negative equity who have to sell.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Thu 09-Jan-14 15:54:45

Yes Wallison, I'd like to see the banks and the state taking proper responsibility for allowing things to spiral out of control the way they have.

I don't blame anyone individually for taking advantage of rocketing house prices, it was and is perfectly legal after all. But it is unsustainable and has become completely immoral imo, given what it has lead to.

CastroIsDead Thu 09-Jan-14 16:54:18

most people who claim housing benefit are in work. im a single mum i work but like lots of people cant afford high rent with rubbish wages.
he's evicting everyone on benefits, even people who work and have never defaulted- doesn't seem fair at all

Peekingduck Thu 09-Jan-14 17:16:01

"Landlords get easy money in our country."
Yes, of course, you're so right. biscuit

ComposHat Thu 09-Jan-14 18:10:17

Yes, landlords can only charge the market rate, but the market is utterly artificial due to under supply of houses and under regulation of rented accommodation.

The rights and responsibilities are skewed too heavily in favour of the landlord. There needs to be rent controls set by area, long term secure tenancies and a proper duty on landlords to perform maintenance on their properties.

This is a win-win situation, it will make some of the cowboys buck up their ideas or get out of property altogether. If they choose to sell up, alll well and good, it will put more homes onto the market increasing the supply of houses on the open market.

AgaPanthers Thu 09-Jan-14 18:24:28

"most people who claim housing benefit are in work."

Absolute bollocks.

Only a small minority of housing benefit claimants are in work.

coco44 Thu 09-Jan-14 18:28:46

I am a LL and my insurance won't allow HB tenants.

Vevvie Thu 09-Jan-14 18:29:53

Bloody disgusting. Making themselves rich on the backs of others. Everyone should have the right to affordable housing. sad

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Thu 09-Jan-14 18:30:05

93 per cent of new housing benefit claims made between January 2010 and December 2011 were made by households containing at least one employed adult.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Thu 09-Jan-14 18:30:33
NoseWiperExtraordinaire Thu 09-Jan-14 18:33:35
AgaPanthers Thu 09-Jan-14 18:34:34

What on earth has that particular cherry picked statistic got to do with the price of the fish?

People claim housing benefit for DECADES. The statistic about new claimants doesn't tell you much.

Actual figures:

working 685,000
not working 2,735,000 (of which 581,000 'unemployed', 1,096,000 'other inactive', and 1,059,000 retired)

ComposHat Thu 09-Jan-14 18:35:06

No Aga, you are talking bollocks. 93% of new claims for housing benefit made between 2010 and 2011 benefit were made where at least one person wasare employed. (Source: newstateman)

AgaPanthers Thu 09-Jan-14 18:38:55

No, the quote was

"most people who claim housing benefit are in work."

and this is total fucking bollocks.

Only 685,000 out of 3.42 million people in receipt of HB are working. That is 20%, and not remotely 'most people'.

The New Statesman and the like deliberately mislead people.

ComposHat Thu 09-Jan-14 18:44:17

So Aga what your figures demonstrate is that the number of employed people claiming housing benefit outnumber the unemployed.

The only people raking the system in this situation are the greedy landlords who've been raking in public cash for years, only to chuck out their tenants on a whim, when they think of a better wheeze and greedy employers who use state benefits to top up shite wages.

A living wage and rent controls are what is needed, rather than demonising the poor.

DontGiveAwayTheHomeworld Thu 09-Jan-14 18:47:40

Aga inactive and retired does not mean unemployed, even though they are not in employment. I'm a SAHM, which makes me inactive. Not unemployed.

Your figure show more people in work claim HB than unemployed.

AgaPanthers Thu 09-Jan-14 18:55:25

I don't think you can draw easy conclusions.

Minimum wage in London won't pay for food + shelter for a family, but in say Gateshead it can.

It's not really about greedy employers as the completely fucked up state of the housing market and the failure to build sufficient new housing to accommodate the millions of extra people we have, primarily in SE England.

SlowlorisIncognito Thu 09-Jan-14 19:03:16

I do find it surprising that one individual can own so much property in one area and therefore set rents and conditions, and perhaps this should be restricted or monitored more tightly, as he is essentially creating a monopoly.

However, I do think there is a demand for private rentals in this country, especially from more transient young people and students. However, the current system is not really fit for purpose, and I think the main people who benefit from it are unreggistered letting agents. In the city I live in, one firm in particular massively overcharge and exploit students, whilst using scare tactics to get them to sign up to houses.

Everything about renting needs to be more regulated. I feel this would benefit both landlords and tennants.

That is a seperate issue from housing benefit. I do think the housing benefit system is currently not perfect, and causes people to end up in arrears. However, it can be hard to evict people who are paying something but not enough, especially if they have children. Therefore housing benefit claimants do represent more of a risk to landlords. Also, most private landlords can't afford long periods with tennants unable to pay due to their benefits being stopped for whatever reason.

Really, housing benefit is the government subsidising big business. If businesses were forced to pay a living wage (or have employees with nowhere to live), then working people would be able to pay their own rent. This would probably benefit both tennants and landlords.

AgaPanthers Thu 09-Jan-14 19:07:13

Actually the vast majority of HB claimants live in social housing.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Thu 09-Jan-14 19:15:21

The statistic about new claimants doesn't tell you much.

I'd have thought it was an essential and highly relevant piece of information about what the most current and significant factor for people entering the benefits system is.

Especially since the number of housing benefit claimant appears to have reached record proportions:

In recent weeks the number of Housing Benefit claimants reached five million for the first time....

...Over previous economic cycles the number of Housing Benefit claimants has traditionally increased as unemployment has risen and then fallen as unemployment has decreased. The recent growth of in-work households claiming Housing Benefit appears to be a departure from this historic trend. It appears that there has been a considerable change in the financial situation of these households who are now claiming Housing Benefit and we need to better understand why this change has occurred...

...The growth of in-work claimants represents households who are in employment but cannot afford to pay their housing costs. The rapid increase in the number of households in this position highlights the vulnerability of their financial situation. If rental accommodation is no longer affordable for many low-income working households it would have serious implications for households, for housing policy and for the wider economy. This is not an issue we can afford to ignore any longer.

AgaPanthers Thu 09-Jan-14 19:31:23

Hmm, apparently the statistic about new claimants is total bollocks too:

Basically, there were 4.746 million claimants the year before, and 5.000 million the next year, a change of 0.254 million. And the number in employment went from 0.634 to 0.878 million, a change of 0.244 million.

Ergo, 0.244/0.254 = 96%.

The problem being that more than one million people STOP claiming housing benefit each year.

So this is technically possible:

Date 1: 4.746 million people claim, of which 0.634m employed
Date 2:
1 million people stop claiming, of which none were employed
1.254 million people start claiming (so a net increase of 0.254 million), of which .244 million were employed, resulting in 0.878 million employed

On that basis, only 20% (0.244/1.254) of new housing benefit claimants are employed - a far cry from 93%.

Of course the 20% figure is wrong, because it's obvious that many of the 1 million+ people who stopped claiming were employed, but 20% is every bit as correct as 93%.

Basically we don't know what proportion of new claimants are employed, and whoever claimed that we did should be sent on an evening class in basic statistics.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Thu 09-Jan-14 19:51:47

From your link:

Update (29 June 2012)
The Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF) have confirmed that the Department for Work and Pensions, with whom they have been in contact, have not criticised their own analysis arriving at the 93 per cent figure.
They also pointed out that it is not unreasonable to infer from the available net increase information that a significant number of new claimants are likely to be in work. Full Fact does not dispute this and is happy to make this clear.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Thu 09-Jan-14 20:11:14

Though quite why our government can't co-ordinate with our local authorities to simply provide the number of new claims coming in with a record of the number in and out of work, alongside those in existing/continued claims is quite beyond me! There shouldn't be any inferring needed, just the figures!

Plateofcrumbs Thu 09-Jan-14 20:23:51

You're tying yourself in knot with your attempts at statistical superiority, agapanther.

Yes it's technically wrong to say that it's the % of new claimants. But this is actually pretty irrelevant to the overall issue. Which is that the vast majority of the growth in HB claimants over these two years was a result of a net increase in the number of claimants in work.

The flow on and off is beside the point. We now have more people claiming HB primarily because there are more people in work who are claiming. That is what is important.

Darkesteyes Thu 09-Jan-14 20:51:26

Anyone see Ch 4 news tonight. He is trying to evict a working single parent because she
a. gets some help from HB with her rent.
b. had the temerity to complain about a broken radiator.

So what they REALLY meant by "keep your head down if you are on benefits and we will leave you alone" is "dont report any repairs because we dont want to have to pay out to fix them"

AgaPanthers Thu 09-Jan-14 20:51:36

No I'm not tying myself in any knots. The fact is that we don't know what % of new HB claimants are employed. The people tying themselves in knots are those making claims without evidence.

"Which is that the vast majority of the growth in HB claimants over these two years was a result of a net increase in the number of claimants in work."

No, the number of HB claimants grew (by around 6%), and the proportion in work increased from 13.3% to 17.5%.

It's not true that the growth was due to a net increase of claimants in work. That implies a causation that probably exists to some degree, but certainly not to the degree argued by these liars in the press.

They are trying to paint this picture of armies of down-trodden people being oppressed by The Man, the trouble is the data don't support this.

More people are working now, for example, a lot of people are no longer eligible for IB, tax credits make working more attractive, and so on, and it's very reasonable to suppose that many of the existing non-working HB claimants are now working HB claimants, which would naturally increase the numbers in employment.

These people are trying to sell a story about people being oppressed by employers, unable to afford a roof over their heads despite working fulltime, and while I have no problem with that theory, I really object to people putting out bollocks statistics.

AgaPanthers Thu 09-Jan-14 20:52:13

The Wilsons are cunts.

Nuff said.

Darkesteyes Thu 09-Jan-14 20:59:09

How do you explain the fact that working people are having to use food banks.

AgaPanthers Thu 09-Jan-14 21:07:14

Working people couldn't use food banks before because they didnt exist.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Thu 09-Jan-14 21:12:26

Anyone see Ch 4 news tonight. He is trying to evict a working single parent because she
a. gets some help from HB with her rent.
b. had the temerity to complain about a broken radiator.

Oh the Wilsons have form for this. Here's a report from 2010 which claims that tenants were unable to secure repairs. I think Watchdog did a feature on them around the same time.

They've also been in the press for snaffling deposits and attempting to extract thousands in damages for minor repairs. eg - trying to claim for an entire new bathroom suite when the problem was a cracked cistern lid.

Shockingly they attempted to sue a plumber who condemned one of their boilers - they took him to court for loss of rent as they were unable to let the property as he wouldn't pass the appliance as safe. They judge told them where to go but then Wilsons have so far ignored a court order to pay his costs, leaving him £3000 out of pocket.

DumSpiroSperHoHoHo Thu 09-Jan-14 21:34:21

I saw Wilson on the local news last night and thought he was the most reprehensible piece of shit I'd come across in a long while and some of the posts on this thread definitely seem to confirm that.

The government desperately needs to bring in some serious controls to the private rental market if there's to be any hope for future generations owning our even renting decent homes of their own.

That someone owns that many properties at all, let alone in one town is shocking and appalling. There absolutely should be an upper limit. If the govt can insist that builders must build a percentage of social housing when new estates go up, surely the could insist that a proportion of private rentals must also be let to HB tenants? This wouldn't apply to LL's with one or two properties to rent, but anyone with over 5 rental properties for instance.

I also think (and have done for years) that there should be an upper limit on the number of rental properties owned by an individual who also has another job (or perhaps an upper limit on the income made from rental properties in addition to their main job).

Plateofcrumbs Thu 09-Jan-14 21:36:02

It's not true that the growth was due to a net increase of claimants in work. That implies a causation that probably exists to some degree, but certainly not to the degree argued by these liars in the press.

I'm afraid it absolutely is true. I'm not implying anything about where the growth in claims has come from, or anything to do with what the 'flow' of claims has been.

But the simple facts of the matter are that between the two dates the number of HB claimants increased and most of this is because of the increase in number of in work claimants. This is indisputable.

ComposHat Thu 09-Jan-14 21:36:59

Shitbags of the highest order. Peter Rachman would be ashamed of some of their practices.

Initially I thought 'well all this bad publicity will knacker them, no one in their right minds would rent a house from them now.'

Then I realised that they had a virtual monopoly on private rental in their area, so people are pretty much forced to deal with these shysters.

Proof if ever you needed it that an unregulated property market is unhealthy.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Thu 09-Jan-14 21:54:34

The problem with the Wilsons is that they've created a monopoly and have been bailed out by the banks. The simply outbid on every single cheap house in the Ashford area, buying virtually every day for years, until they held a vast swathe of the properties in the town. They gained almost complete control of the rental market - but also created that market by acquiring all the properties that were normally bought by people as starter homes.

When they got into financial difficulty a couple of years ago the banks didn't foreclose (the old adage that if you owe the bank a million you've got a problem, if you owe the bank £50m the bank's got a problem, is very true) and offered them preferential interest rates to keep them afloat. They are too big to fail, and have been bailed out as a consequence.

AgaPanthers Thu 09-Jan-14 21:59:35

No, that's not true Plateofcrumbs.

The reason for the growth is quite simply that more people are coming on (around 1.5 million in a year) housing benefit than are leaving (around 1.2 million)

You cannot say the growth occurred because of claimants in work, because we don't know that that is true.

If you find that more applicants had names beginning with 'S' than before then you could say that the the growth is because of the increase in the number of people with names beginning with 'S'. But that wouldn't be true.

It's the Bangladeshi Butter Index. Correlation does not prove causation.

3asAbird Thu 09-Jan-14 22:01:22

I thourght even before this news their dodgy reputation was well known and is odd they could afford so many houses and get so much credit.

As for figures in work.

theres so many people on low hours or zer hours contract technically they working but need housing benefit.

cost of living going up and rent huge outgoing.
our private rent lot more than peoples mortages.

3 bed round here 800-900p er month.

Yes2014 Thu 09-Jan-14 22:07:26

It's weird, people here are saying 'we'll he's a businessman acting as a businessman' etc and you kind of think 'oh yeah, fair enough, of course' ... Then you go away and think WTF! We live in a society where providing people with a HOME (which is surely a human basic requirement) is a business ? To make profit from???? That's so strange!

Danann Thu 09-Jan-14 22:11:44

Oh the Wilsons have form for this. Here's a report from 2010 which claims that tenants were unable to secure repairs. I think Watchdog did a feature on them around the same time.

Most decent builders/plumbers/electricians won't touch their properties because Mr Wilson bodges most of the repair work himself, so no one wants their name associated with the houses.

The wiring in the cellar of the place I rented was done by him, it was dangerous and against wiring regs and he refused pointblank to pay for an electrician to fix it, there were exposed wires in both bedrooms and the kitchen from broken sockets which he had masking taped over, I complained and he kept trying to tell me it was safe, it took my Dad (who is a fully qualified electrician with 35 years experience) hours to make the house safe as he kept finding faults, he had to replace 6 sockets, 4 light fittings and rewire the entire cellar and Mr Wilsons response was to send a letter reminding me all work on the house should be run past him first and that he would not be paying for it (I hadn't expected him to pay, Dad didn't charge me).

I know a single mum with 3 kids, who at the time were very young, whose gas boiler was playing up and when she called him Mr Willson came round and shouted at her not to be so stupid, it was fine, luckily her kids Dad was round for contact that afternoon and paid someone to come and look at it, turns out there was a bad carbon dioxide leak.

They managed to keep their houses full then because the majority of private rents that accepted HB belonged to them so there was no choice, now they will have Eastern European tenants who won't have the local knowledge to avoid them. angry

3asAbird Thu 09-Jan-14 22:17:44

why cant local authorities check the safety of private properties they paying for?

amazed sickened how much this couple has gotton away with and why they not being investigated and punished somehow for their wrongdoings which could have caused fires and deaths.

Plateofcrumbs Thu 09-Jan-14 22:31:12

Apologies to everyone who isn't interested in pedantry, but I can't let a good statistics argument lie.

Agapanthers - I've never heard of the Bangladeshi Butter Index, I just had to look that up. And it's nothing like that at all.

Imagine you're at a party and at 8pm there are 15 people in the living room and 10 people in the kitchen. During the evening people arrive at the party, leave the party and mingle about between the living room and kitchen. Come midnight there are 16 people in the living room and 15 people in the kitchen. There are now more at the party overall and this can be mostly attributed to a larger number of people in the kitchen. We don't know WHY there are more people in the kitchen. Maybe they are new arrivals at the party, maybe they came from living room, maybe they're the same people who were there earlier, maybe they're completely different. But the party has got bigger and the growth is from the kitchen.

Danann Thu 09-Jan-14 22:37:55

Local authority advised tenants to hold back rent over safety, that's why Mr Wilson evicted a load of families last year, they were all the ones that had dared to complain.

AgaPanthers Thu 09-Jan-14 22:41:06

I think it's worth pointing out that record numbers of people are now in work.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Thu 09-Jan-14 22:44:13

The key aspect that is not disputed is the word significant isn't it?

So we can say (from the Building and Social Housing Foundation independent research) that the number of HB claimants rose to record levels in Dec 2011, and a significant number of new claimants at that time were likely to be in work?

The BSHF also say that in December 2011 almost a quarter of all households who rented their accommodation and were in employment received Housing Benefit. I wonder how many of these will be susceptible to copycat evictions.

Darkesteyes Fri 10-Jan-14 00:24:26

Catkins thats appalling. shock Peoples lives are at risk here and a plumber is 3 grand out of pocket simply for doing his job properly and having integrity (a word those 2 bastards would have to look up in a dictionary) angry

Darkesteyes Fri 10-Jan-14 00:25:50

Dannan another bloody dangerous situation. Thank God for your Dad.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Fri 10-Jan-14 08:30:32

If I'm being terribly cynical, I think the Wilsons are planning something. They are going to evict 200 families at the same time. I suspect that Ashford Council will not be able to cope with such a sudden influx of homeless people - they have limited council stock and nearly all the private rental stock is owned by the Wilsons, so those evicted have nowhere else to go locally.

Who wants to bet that Fergus will suddenly offer to rent his now empty properties to Ashford Council to house the hundreds he's just evicted? At an 'emergency' homeless accommodation rates.

Wallison Fri 10-Jan-14 09:43:40

2.5 million people unemployed is not 'record numbers of people in work'.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Fri 10-Jan-14 09:53:42

Yes Cat, there's something whiffy about the whole thing.

Why has anyone been allowed to monopolize a local economy like this? Clearly we learnt nothing from the likes of Hoogstraten.

Personally I'd love to see the LA able to make a few compulsory purchase orders! (But doubt that could ever happen <sigh>).

Catkinsthecatinthehat Fri 10-Jan-14 10:20:20

Yes Nosewiper, it doesn't make sense. They are planning to evict 20% of their stock in one go - 200 households. They say that 100 of those are not in arrears, and I'd like to know what 'arrears' really means for the other 100 - it could just mean short delays or lags in HB processing for many, rather than people refusing to pay all their rent.

Do they really think they can immediately fill 200 houses with Poles?

They have admitted being in a financially precarious position and only kept afloat by depressed interest rates, and from what Dannan says above Fergus is doing repairs himself, rather than paying qualified tradespeople. Fergus's performance on C4 News last night was a clear and unashamed (albeit legal) threat to tenants - ask for repairs and I'll evict you.

Ashford Council is simply going to tell people to stay put until eviction notices are served - otherwise they are intentionally homeless. That's 200 legal actions the Wilsons will need to take. Very expensive.

They can't afford to create massive voids like this. They can't afford mass legal action. And strangely they are seeking maximum publicity. Stinging the Council for homelessness accommodation is the only explanation I can think of.

Fiveleaves Fri 10-Jan-14 10:34:48

It should not be possible to own more than a couple of rental properties. His tenants remain tenants rather than homeowners because of greedy landlords like this buying up cheap housing stock forcing low earners to rent rather than buy. It should not be possible to own more than two rental properties. It should be illegal. Why does he need all this money? I think him and his wife are the real low life scum in society. Him and all the rich avoiding tax and businesses avoiding tax and peers in the House of Lords claiming their expenses for no work and MPs fiddling or even claiming expenses they're entitled to. Why do we blame the poor?!

I am a (accidental) landlord btw, my single rental property is my pension now in the absence of a work pension and prices in my area have fallen so house is in negative equity. I have never raised the rent. I actually lowered it. If house prices go up that doesn't mean rent goes up! That means landlords benefit twice and home ownership is further out of reach for tenants.

Ubik1 Fri 10-Jan-14 10:49:32

My experience of private landlords is pretty dreadful. Here in glasgow HMOs are now regulated to some extent after a few students died in a house fire because their windows were barred and there were no smoke alarms sad

It's shocking how some landlords monopolise entire buildings and allow them to fall into disrepair. I have looked at flats where I can see daylight through the roof of the stairwell.

We have recently bought a flat which was ex HMO - their licence was turned down after the downstairs neighbour was flooded nine times.

We have smoke alarms everywhere - DP has found the most horrendous wiring in one room and our gas meter was condemned as unsafe as soon as we moved in.

Most landlords who own multiple properties don't seem to give a shit. And the argumebt that 'it's a business' does not mean the owner should have no morality at all.

Lazysuzanne Fri 10-Jan-14 11:15:09

I am shocked at what I'm reading on this thread about landlords.
We desperately need tighter regulations.

I remember when it was possible to get your rent registered, someone from the council would come and decided what it was worth and the landlord had to abide by that amount.

I had it done and the LL was very upset 'how could you do this to me' blah blah blah hmm

Wallison Fri 10-Jan-14 11:35:28

That's still the case in much of Europe, Lazysuzanne, and I think we desperately need to bring it back here. Also, proper security of tenure - these six month contracts are no basis on which to provide a home. The only way that tenants get anything approaching security now is if they lock themselves into a long lease, but if that lease doesn't have a break clause then the tenants remain liable for the rent for the entire period of the lease, which is madness - why should a tenant be more tied to a property in tighter terms than a homeowner (who can always sell at any time)?

Lazysuzanne Fri 10-Jan-14 11:42:19

It's embarrassing, why must we have such an anachronistic set up sad

Evil exploitative landlords, it's almost feudal.

Danann Fri 10-Jan-14 11:56:53

Catkins, I think you may be onto something there, especially with the number of his properties that are already empty from before he evicted this lot.

Plus, I've just walked past my old house and there's still a beer can I forgot to take off the window sill when we left in June which surely if you were seriously trying to get a tenant you would move, it can't smell nice by now!

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Fri 10-Jan-14 13:49:29

And Cat the cynical me also thinks the other awful alternative might be that these homeless feckless people on benefits (they will all be called this since conveniently there is no accurate data to prove the number of those "working" as the government can't be bothered to collate such useful stats) get shunted somewhere cheaper, such as in the north etc.

Where they will become a different authority's problem and leave the south east free for "hardworking" (this WILL be evidenced of course) and possibly exploitable others who put up and shut up because they have no choice, or it's slightly higher up the human rights scale, so better than when where they came from.

And yes, Lazysuzanne, it's thoroughly shameful our society has allowed this to occur.

Plateofcrumbs Fri 10-Jan-14 13:59:35

nosewiper - we really DO know how many HB claimants are in work! That's the easy bit!

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Fri 10-Jan-14 14:01:08

Yes but not new claimants!

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Fri 10-Jan-14 14:02:19

And doesn't info about new claimants this term tell us more about the current situation and effect of government policy? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?

poii10 Sat 11-Jan-14 17:55:25

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 18:19:36

As a landlord, I have to point out that we are not all bad. I have had one house rewired, another checked by an electrician before renting them out. I cover the houses with smoke detectors, comply with gas check legislation, provide co2 detectors.
The houses are in lovely condition.
I won't rent to people on benefits, though if an existing tenant lost their job I wouldn't evict unless they stopped paying rent. For long term tenants with a good record I would be patient, too.
Anyone who thinks we're all bastards, well you can just fuck off.
I worked hard and sacrificed a lot to get in this position. I am constantly on call and have done a lot of the work on these houses by myself, sleeping on mattresses on the floor while I've decorated, sanded floors etc.
Not to mention the whole stress of buying and selling, which has actually been so bad it's made me ill.
We are currently renting ourselves as we need to live in another town and I appreciate our decent landlord.

Wallison Sat 11-Jan-14 19:33:23

<<As a landlord, I have to point out that we are not all bad.>>

Why? I mean, why do you have to point that out? What difference does it make to anyone? Does it mean that landlords are regulated? Does it mean that rents are regulated? Does it mean that tenants have security of tenure?

No, of course it doesn't.

It's a facile and meaningless thing to say.

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 19:57:40

There has been a certain amount of demonising of private landlords, on this thread and elsewhere.
So as a result I think that, no, it isn't a facile thing to say.

ComposHat Sat 11-Jan-14 20:11:02

Well it says a great deal about the the industry as a whole that ensuring your house isn't a death trap and complying with the law makes you a 'good' landlord. I'd consider that the bare minimum.

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 20:12:59

Yes, so would I.
But the implication here is that we don't even do that.

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 20:16:12

Btw, I lived in one of those houses for 8 years and want to retire to the other one.

Lazysuzanne Sat 11-Jan-14 20:19:06

Of course some landlords are benevolent and have a consciousness, so what?

The point of business is to make a profit, any rational business will make as much profit as it legally can regardless of who is being exploited, it is the job of govt to regulate industries so that vulnerable people cant be exploited.

Wallison Sat 11-Jan-14 20:19:57

So? What do you want us to do? Give you a fucking medal?

Whether there are so-called 'good' (ie those that comply with the minimal legislation that there is) landlords is neither here nor there - it doesn't change the fact that landlords should be properly regulated. And they aren't. Whether or not you are a 'good' landlord is immaterial.

Lazysuzanne Sat 11-Jan-14 20:20:21

conscience not consciousness blush

Danann Sat 11-Jan-14 20:25:20

As a landlord, I have to point out that we are not all bad. Of course you aren't all bad, there are some fantastic landlords about.

However this thread is about a landlord who is ridiculously bad!

Danann Sat 11-Jan-14 20:27:06

the implication here is that we don't even do that. no, the implication was that Mr Wilson definitely doesn't do that

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 20:38:08

No, there have been several comments on here implying that we are all 'evil' or 'scum'.
What would you like us to comply with?
I'm open to suggestions, but, yes I do want to make money.
I don't exploit anyone,btw, any more than our current landlord is exploiting us. He is providing a need service.

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 20:38:35


Wallison Sat 11-Jan-14 20:39:11

If I were you I'd just get on with counting my money and not worrying about what society thinks of you.

Wallison Sat 11-Jan-14 20:40:40

Or, alternatively, if being a landlord makes you feel so bad that you need to seek validation from a bunch of strangers on the internet, sell your houses and give the money raised to Shelter.

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 20:40:49

Ok then. Maybe I'll keep the London house empty then. It makes money as I sleep.
Would that be better?

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 20:41:26

I don't feel bad, just intrigued.

Wallison Sat 11-Jan-14 20:47:14

Yes, you felt intrigued enough to tell us that you're a 'good landlord' because your tenants aren't burning in their beds, and that anyone who doesn't agree with you 'can fuck off'. That's quite some level of intrigue going on there.

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 20:49:52

Why don't you just tell me what you want? Or would that be too sensible?

Wallison Sat 11-Jan-14 20:58:02

I think it's pretty clear what people want. First, for this arsehole not to be let anywhere near tenants - he has no business to be providing housing. Second, for landlords to be properly regulated - to be required to register with the local council and for the council to inspect homes to ensure that they comply with safety and welfare standards ie not just wiring and gas but for appliances to be properly checked, doors and windows to be secure, lockable and with keys provided, roofs not to leak and in the case of furnished properties for all furniture provided to be in good working order, clean and free from infestation. Third, for rents to be regulated again by the local authority, just as they used to be prior to Thatcher and as they still are on the Continent. Fourth, for tenants to have complete security of tenure with a break clause ie they can stay in the property as long as they like barring death/insolvency/need to sell/moving back into the property on the part of the landlord and this to be determined by application to a court, but with the tenant able to give a month's notice; again, this is as it used to be before and still is in much of Europe.

Wallison Sat 11-Jan-14 21:00:17

Also, what might be nice is at the stage where the landlord is requiring bank statements/references etc, they are required to supply the same to the council and also their tenants. If they turn out to be too highly leveraged and at risk of going bust, the council to refuse to licence them. Other information that should be provided to tenants could include matters such as how many times a landlord has withheld deposit money, whether they have ever been the subject of court action by tenants for this or any other matter - ie steps to ensure that they are fit to be providing housing.

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 21:13:37

I agree with much of what you have to say. I definitely think that longer notice periods should be provided, on both sides. Not just on behalf of the tenants though.
Not sure about rent regulation. Sounds costly and impractical. The level finds itself related to house puchase costs.
A lot of what you say is already there in one form or another, but yes, I agree.
I'd like similar info about tenants though. They can be bastards too.

Wallison Sat 11-Jan-14 21:19:59

Rent regulation works perfectly well in other countries and used to work here. I don't see how it is any more 'costly and impractical' than spunking £20bn a year, every year, on housing benefit to landlords.

Lazysuzanne Sat 11-Jan-14 21:20:48

landlord is requiring bank statements/references etc

good point, as a tenant these days it seems all your past behavior is up for scrutiny but you dont get to find out whether the LL plays fair until it's too late.

As a modern liberal democracy should we not aim for a situation where everyone has access to a basic standard of affordable accommodation?

No one should have to fall into poverty and destitution, that kind of thing doesnt just impact the poor, in the long run it holds back society as a whole.

Wallison Sat 11-Jan-14 21:22:17

And I'm not asking for a longer notice period for the tenant to be able to stay as long as they want, provided that they are not breaching their contract. The main reason for this, aside from the fact that no-one should be kicked out of their home for no good reason, is that whatever other rights and securities you give tenants, they count for nothing if a landlord can give notice with no reason required. If they had to apply to a court to prove insolvency/need to sell/need to use the house as a family home for them, then they would not be able to chuck out tenants just because they, for example, ask for too many repairs to be done.

Wallison Sat 11-Jan-14 21:23:23

I'm not asking for a longer notice period BUT for the tenant etc, that should read.

Wallison Sat 11-Jan-14 21:23:43

Bold fail. I give up. Hope you get the gist.

Lazysuzanne Sat 11-Jan-14 21:25:19

The level finds itself related to house purchase costs

with landlords manipulating the situation by monopolizing large portions of the housing stock.
Not to mention the fact that property prices are totally out of whack with wages
You are a landlord and yet you seem so naive about the social and economic side of the situation

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 21:29:54

Not naive, realistic. I want money to provide a service. Fine if regulation keeps pace with reality re rents.
Yes I'd like more info about tenants too. I'd like to know if they've defaulted on rent or if a landlord has had to withhold the deposit.

Lazysuzanne Sat 11-Jan-14 21:31:35

I mean naive about the wider social implications and power structures involved

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 21:32:17

Landlords manipulating the situation
Really. Buy to let landlords are usually just trying to pay for their old age because regulation in the city isn't working and our pensions have been pissed up against the wall.

Lazysuzanne Sat 11-Jan-14 21:33:38

the implications of having basic needs like housing provided for by the private sector as opposed to having social housing

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 21:33:51

Lazy- I am pretty clued up actually, that's why I make money.

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 21:35:06

I do care about the wider community. And I know I'm part of it.
But my family comes first.

Lazysuzanne Sat 11-Jan-14 21:35:42

I'm not blaming individual landlords, they are just behaving opportunistically as business is wont to do, the problem (as we keep repeating) is the lack of govt regulations

Wallison Sat 11-Jan-14 21:36:02

The landlord who is the subject of this thread is clearly manipulating the rental and indeed buyer's market in his locality.

Lazysuzanne Sat 11-Jan-14 21:36:51

if you are a business your sole motive is profit, being sentimental and caring in business just makes you a mug

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 21:42:50

Lazy, there is room for ethical businesses.
And I've already said I agree with you proposed regulations mostly.
What do you do for a living?

Lazysuzanne Sat 11-Jan-14 21:46:07

arms dealer

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 21:47:43

Ha ha. Can't fess up

Lazysuzanne Sat 11-Jan-14 21:48:32

business is only 'ethical' when ethical behaviour is in it's long term financial best interest.
The profit motive is the driving force.

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 21:50:52

Avoiding the question, are we?
Of course profit is the driving force. I can't live on air. But I can provide a decent service at a decent price.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sat 11-Jan-14 22:06:25

Kitten this thread is about landlords, I think demanding to know the occupation of posters is irrelevant to the thread. I work in a training company btw. See? Completely irrelevant. Unless your motivation is to identify those who maybe on benefits of course, and you think this in itself makes someone's view point invalid?

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 22:09:48

F course it it relevant. If you are going to judge others, you should be beyond reproach. What do you train people in and how do they use it?
We are all working in this imperfect system
I don't care if someone is on benefits.
Had to do it myself in the past

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sat 11-Jan-14 22:16:45

I am not judging anyone!! Perhaps rtft.

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 22:21:54


KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 22:22:33

Read the fucking thread?
Maybe others should do that too.

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 22:24:02

Oh, I see. You just want to rant.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sat 11-Jan-14 22:30:02

I'm not saying there haven't been judgemental posts posts on this thread, however I do believe most have been pulled up (apart from poii10, who I think should be deleted).

I for one have challenged the notion that all landlords are bad, but I think we are all allowed to discuss policy in terms of rent restrictions, are we not?

I took your "can't fess up?" comment to be slightly belittling of anyone who might not be on benefits. Apologies if I read you wrong there.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sat 11-Jan-14 22:30:47

anyone who might be on benefits

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 22:33:33

I wasn't even thinking of benefits. I was wondering who works for a company that is squeaky clean.
Yes, we are allowed to discuss policy, that's what we were doing.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sat 11-Jan-14 22:36:38

I think we were before it started to get personal.

Lazysuzanne Sat 11-Jan-14 22:37:10

we are discussing the lack of regulation in the private rental market, my profession is therefore irrelevant.

If I were a landlord I'd seek to maximise my profits just as I would in any other area of business

Lazysuzanne Sat 11-Jan-14 22:40:57

The company that I work for operates within the law, as do landlords.

The issue is that the law need to be charged because the private rental market is dysfunctional.

KittensoftPuppydog Sat 11-Jan-14 22:48:56

Yes, we all work within the law.
There are many companies that are worse than my little operation, maybe yours is one on them, but you don't want to say.
The rental market may be dysfunctional, but don't tar us all with the same brush.
Off to bed now.
I provide homes for people who want to rent them. They are nice, safe homes. I hope you spend your time so well.

Lazysuzanne Sat 11-Jan-14 23:01:36

I dont know why you are so defensive Kitten, I have said that I am not judging or blaming individual landlords, as have other other posters.

LessMissAbs Sat 11-Jan-14 23:04:59

However Wallison do remember that on the Continent, tenants are expected in return to do far more for themselves - providing your own kitchen isn't unusual in Germany and I have friends and have lived in rented accommodation in both Holland and Germany which is considered very desirable but compared to the average rental in the UK would be considered a death trap. For instance, my German patent lawyer friend in Munich lives in a flat in which the radiators are broken and heat to such a high temperature only when on that if you brush against them, you burn yourself - I did. She won't complain to either her landlord or thouht the building hausmeister as its not a good idea to get a reputation as a moaner. She just puts up with it because its a one bedroom apartment in a good area in Schwabing. In Holland, many rentals come with narrow staircases which just wouldn't ever comply with UK safety regulations. Things like working ceiling lights are a bonus!

Also be aware that its even harder to find a rental property than here because people do not move on and you have to pay agency fees equivalent to at least a month just for them to find one for you, if not more as "bribes".

Then some properties for rental are much, much cheaper to buy than in the UK. So I don't think you would see so many landlords willing to buy properties and comply with both strict regulation and rent controls in the UK where properties to rent cost a fortune - wheres the incentive?

In fact, DH are probably going to buy a couple of rental apartments in Germany because it is far less regulated than Scotland - where landlord registration, HMO licenses, gas, electricity and energy efficiency certificates are required, along with mains operated smoke alarms in every room, self closing doors with smoke seals and in some cases, sprinkler systems - far stricter than required for social housing let to families with small children, ironically enough.

LessMissAbs Sat 11-Jan-14 23:16:36

Wallison Fourth, for tenants to have complete security of tenure with a break clause ie they can stay in the property as long as they like barring death/insolvency/need to sell/moving back into the property on the part of the landlord and this to be determined by application to a court, but with the tenant able to give a month's notice; again, this is as it used to be before and still is in much of Europe

Actually in The Netherlands, many local authorities have implemented a policy which compels tenants to move on who "under-occupy" larger apartments in desirable areas ie one person in an apartment which could technically house a small family. And the following policy is likely to be implemented soon:

I think its fair to say that its the rent payable for housing and not necessarily the quality of the housing or furnishings that is regulated in the Netherlands. You may have to pay money on top of the rent to hire any fixtures or furniture in a rental apartment!

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sat 11-Jan-14 23:49:42

I don't think you would see so many landlords willing to buy properties and comply with both strict regulation and rent controls in the UK where properties to rent cost a fortune

No, but isn't strict regulation together with rent control the business of social housing? And these are successful, only there are not enough of them. Would fewer private lets really be an issue if there were more and better social housing?

Perhaps house prices would come down due to private letting becoming unattractive, and more would be able to afford their own homes. Perhaps Housing Associations would be able to increase their stock in an affordable way, rather than having to build new homes (and decimate more of the countryside).

You may have to pay money on top of the rent to hire any fixtures or furniture in a rental apartment!

This is often the case here and now. If tenants had security of tenure, then it is worth the investment, which often isn't the case at the moment. I couldn't get excited about redecorating or making improvements if my landlord could evict me in 6 months time and get better rates due to my work!

Lazysuzanne Sun 12-Jan-14 00:08:16

House prices come down?

policies which would further that end surely seem unlikely?

Imagine the chaos with bank balance sheets, negative equity and over leveraged property owners etc

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sun 12-Jan-14 00:12:35

Very unpopular I agree. That's the issue.

I think the state/banks would have to compensate in some way. I see it more as taking responsibility for letting things get out of control.

As said upthread, I rather that than £40 billion on a high speed railway, or as Wallison said, £20 billion less on HB being forked out to working people who can't afford their homes.

Lazysuzanne Sun 12-Jan-14 00:12:40

I do agree that more social housing would be a good thing, just can't quite see how we could easily transition to that from the current situation?

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sun 12-Jan-14 00:13:35

£20 billion, or whatever the actual figure is.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sun 12-Jan-14 00:14:52

x post.

And no, it wouldn't be an easy transition. But no bigger deal or cost probably (guessing, admittedly) than this unsuccessful revamp of the benefits system.

Lazysuzanne Sun 12-Jan-14 00:15:53

Bank take responsibility?
They don't exactly have a good track record for that sort of thing!

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sun 12-Jan-14 00:15:57

We're probably heading for a crash at some point anyway. Why not manage it properly?

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sun 12-Jan-14 00:17:50

^Bank take responsibility?
They don't exactly have a good track record for that sort of thing!^

And you're right there! But they have got off scot free so far. Iceland manage to put them in jail.

Lazysuzanne Sun 12-Jan-14 00:18:33

But who knows, sensible things might happen.
I live in hope grin

Lazysuzanne Sun 12-Jan-14 00:19:53

Yes a crash
The bigger the bubble the bigger the pop!

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sun 12-Jan-14 00:23:00

Yes, with you there in hope smile

CouthyMow Sun 12-Jan-14 01:46:05

Maybe if the Local Authorities didn't have an 11 week backlog in starting to pay out claims, or changing payments when there is a change of circumstance, then this wouldn't have happened.

I nearly got evicted after moving house, to an adapted house that the Council had moved me to (so knew I was blooming moving), because it took them 11 weeks to process the change of address and rent rise form, and another 3 weeks to PAY the Housing Association the rent owed to them (I still have mine paid direct to LL, otherwise there would have been a further delay whilst I waited for the funds to clear into my bank in order for me to pay them out.

I was lucky - I had my lovely Housing Officer that I've known for 15 years on a personal level hold off the HA from getting a notice of seeking possession, but one more week and I would have been given notice.

It's crap, but it's the inefficiencies of the Housing Benefits departments that causes these arrears, and I can understand why a Private LL might get too pissed off with that.

LL's are running a business. They aren't going to want to wait 3 months or more for their first payment of rent, are they?!

CouthyMow Sun 12-Jan-14 03:34:24

And yes, rent controls.

That is where it is going wrong.

Yes, rent controls would leave lots of BTL LL's in negative equity. But when their homes got repossessed through a change in benefits policy, HOW is that worse than a family being left HOMELESS through a change in benefits policy, as is happening in this situation, with the 200 families being evicted through the changes in HB payments?

So, BTL LL's would lose money, maybe even have the BTL property repossessed. THEY WILL STILL HAVE A BLOODY HOME TO LIVE IN. They haven't 'lost everything', they will just have to make the same provision for their pensions as everyone else has to.

Sorry if I can't get too emotional about the idea of a BTL LL having their 'investment' repossessed, then put back in the market at current value, thus driving down the overall costs of housing for everyone. IT'S A HOME, NOT A 'COMMODITY' OR AN 'INVESTMENT'.

Another thing to bear in mind is that the "30% of market value" thing that governs the too rate of HB payable for property is disingenuous. Why? Because chances are that not ONE property in the cheapest 30% of Private Rentals in that whole town is actually EMPTY and available for bloody rent.

So it's not as easy as "if you can't afford the top up, find a cheaper property". It's more like "we will have to move our family of two adults and two teenage DC's into a one-bed flat as the HB just will not cover ANY empty 2-bed properties. Even if your teenagers are a girl and a boy, sharing a room with you now...

This LL is just bloody reprehensible. My Cousin's home in Ashford was a veritable fucking death trap (dodgy boiler this bastard refused to fix). If it wasn't for my Auntie replacing my cousin's bond money, she would have to have moved back home. Because the bastard wouldn't pay that back either as my cousin hadn't stayed for the 6 month contract.

LL's shouldn't be allowed to own this many BTL properties without being MADE to run them in the same way that Housing Associations do.

Rent controls, set at what the cost of a Housing Association manages to charge for a property of the same size, in the same area, at a reasonable standard of decoration should be the norm.

If my small, local HA can rent out a 4-bed, large lounge, dining room, small garden, ADAPTED property (rent is more as it's adapted) for £171 a week, whilst carrying out annual gas safety checks, contracting gardener to look after the shared outside spaces (in the car park), contract a repairs company to deal with any necessary repairs, then why do the private LL's locally see fit to charge over £340 a week for an equivalent property?!!

Why not cap the BTL LL's rent at, say, £200 max per week for this type of property, AND insist that they follow the same regulations as HA's have to, by completing repairs within set time frames or having to pay the Tenant compensation?

(As a note, it's VERY rare for a HA to end up having to pay compensation for a repair failing to be carried out on time where I live)

If they want more profit from their 'investment' than BTL with rent controls would allow them to make (I will NOT say 'earn', as earning implies working for), then they will have to find some other scheme to invest in.

May I suggest becoming an arms dealer or a drug dealer? They might actually be more ethical ways to make money off an 'investment' than the sort of profiteering that BTL LL's with multiple properties are trying to do.

Now, I personally have nothing major against those 'accidental' BTL LL's who have one property they are unable to sell, and are doing things in a decent way, but those that then continue to buy more and more properties? Those I DO have an issue with.

Council tax reductions for second homes needs to stop, if you choose to own a holiday home, you are preventing someone from having an ACTUAL home, and should be made to pay for that privilege.

Tenants don't 'have a right' to stay in a property after their notice period is up, most do so VERY reluctantly, due to Council Homelessness rules, they are not actually homeless until the actual eviction date.

If they need to get housed through the homelessness route, then they have absolutely NO choice, even if they hate doing that to their LL's.

That COULD be changed, but NOT by the Tenant. Who, I wonder, makes the policies governing applications for Social Housing that Local Government administer...?

If the Government so wished, to make things easier for BOTH LL's that give notice AND the Tenants becoming Homeless due to that notice, they could change the regulations to state that a LA has to accept the Notice date as the date from which the Tenant is 'officially' homeless and they have to help, rather than the actual Eviction date.

And as for HMO's, far too lax regulations abound on how many are allowed in each given area. If it was based on services etc, then the LA should be refusing far more planning applications for HMO certification.

And it IS obvious that after these Tenants in Kent are evicted, that due to this bastard's monopoly on the local rental market, he is going to relet these properties as 'emergency temporary accommodation' BACK to the very same families. If he's still sitting on other empty properties, he is deliberately slowing down the local rental market in order to charge a much inflated rent for the 'Emergency Temporary Accommodation' as there is just no way that that Council can find that many places in temp accommodation, without recourse to the local rental market...which is this reprehensible bastard.

Soooo...who is bailing him out? Not the fucking banks, but the taxpayers. The 'spare room subsidy / bedroom tax / your personal name for it' was just an underhanded way in which to transfer money from the public purse to multiple property LL's, via the ARTIFICIALLY CREATED need for 'emergency temporary accommodation'. Paying up to TWICE the level of standard HB...

CouthyMow Sun 12-Jan-14 03:47:10

Building more social housing would have the triple-pronged approach of 1) Boosting the economy by providing employment to those building it. 2) Providing homes to the hundreds of thousands on the housing lists and those that are currently homeless, thus cutting the benefit bill as Social Housing Rents are lower than Private Rents and 3) lowering the rents overall as supply would be greater.

Also, stop developers from buying chunks of land, and just 'sitting' on them, not building on them. Again, this artificially 'controls' the supply of available housing. Put back into the regulations about them having to build X amount of Social Housing on each development of over Y houses.

Stop our serving politicians (of ALL flavours) from holding property portfolios and they might be more inclined to fix this situation, rather than manipulating the rules to create more profit for themselves.

Ugh, this whole subject is depressing. When people can't see that shelter is a human necessity, I despair.

coco44 Sun 12-Jan-14 09:53:18

'Yes, rent controls would leave lots of BTL LL's in negative equity'

I don't think so! Surely if the rent on their property does not make it worthwhile they will sell. THus reducing the rental stock

Yes2014 Sun 12-Jan-14 10:18:51

Yy to rent controls. The need for both these and social housing is so obvious but no party will even touch the issues, I despair.

Yes2014 Sun 12-Jan-14 10:22:42

If rent controls would leave landlords in negative equity then that's a pretty big sign that they shouldn't have bought the btl property in the first place? And I hardly think it's time to get the violins out for them, since they wouldn't be losing their actual home, just their hobby/investment/money for nothing property.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sun 12-Jan-14 10:44:59

I've no objection in theory to the building of more social housing if it is needed and there is absolutely no alternative. But not if it results in the costs being transferred to HA tenants (& HB) in higher rents. I believe this is on the agenda and is the reason behind proposals to bring social rents more in line with market rates.

I would proffer that if house prices decrease, and there are restrictions on the number of btls with tighter regulation across the rental sector, there will be less need for as many new builds and demand on social housing since many will afford their own.

Trouble is it is not a vote winner for those who are not "bigger thinkers", or social minded, but who wield a lot of financial power and political clout. IMO it is still the responsibility of the banks and the state who allowed them to freewheel for so long, and if we have to buy people off with incentives/compensation for negative equity in order to get society back on an even keel, then so be it.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sun 12-Jan-14 10:47:22

coco the issue will be when rent controls make renting not work, and if the value of their house is then less than what they paid, they end up owing more. It will be a real cost to them.

ReallyTired Sun 12-Jan-14 12:34:08

How does rent controls work for the tenant who wants the extra luxury and is not on housing benefit. There are different types of tenants with completely different needs.

Tenant A: Is from South Africa and has a well paid six month contract in the UK. He has chosen to rent a flat in an expensive luxury complex at about three times the rent of a council flat. His extra rent pays for secure parking, well kept gardens. The landlord pays a service charge(covered by the high rent) which gives his tenant access to a gym, tennis courts and a swimming pool on site.

Tenant B: Has just gone through a divorce and is renting short term until the family home is sold.

Tenant C: A family has moved to a new area and wants to know the town before commiting to buying.

"I've no objection in theory to the building of more social housing if it is needed and there is absolutely no alternative. But not if it results in the costs being transferred to HA tenants (& HB) in higher rents. I believe this is on the agenda and is the reason behind proposals to bring social rents more in line with market rates."

The issue is making sure that the right people get low social rents. The issue is making sure that low income people have enough money to live on. A family on 60K or even 30K does not need rent at present social housing levels.

3asAbird Sun 12-Jan-14 12:48:03

no party wants to help a renter?

the new help to buy will just increase prices.

house prices on rise here

so much so my landlord wants to sell.

i have 2.5months need be out by 31st marh find new family home locally within private sector.

Im looking at 950-1000 for 3bed property.

£350 agency fees.
£1000+bond and 1months rent upfront.

cleaning and moving costs.

feeling pretty worries as stuff goes so quick and looking on right move so many dumps overpriced.

creamteas Sun 12-Jan-14 13:35:05

How does rent controls work for the tenant who wants the extra luxury and is not on housing benefit

Rent Control does not mean identical rents, and clearly if a property has additional assets (gym, pool) then the rent would be higher than one without.

It does mean that the LL cannot raise the rent when they feel like it as rents can be aligned with cost of living rates/average wage rises etc.

ReallyTired Sun 12-Jan-14 14:49:27

There is already the Residental Property Tribuanal for assured tenancies. The landlords cannot raise the rent more than once a year and if the landlord is too greedy then a residental property tribunal can lower the rent. There is no need for stricter laws, there is a need for tenants and landlords to understand their rights and responsiblities.

I feel that letting agencies are a significant part of the problem. If a council was prepared to act as a residental letting agency (offering a rent guarentee) then rents would be lower. At the moment many landlords pay 10 to 15% of the rent to a middle man who does sweet FA.

ReallyTired Sun 12-Jan-14 14:51:53

The UK already has rent controls. However rent controls is not the same as living almost rent free or paying peppercorn rent which is what some posters clearly want.

SaucyJack Sun 12-Jan-14 15:06:43

living almost rent free or paying peppercorn rent

Our rent is roughly around a third of my DP's full-time wage a week- and that's for a council flat - so as cheap as rent can be round here.

Exactly what planet are you living on where you think that counts as "almost rent-free"?

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sun 12-Jan-14 15:40:25

Re: tribunals, the trouble with this is that it is down to the tenant to become a "moaner". I would feel increasingly uncomfortable with taking things this far and expecting anything like a good working relationship with my landlord afterwards. Especially since most contracts are 6 months to a year, when the landlord could legally evict and then re-advertise at the rate he wants. I imagine this is what allows unscrupulous lls to chance their arm, and what puts people off moaning, not that they don't understand.

I agree letting agents are a big part of the problem. I know those locally who have admitted it is fairly customary to increase the rent by £50 or so each time a tenant has moved out, and I can see on the local market the same properties that come up every 6 months or year or so, seem to be going up in these increments each time they become available.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sun 12-Jan-14 15:50:30

And I often wonder if we should change the way letting agents operate altogether. I'd like to see them regulated as some kind of social enterprise, unable to manipulate the landlord/tenant relationship for their own ends.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sun 12-Jan-14 17:49:52

The issue is making sure that the right people get low social rents.

Yes, you are right in some respects. But actually, if house prices and rents came down for everyone, and we acted to protect those against severe loss (ie losing the home they live in because of negative equity on a btl for example) then I'm not sure I'd object to wealthier people having more disposable income.

It would perhaps stop the resentment (that is so prevalent) that they are little better off than the "scroungers".

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sun 12-Jan-14 18:05:29

Stop our serving politicians (of ALL flavours) from holding property portfolios and they might be more inclined to fix this situation, rather than manipulating the rules to create more profit for themselves.

Yes, Mouthy, it would certainly ensure there were no conflicted interests.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sun 12-Jan-14 18:07:18


I do apologise shock

Lazysuzanne Sun 12-Jan-14 19:13:43

bloody letting agents...leeches and pimps the lot of them angry

ComposHat Sun 12-Jan-14 19:20:16

Suzanne I agree. In a decade of renting I don't think I met a letting agent who has dome anything approaching a decent job. If some (most) of the landlords were arseholes, then letting agents were tagnuts.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sun 12-Jan-14 19:26:33

Perhaps all renters should form a union and go on strike lol.

ReallyTired Sun 12-Jan-14 19:43:10

Our rent is roughly around a third of my DP's full-time wage a week- and that's for a council flat - so as cheap as rent can be round here."

That is peppercorn rent compared to the private sector. Many families pay half their monthly salary for a mortgage/ rent on a tiny property.

I think that some posters don't realise how lucky they are.

ComposHat Sun 12-Jan-14 19:50:10

really I would suggest you look up what a Peppercorn rent is.

Lazysuzanne Sun 12-Jan-14 20:27:15

yes, Reallytired yours is a clear misuse of the term 'peppercorn rent'

Wallison Sun 12-Jan-14 21:22:08

Where on earth did you get the idea that that constituted a 'peppercorn rent', ReallyTired? (And actually, can I just say now how much your username makes me boak? Cheers.)

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sun 12-Jan-14 21:24:05

Who said anything about wanting to live almost rent free?

In many respects the proportion of income spent on where you live is irrelevant, what matters is that the remainder covers essential living costs.

This clearly doesn't happen for a significant number of people in rented accommodation who work (and is what the thread is about).

I'd imagine what most people in working households want is to be able to pay their way, look after their families to the best of their abilities in the most meaningful way, with some sense of security for the future. And not be labelled as scroungers.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Sun 12-Jan-14 21:36:27

And I don't wish also to overlook those facing eviction who claim housing benefit because they don't work, it is just shocking that there are many that do.

3asAbird Sun 12-Jan-14 21:44:44

been in current property nearly 10years.

in that time maybe landlords spent grand if that,
we landscaped garden
replaces most of dodgy flooring ourselves
repaint every year.

we fairly low maintainance.

we first got 6months.
then 12months but wouldent give us loger as he liked to up rent little each year.

every time we renewed tennancy they charged him admin fee and us. last lot was £90.

When i ring up they treat me like crap
rubbish communication.

go in and they pounce on me the i say im lettings and they say ohh go back.

They also have 2 numbers and if ring sales they get shirty.

they say the most stupid things
delay repairs.
inspections used to be annual but last few years they been quarterly which is nightmare rang shelter they said there is such thing as quiet enjoyment.

we have complained lot in 12months as getting fed up have avacado green bathroom 30years old falling apart and 30 year old kitchen falling part replaced with cheap nasty white units poorly by landlord which dont fit bottom units and narrow cant store much.

The gas man says place could do with new boilier
landlord des some stuff himself to save money badly.
hes ok not a people person, hates my kids.
hes annoyed with agents too and thinks they useless .

but now we have to move going to avoid current agents who treat us like crap never once been late with rent.

moving privatly so expensive we going to have to borrow to move as going to cost us 2hlalf grand to move and will be time delay in deposits if we get it all back mate had to go small claims with hers.

all very well saying complain but so many on short term tennancy of -12months they would just be given notice and new tennent moved in.

my landlord keep saying you know your rents cheap but place is dated falling part , 3beds but 3rd box , 1 reception , no garage we assume hes selling as would have spend money and take years to get money back on what he spends.

im glad t be leaving but worried about finding somewhere and how much will cost us and faced facts our rents going to be more now get anything half decent as we tied to area due to schools.

SaucyJack Sun 12-Jan-14 21:49:55

Our rent is roughly around a third of my DP's full-time wage a week- and that's for a council flat - so as cheap as rent can be round here."

That is peppercorn rent compared to the private sector. Many families pay half their monthly salary for a mortgage/ rent on a tiny property.

Lol- yes, I'm more than well aware that those in the private sector pay far more than those of us in not-for-profit social housing- and for far less tenancy rights. Round here, we'd be paying DP's whole salary on an equivalent private rental (tc's and hb notwithstanding)

That's, um, kinda the problem we've been talking about for the past week?[duncehat emoticon]

And do go and Google what a peppercorn rent actually is.

Wallison Sun 12-Jan-14 22:23:23

It's actually a bit more complicated, but as a rough rule of thumb working people only get HB if their rent is more than 2/3rd their income. Damn right that they want to be paying less than that. And also damn right that we as a country shouldn't be subsidising payments to their landlords that are more than that.

NoseWiperExtraordinaire Tue 14-Jan-14 14:40:31

Annual house price growth rose faster than the cost of living in November, even if London is removed from the calculations, official figures show.

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