To think pre 1989 tenancy rights should be restored?

(403 Posts)
fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 11:06:56

And that Assured Shorthold Tenancies should be abolished (or severely restricted?

Pre 1989 nearly all rents were subject to 'fair rent' adjudication and private tenants had much better security of tenure.

Reintroducing similar measures would vastly improve quality of life for millions of people in the UK (including children) and help to reduce the Housing Benefit bill.

Special exemptions and phasing arrangements could be made for accidental LLs and amateur LLs with small portfolios.


JamNan Thu 13-Mar-14 11:12:36

Reasonable yes!

It'll never happen though because there are too many private buy-to-let LLs making a packet out of private tenants and Housing Benefit payments.

Farming the poor is a lucrative industry these days.

Buddy80 Thu 13-Mar-14 11:14:59

I could not agree more! Although, from memory, there were tennants who complained about very minor issues and witheld rent, a fairer system does need to be in place.

angelos02 Thu 13-Mar-14 11:15:07

Trouble is that mortgages are so high. I know the amount I pay will barely cover the mortgage of the person that owns the house. They only haven't increased it as we are good tenants.

WestieMamma Thu 13-Mar-14 11:16:02

I don't know what rights tenants had but if they meant tenants had more security than they do now then YANBU.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 11:17:56

This is an article about the 100,000 tenancies that still fall under the pre-89 rules

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 11:23:30

Jamnan Hard but not impossible. There must be more people suffering under the current system than benefiting from it.

JamNan Thu 13-Mar-14 11:28:20

Perhaps a change of government might help, fideline but it'll take time, but as you say it's not impossible. I'm too cynical these days.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 11:29:36

Problem is angelos that people on average wages cannot afford average rents, so many many working people are forced to claim top up Housing Benefit, which is taxpayers money going straight into LLs packets and so keeping both rents and house prices artificially high.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 11:32:30

I'm feeling a bit energized today Nan, in the mood for carpeing a diem. The feeling may well pass grin

I more and more think individuals should be banding together to campaign on distinct issues, though. I am so jaded with party politics.

Bramshott Thu 13-Mar-14 11:32:43

I absolutely agree that there should be some measure of rent control, and longer assured tenancies, but some aspects of the pre-1989 system were quite inflexible (eg. selling a house with a sitting tenant who couldn't be asked to leave) and probably wouldn't be suitable these days. They'd certainly mean an end to small-scale/accidental landlords who used to live in a house/flat and now rent it out, which might or might not be a good thing.

Angelos - when you say "mortgages are so high", presumably you mean BTL mortgages? In general mortgages are very low at the moment.

specialsubject Thu 13-Mar-14 11:37:08

do tell how I can make a fortune out of buy to let. Would love to know.

oh, but look - my property isn't in London. If I put it up for too much rent people don't rent it. Because they have a choice.

as long as everyone continues to migrate sheep-like to an expensive, overcrowded city, supply and demand will continue to force up rents and prices.

there is work elsewhere.

will be interested to see what happens when interest rates rise. Will people like the OP be whining that mortgage rates should also be controlled?

specialsubject Thu 13-Mar-14 11:38:09

oh, and look up the meaning of the word 'minimum'. You can have an assured tenancy for as long as you want if agreed with the landlord. Six months is the shortest time.

if you prove to live normally and pay the rent, the landlord will want you to stay.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 11:38:56

special who said anything about BTL landlords making a fortune?

What is controversial about wanting to keep housing affordable?

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 11:39:53

'if you prove to live normally' Eh?

Roshbegosh Thu 13-Mar-14 11:43:33

There would be fewer private landlords. It would make flats cheaper to buy but there would be far fewer rentals. It is not something the govt should control in a free economy. Sitting tenancies were madness, people paying rent at a 30year old price is absurd, the landlord would not bother to do any maintenance or updating and the housing stock suffers.

Roshbegosh Thu 13-Mar-14 11:44:47

Yes fideline live normally. Keep it clean and don't annoy the neighbours.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 11:48:44

Rosh that is what is bothering me - it is NOT a free economy if widespread HB is required to prop the whole thing up.

I love the way everyone is assuming I am tenant. I'm not. The sustainability of the system bothers me however.

wowfudge Thu 13-Mar-14 11:48:53

There are pros and cons to both fideline. The article you linked to has more than one example of a fair rent tenant complaining that the flat/building needs doing up. If the property we rent out isn't maintained properly to a good standard we would struggle both to get and keep tenants for a decent period. Private tenants not claiming housing benefit can be pretty demanding as there is plenty of rental stock for them to choose from these days. In fact, our tenants used lower rent being charged down the road as a tool to renegotiate the rent. As sensible landlords who prefer to keep good tenants instead of having a void period and re-marketing and incurring the costs involved, we agreed.

There are safeguards for the tenant under an AST - they only have to give half the notice the landlord does if they want to leave. Also, as I understand it, under the AST system it can be a long, expensive process to evict a tenant.

I did, however, know someone who bought a property as a buy-to-let investment. He spent next to nothing 'renovating' it (i.e. slapped a bit of paint around and bought a second-hand cooker from a junk shop). He wouldn't pay an agent to market it properly so advertised on Gumtree and in the local rag. He struggled to let it to anyone other than housing benefit claimants. He had loads of trouble getting the rent paid on time, keeping tenants, etc. I'm not saying that's because they were on housing benefit, but he cut so many corners and never did any background checks on prospective tenants because it would have cost him �50-80. I couldn't help thinking he got what he deserved. He had no idea about ASTs, landlord and tenant rights and obligations and had done no research. I was his secretary and I knew more than him because I had been a tenant under an AST (this was long before I became a landlord). He thought it was perfectly alright to flout the law and not protect his tenants' deposits.

Sorry - I have gone off the point, but people like the guy I worked for incense me as it's all about them spending the very minimum and trying to cream off money for themselves. For the sake of a couple a grand he could well afford, he could have done a proper job!

My own view is that we look after our investment and our tenants and if it costs us money now, then that is money well-spent because ultimately we will get it back, IYSWIM.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 11:51:39

We wouldn't need to bring back sitting tenancies, just Fair Rent adjucators and longer tenancies with greater security, as the norm.

As for living normally, it is admittedly 15 years ago, but I was thoroughly referenced for the private rentals I lived in. That still happens right? And probationary periods could be written in to contracts?

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 11:55:31

"My own view is that we look after our investment and our tenants and if it costs us money now, then that is money well-spent because ultimately we will get it back, IYSWIM."

You see wow surely good LLs like yourself have nothing to fear from some reforms?

A presumption that a tenant will stay long-term could be good for everyone.

Assured tenants could always be evicted for non-payment or anti-social behaviour, that has never changed and wouldn't change.

wowfudge Thu 13-Mar-14 11:59:51

Except fideline, if our circumstances changed and we needed to sell the house we let out, having to wait a protracted period to get the tenants out could be a real problem.

Lamu Thu 13-Mar-14 12:01:41

Do tell how I can make a fortune out of buy to let. Would love to know.

I'd love to know this too. We have 2 properties that we've let out. Both have mortgages and all the associated costs of property maintenance, service charge etc. The rent our tenants pay is slightly lower than what we should be getting, but we'd rather have a good reliable tenant than one that doesn't pay or trashes the place.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for affordable housing available to all. But all too often these threads make out that LL are making a huge profit when that's often not the case.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 12:02:42

This thread isn't saying that though Lamu so let's avoid that particular cul-de-sac.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 12:04:52

I'm neither tenant nor a LL and although I have been a tenant, I have no LLing experience.

However, I assume LLs are making a longterm investment and that tenants want secure, affordable housing. It can't be so hard to get a system that satisfies both groups?

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 12:05:27

wow are you an accidental LL?

angeltulips Thu 13-Mar-14 12:06:32

Also a bit presumptuous to assume that everyone WANTS long tenancies. When we rented, we did so precisely because we wanted flexibility in where we lived. We had one landlord offering a minimum 3 year lease - we turned it down. Why not let the market decide?

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 12:09:47

I might be biased because I am London-based.

There are many more people with children renting now and I hear a lot of people in that situation complaining that long-term tenancies are not more widely available.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 12:10:38

Besides, Angel, tenants always did have flexibility to give notice and leave as it suited them under the old system.

Lamu Thu 13-Mar-14 12:11:20

I've been both a tenant and currently a LL so I do see it from both sides.

Unfortunately at the bottom end of the market you do get unscrupulous LL who cut corners and don't care about their 'long term investment' so long as the money is coming in iyswim. Not sure you can ever put measures in place to control greed.

TheGirlFromIpanema Thu 13-Mar-14 12:16:26

Why not let the market decide?

Because the current situation is not a market deciding anything.

It is an untenable situation propped up by housing benefit caused by an on-going lack of building at a fast enough rate to house the population.

If the 'market' was deciding we would have thousands of homeless families confused

angeltulips Thu 13-Mar-14 12:19:32

I agree w you on the HB thing

I don't understand why so many people get it, it just inflates prices.

But if you suggest removing it, everyone howls.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 12:25:21

I just can't see how the average person manages to live.

I have been making back of envelope plans this week for escaping the smoke to live in the country, but I can't see how my children will afford to rent in their 20s, so now I'm thinking I will have to stay in the city through their career-establishing years to at least give them the 'perk' of being able to live in the family home and save a deposit to buy. I can't afford to give them all deposits.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 12:26:44

Rents would have to come to down for HB to be cut angel.

HB is fairly rigorously means-tested, people don't get it unless they need it.

Rommell Thu 13-Mar-14 12:50:35

^You can have an assured tenancy for as long as you want if agreed with the landlord. Six months is the shortest time.^

That is not the same as security of tenure because the tenant cannot give notice throughout the full term of the AST and is liable for the rent for the full term (subject to the LL's duty to mitigate their loss, of course) unless there is a break clause.

Anyway, I think there should be a return to the previous system. If that means an end to so-called 'accidental' landlords, short-termers and BTL amateurs, then all to the good. We've tried giving them a fair crack of the whip and it isn't working - since 1989 there has been an increase in homelessness, a spiralling HB bill (£9.3 billion a year goes to private landlords) and a decrease in quality of private sector rental stock. Time to change I think - they've proved wanting.

Rommell Thu 13-Mar-14 12:54:30

^Why not let the market decide?^

What exactly do you mean by this? Let the market decide how long a tenant should stay for? What about letting the tenant decide - they're the ones who need a home.

We don't have a 'free market' in housing anyway - ASTs were designed specifically to encourage speculation in the housing market, the Bank of England base rate has been held at a historic low for years to keep prices high, and these Help to Buy schemes are just another device to ensure they don't drop. If you want a 'free market', a return to the pre-1988 position would be your answer, and would incidentally bring us into line with much of the rest of Western Europe and Scandinavia, all of whom have proper protection for tenants and no crazy house prices.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 12:59:29

I was hoping you would show uo Rommell smile

I completely agree with you. I am wondering whether some post 1989 investors would get stung in the correction and what one could do about it. ( Although I think most over-leveraged amateur investors could just sell and escape relatively unscathed.)

A correction is needed though.

FraidyCat Thu 13-Mar-14 13:02:54

The reason an additional option for type of tenancy was created in 1989 was that no-one wanted to be a landlord, therefore there was a shortage of rental properties.

Why aren't there for-profit property companies offering reasonably secure tenancies at the moment? Presumably for the same reason that no-one wanted to be a landlord in 1989.

Government needs to remove disincentive so that longer tenure is available, possibly introduce a third way, but more likely water down current assured tenancy rights by just enough for supply to rise to meet demand.

Rommell Thu 13-Mar-14 13:05:46

Hi fideline! smile

^The reason an additional option for type of tenancy was created in 1989 was that no-one wanted to be a landlord, therefore there was a shortage of rental properties.^

No. It was created in order to encourage speculation, as I said. They wanted prices to rise. The fact that they were shafting tenants was incidental.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 13:07:37

Fraidy where are you getting your information?

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 13:09:47

re. the shortage of rental properties in 89, i mean.

I think you are ignoring the ideological motivation behind the 1988 Act and it's place in a raft of Thatcherite legislation

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 13:10:15

"The reason an additional option for type of tenancy was created in 1989 was that no-one wanted to be a landlord, therefore there was a shortage of rental properties. "

But now we have far too many rental properties and not enough first-time buyers.

Rental properties typically bring down an area because tenants don't do things like plant the garden, and the landlord doesn't do as much maintenance as an owner living there every day would.

TillyTellTale Thu 13-Mar-14 13:12:04

I think councils should be allowed, nay ordered, to build more council housing with profits from rent.

Expanding the pool of properties that can be rented at a reasonable rent will sort "the market" out!

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 13:14:07

Most of the four bed houses on my street that are rented it out are let to sharers because families cannot afford £2400pcm. Mad rents.

That's the next step in the upward price spiral Aga - HMOs

LornMowa Thu 13-Mar-14 13:16:06

Another possible change might be to alter the name of "Housing Benefit" to "Landlord Subsidy" and encourage Landlords to reassess whether they are really running a legitimate business or just raiding tax payers purses.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 13:24:29

It is odd when LLs ignore HB to insist there is a free market in rented property.

FoxesRevenge Thu 13-Mar-14 13:32:35

oh, but look - my property isn't in London. If I put it up for too much rent people don't rent it. Because they have a choice.

as long as everyone continues to migrate sheep-like to an expensive, overcrowded city, supply and demand will continue to force up rents and prices.

there is work elsewhere


There was a programme on the other night about how cities and how companies will continue to invest in London because the want to trade with likeminded 'big players'. No one wants to be the first to move out and start elsewhere. As long as this continues more and more people will be crammed into London forcing rental prices higher.

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 13:53:12

Yes HMOs are interesting. Because of fucked-up house prices in the South East particularly, rental yields are in many cases even at £2400 pcm not covering the mortgages at ludicrous prices (although the government punishing elderly and savers with their negative real interest rates to bail out debt speculators), so it turns out that if you carve houses up into tiny patches of floor each rented out to an individual serf you can turn a loss-making property into one that offers a double digit yield.

These houses can then be sold on the open market to fellow slumlords.

E.g., this tiny terrace in Slough
is being rented out to at least five separate Housing Benefit claimants, and the income, totalling £22,750 per year, based on the landlord charging charging the legally permitted maximum for each tiny rectangle of threadbare carpet.

Slough is a popular destination for councils to send women needing refuge from domestic abuse, and as seen here landlords then own these people, and can sell them as an income-yielding asset on the open market.

Of course MPs absolutely are in favour of this because they all own a minimum of two properties and immigration, spiralling house prices, slum conditions, all support their 'portfolios'.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 14:09:53

£22750 pa for THAT?!


Balistapus Thu 13-Mar-14 14:40:35

Two things:

What proportion of renters are claiming HB?, and

Mortgages are not all cheap. I'm an accidental LL and mine is 5.4%. The rent only just equals the interest.

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 15:04:56

Yup, I think there's some sort of shitty (illegal?) flat-roofed extension built into the back garden.

And all that lovely profit for the landlord funded by the taxpayer.

BumpyGrindy Thu 13-Mar-14 15:09:15

Yanbu. As a private tenant I am now having to leave the house we've been in for 7 years. My choice is a similar house which will cost 700 a month even though it's smaller than our current home OR a two bed Housing Association flat with no garden.

At the moment I am leaning towards the flat. I am sick of paying someone else's mortgage and being beholden to someone who doesn't have to reward my good tenancy in ANY way by offering me some security.

I think there needs to be some BIG changes and fast. This country....I love it so much but I may have to take the children to Oz for a better start.

LadyRabbit Thu 13-Mar-14 15:14:43

In principle I think it's not a bad idea and I say this as a (I hope good) landlord. It strikes me that the shittier a LL keeps a property the more trouble he will have with only attracting crappy tenants who have no desire to look after a property that the LL doesn't care about and is running it on the bare minimum upkeep.

On the other hand, my DF (again a responsible LL with very nice properties) had a nightmare with a few sitting tenants during the 80s who trashed his property. I can actually remember him coming home ashen faced and almost teary after seeing what they had done to one property he had gutted and rebuilt lovingly. I think it took him a lot of money and heartache to get over that one.

But that house in Slough is becoming increasingly common and I often wonder how slum landlords sleep at night. They give decent landlords a bad name. They don't give a shit about fire regs, damp, wiring, gas inspections etc: basic safety. It's all about the money and sadly there are a lot of desperate people out there who end up renting from these arseholes.

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 15:15:07

Oz? Are you kidding? As I understand it their property market is even more fucked up than ours.

MarpleMiss Thu 13-Mar-14 15:15:44

YABU The reason that those safeguards were abolished was because there was a severe shortage of rental properties available. The father of a friend of mine committed suicide back in the early 70's because he could not get rid of tenants in order to sell the house when he needed the funds and instead was heading into bankruptcy. He thought his young family would be better off with the life insurance. Most private LLs would leave the market if they could not make money from their investment to avoid that kind of situation.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 15:17:59

Balista More than 5 million households claim HB

About 7.5 million households rent their homes..

So we can conclude that 2/3 of tenants claim HB

Grennie Thu 13-Mar-14 15:23:47

Yes I agree with you. And rents didn't used to cover mortgage payments, they were less than that. So you didn't get small scale landlords trying to buy a house by renting it out.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 15:27:16

Marple the safeguards were abolished to promote thatcherite property speculation. RTB was one of the main culprits in removing homes from the rental sector - another thatcherite policy.

BTL properties are not liquid assets. I would never invest in them and that is one of the reasons why not. If a LL is likely to need to sell in a hurry, than (s)he cannot really afford to be in the LLing business.

I realise that accidental LLs such as Balista have not chosen to be in such a position, but that is a separate problem that also needs addressing.

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 15:31:26

There were 8.3 million homes rented in 2011:

Will be higher by now.

Half private rented, half social (HA/council).

There are 4.99 million HB claimants, of which 3.33 million are HA/Council, and 1.66 million private. (As of November 2013)

So roughly, 81% of social tenants claim HB, 40% of private tenants claim HB.

(The figure should be slightly less than 40% because the number of private rentals has presumably grown since 2011, whereas the social rentals probably haven't.)

BumpyGrindy Thu 13-Mar-14 15:33:29

Aga yes it's not perfect but we have a property out there to move belongs to my PILS. We lived there some years back. At least we'd be in a house which is one day destined to be ours anyway. PILS have made solid plans for their care and retirement....wish we had the options they had.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 15:33:37

Oh ok. I suspect your figures are more up-to-date Aga

And more detailed smile

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 15:34:22

To be clear, the problems was introduced at the end of the Major government in 1997, but it was the Blair government that saw the private rental sector spiral out of control, with Blair at the head of the queue, owning several BTLs.

Both parties are as bad as each other.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 15:42:02

Yes Aga but 1989 was the starting point. All g'ovts since 89 have bowed to BTL investors interests

LadyRabbit Thu 13-Mar-14 15:42:41

fideline is absolutely correct - BTL is definitely not a liquid asset and the property business (unless you're in the business of flipping rather than renting) should only ever be approached for the long haul. It's very sad what happened to that gentleman in the 70s but that is not a reason to not give renters better rights.

BumpyGrindy Thu 13-Mar-14 15:42:58

Aga and Fideline you both seem very clued up...what is your advice re my situation?

Take a tenancy in a nice-ish house in the same area we're in...with a landlord who has had some happy tenants for the last 4 years and who swears he's not selling soon as it's his retirement fund...OR a HA property in a very, very nice area which is not where we're from and has no garden...but has an excellent high 10% in the county.

I think the HA has right to buy too...not that I think I want to....but the low rent could help me save a deposit on an actual house.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 15:49:32

I would always take HA over private rental sector myself Bumpy not just for the fair rent but the security. More like 'home' than a private rental (decorate as you like, hang pictures as you like, no worry about the LL selling up).

I was an HA tenant for a while after my divorce and found the HA very good. A different HA is the freeholder of my current shared ownership house. Again very good, although I'm sure they do vary.

Didn't you also say rural area (previously). That would sway me a bit too smile

Just my personal opinion, of course.

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 15:49:44

Go with the HA place, maybe you could swap for a HA house in the future. Much stronger position than being just another unsecured private tenant subject to landlord's whim

You can always leave in the future if you don't like the neighbours, or want to buy or whatever.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 15:51:03

Top 10% high school catchment's not to be sniffed at either.

BumpyGrindy Thu 13-Mar-14 15:53:26

Thank you. That's what DH and my Mum say too. I think the thought of it being "ours" and of course the rural thing is a big well as the cheaper rent!

I've found an allotment too...we will be ok in a flat I think. The DC are nearly old enough to take themselves to the park!

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 16:15:04

So it is definite then Grindy?

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 16:28:00

Actually Bumpygrindy is a good example. Humans have a need to settle down and 'nest' not roam around from one rental to the next, never feeling truly at home.

And paying through the nose all the while.

I expect there is a health and psychological cost.

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 16:47:59

We are well fucked off with our rental tbh.

We've been here almost seven years, nothing has changed in that time, we pay £1500 per month. To buy the house would cost over £600,000.

We will never have any security to make it our own, but we can't really move because we are getting a good deal. So we are stuck and pissed off with it all.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 16:59:31

Wird world where £1500 a month is a good deal to be hung on to.

But I don't know anyone under 45 who isn't pissed off with their housing to be honest Aga

I was very lucky to get enough space to accommodate working from home, on a shared ownership basis. So we have security. The huge drawback is that we can't easily move. Stuck here now paying big mortgage and rent plus frantically saving to finance a downsize is 10 years.

And all because house prices MUST be artificially buoyed up. It's like sci-fi.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 17:00:03

Weird world, i meant

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 17:09:31

Yes it is weird, £1500pcm is £30,000 per year, before tax. An entire year's labour, even at an above average wage.

And we don't live in a palace, just a 1300 sq ft 4-bed house in need of updating.

Basically our planning/land ownership system is designed so that the majority of people's output/labour accrues to the owners of land. And the banks. If wages rise, the rentiers will suck up the 'surplus' cash.

It's a rotten system that relies on limiting the supply of housing by basically preventing people building their own home, and preserving us in a sort of 1950s timewarp.

BumpyGrindy Thu 13-Mar-14 17:10:14

Fide I've got to go and see it but every day I lean more in the direction. I have to meet the HA next week to take along some paperwork but they indicated that the info the council housing list had from me is enough....there shouldn't be an issue.

BumpyGrindy Thu 13-Mar-14 17:11:45

Aga do you have to stay in that area? That rent is shocking! It's bad here but yours is astounding really. Is it massive? Or normal but in London?

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 17:17:29

I wonder; if annual rents had to be advertised alongside the monthly amount, by law, do you think that would help depress the market a bit? You just made me think. I bet a lot of people never do that particular x 12 sum and the annual figure sounds even worse.

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 17:18:34

The rent is what it is, I just had a look the cheapest 4-bed available on the market today is £1700 pcm, but most more than that.

It's in commuter land.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 17:18:38

When are you allowed to view Bumpy? The same day you go to HA office?

BumpyGrindy Thu 13-Mar-14 17:23:27

Fide she did mention it as a possibility but then she said that it was being completely re-done as the last tenants are out and they can't let people in because of health and safety! Yet the council people had told me I have a right to see any property before I take it...problem is that without seeing it, how can I take it!

I'm going there on Saturday for a poke about the area though...might have a better idea anyway...the woman I spoke to said the flats are very spacious apparently...bigger than average.

balenciaga Thu 13-Mar-14 17:23:59

*Reasonable yes!

It'll never happen though because there are too many private buy-to-let LLs making a packet out of private tenants and Housing Benefit payments.

Farming the poor is a lucrative industry these days*

^ I came on to say pretty much what this poster said ^

yanbu at all

BumpyGrindy Thu 13-Mar-14 17:25:03

Aga I's awful isn't it. If I ever make a billion pounds I SWEAR I will buy up entire streets and let them to those in need of good housing...I will give long term secure tenancies.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 17:27:00

A friend who is hoping to buy was considering this the other day, Bumpy.

All in (mortgage, rent and service charge) it comes to more than £2k per month - 2 beds balcony and it is not big. And that is officially 'affordable'. Mind boggles.

Damnautocorrect Thu 13-Mar-14 17:29:02

I hate hate hate renting with a passion, I'm slowly being priced out my area so my ds will need to move schools (presumably a few times) I've no idea where we will end up.
We can't decorate his room as we don't know how long we will be here
We can't have pets in case we have to move.
I can't even plant a bulb in the garden without a pang of sadness that we might not see it flower.
It's really really shit and every minute of every day it worries me. Every purchase is thought out e.g trampoline "best not get a big one in case the next house has a small garden"

I want my son to live in a home, our home a lovely settled one. Go to one school with his friends and start his life from here.

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 17:29:41

Fideline I have 2 flats let on the Scottish equivalent tenancy. I need to be sure if my circumstances change I can get either or both back for me or my son to live in or sell them with vacant possession.

A house with a pre-1989 lease or a Scottish Assured, as opposed to Short Assured Tenancy, loses 50% of its value on a sale and is only saleable to a very limited specialised market.

specialsubject Thu 13-Mar-14 17:31:06

so you want security of tenure and also the right to leave when you want?

you don't get that if you buy somewhere...

but you can negotiate both if you rent. I know someone who rents (in London, good grief) and has a very long lease with a break clause for the tenant. It's a nice house too.

but as all landlords are grabby crooks I must be imagining it.

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 17:31:31

What the fuck?

'You will need to be earning a minimum income of at least £66,000.'

To live in a grotty council flat on a shared ownership scam?

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 17:31:35

Oh no you have to insist on seeing it first. Communicating by email might be a good idea, so that you have proof that you weren't dragging your heels on making a decision, that you were just making a perfectly reasonable request to view first.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 17:36:28

special security of tenure with ease of exit for tenants is fairly standard across Europe and was here until 1989.

You sound very defensive.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 17:37:22

Not exactly a Des Res is it Aga?

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 17:38:15

The flats are always the worst, because of the rip-off service charges.

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 17:41:15

I wasn't a landlord pre 1989 but I was a solicitor. The 1988 Scottish Act was brought in as there were simply not enough houses available to rent as any landlord who got a house back (unless they were major portfolio holders) wasn't re-letting.

The housing problem was caused by council RTB being used to buy all the good social stock in the early 80s which was never replaced.

As for exploiting Housing Benefit one of my flats is in an area which would never be considered by a HB claimant as the Council Tax band is far too high. The other might but so far I've not let it to anyone on HB and to be honest probably wouldn't.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 17:41:55

Caitlin That's not really professional LLing though is it?

BumpyGrindy Thu 13-Mar-14 17:41:56

Fide I know...I'm going to insist on Tuesday when they see me.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 17:43:40

I don't think I've used the word exploitation. I do think if two thirds of tenants need to claim HB to meet their rent, then that is proof that rents are too high.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 17:45:58

Bumpy very weird of them to think you can decide without a viewing at all. Just don't give them a chance to presume a refusal or anything (suspicious of officialdom? moi?)

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 17:54:37

The thing is Caitlin the fact that you might want your 'house back' at any minute means a lot of uncertainty for your tenants. You wouldn't want to bring up a child in home from which you could be evicted at short notice would you?

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 17:59:11

It's a very unsatisfactory form of tenure for families.

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 17:59:23

No it certainly is not

"A CRACK house which attracted a non-stop queue of drug addicts to a block of council flats in Kentish Town was raided by police on Thursday.
The drugs den in Durdans House, Kentish Town Road, became the fifth to be shut down since Camden Council and police were given new powers to speed up crack house closures last month."

Camden is basically where London goes to buy its drugs, so it's not really a surprise.

It is quite fucked up though, that they have to come up with a part-buy part-rent scam in order to persuade people on £66k+ incomes that a 700 sq ft council flat in a drugs den is worth over £2,000/month.

And presumably as a leaseholder you will be liable for levies to fund repairs to the properties still owned by HA.

Rommell Thu 13-Mar-14 18:01:56

^I know someone who rents (in London, good grief) and has a very long lease with a break clause for the tenant. It's a nice house too.^

Ok, so because one person in a country of tens of millions has a good deal, then tenancy laws don't need overhauling.


I think the comments on here by landlords and their supporters are just more evidence that leaving things to private individuals doesn't work - they take everything so personally. It's all 'what about me? What about my investment? What about my below-market rent?' etc. They are too emotionally invested in what they are doing to be even remotely professional. In other European countries, private tenancies are done by big institutional investors - they don't take as a personal slight if someone doesn't pay their rent; they don't whinge about having to do repairs once a tenant has left; they just get the fuck on with it and also they know that they have to adhere to high standards or forfeit their rental income. Private landlords have fucked this country up with their carping, whining, complaining, exploitative ways.

TheGreatHunt Thu 13-Mar-14 18:02:20


I do roll my eyes at the landlords who complain how hard life is for them.

Yes must be hard having a capital asset which generates income for you.

People need secure homes. It isn't happening. Tenants are the weaker in the transaction between them and the landlord.

Housing benefit is ridiculously high.

It is just like low paid wages - the state has to step in the subside landlords via housing benefit or companies via tax credits. Aside from pensioners, they are the biggest beneficiaries from the welfare state.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 18:02:27

I never understand the attraction of camden.

Someone will buy it though, desperate for a toehold on 'the ladder'

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 18:05:23

Camden is good for a night out. But you wouldn't want to live there.

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 18:06:58

"Private landlords have fucked this country up with their carping, whining, complaining, exploitative ways."

No question.

But you can't blame them. It's the government's fault for not regulating it.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 18:07:47

I've hung up my DMs Aga wink

Fast heading towards evenings of ovaltine and cross-stitch I'm afraid

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 18:10:05

Phrases like 'I might need my house back' encapsulate a lot for me.

Amateur (but well meaning) dabbling is no basis on which to house millions of families.

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 18:11:21

I bought some DMs in Camden once. Fuck knows why. I went to the DM shop and bought these horrible boots. Threw them away after about 6 months.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 18:14:04

Ha. It would have been a sub-conscious, Camden-inspired urge for steel toe-caps.

There are a lot of places I won't go unless I am dressed to kick.

LornMowa Thu 13-Mar-14 18:15:51

Slightly off topic but ....Not sure if it applies to all part-ownership schemes but someone I know has one and despite owning only 50% of the property, the way the agreement is drawn up she is liable for 100% of the costs of maintaining the property.

Also because she had outgrown the property she wanted to sell but was prevented from doing so because the HA appointed valuer said that it was worth more than it actually was worth on the open market so she couldn't find any purchasers (not London obviously).

If anyone intends on getting a part ownership property I would argue that a 50% of full market value should more fairly entitled the purchaser to more like 60% of the property to take account of these restrictions.

iliketea Thu 13-Mar-14 18:16:46

I'm an accidental landlord. The rent is covering the mortgage with a "profit" of £500 per year before tax as a safety net in case something breaks or needs replacing. While I want my tenants to be happy and stay a long time, I can't afford to subsidise there housing costs by charging less rent than the mortgage and ending up struggling to afford to pay if the boiler breaks down for example.

Most landlords do not make a huge profit, and most just want tenants to take care of their house and live there happily.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 18:17:35

Yep I have one of those contracts Lorn angry

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 18:20:11

Accidental landlords are a class of their own, and another recent phenomenon created by a distorted housing market.

Something is going to have to give somewhere.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 18:21:39

Why do LLs keep rolling in denying that they make mega profits?

BumpyGrindy Thu 13-Mar-14 18:26:40

Isn't it a profit if someone else is paying your mortgage? After own a house...they own nothing....I'm not saying this is's life! But surely a property is a profit of sorts?

maggiemight Thu 13-Mar-14 18:26:50

But an adjudication system for the many more private tenants than there used to be would cost too much money. So it won't work.

snakeandpygmy Thu 13-Mar-14 18:28:54

Oh yes, bring in rent control and with the money saved on HB invest in good quality council housing. As a first step I would restrict rents on all ex Council properties bought under the RTB legislation (however long ago and however many changes of ownership there have been since then) to say 5 or 10% over the rent the council/ALMO/stock transfer organisation charge for a similar property.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 18:29:50

True Bumpy

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 18:30:33

The HB savings could pay for it maggie

AfricanExport Thu 13-Mar-14 18:31:21

I don't know. I think housing benefit is the cause of high rents.

Landlords can only put the prices up because the the government is essentially footing the bill. If the government were not subsidising rents by paying housing benefits then no one would be able to afford the rents and they would go down.

So I think it's the Landlords taking advantage of the housing benefit and the government.. and to be fair they are not the only ones. Unfortunately it's the people caught in the middle that get shafted.

I am a landlord and a tenant. My rental income doesn't cover our mortgage.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 18:35:53

Yes African I can see it is circular. Problem is if you slashed HB without controlling rents you would have a lot of stress and homelessness, before it all leveled out, IF it leveled out.

I'm sure 90% LTV BTL mortgages also feed the problem

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 18:45:05

The private sector in Scotland is very highly regulated. My 2 properties have to meet standards which are higher than public sector houses. I can't recall which one of you called me "unprofessional" but how dare you. You have no idea what you're talking about.

The housing problems today are virtually 100% attributable to Mrs T's right to buy legislation.

And as for it's not very nice for a tenant to have to move out, well no one's life is perfect. My flats are my pension fund . I bought them with earned income. So you seriously think my tenants have to be protected for ever more even if that might cause hardship to me?

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 18:46:26

African neither of my flats have ever had tenants on HB

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 18:49:58

Nobody called you unprofessional Caitlin

I said what you were doing was not 'professional LLing'

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 18:53:02

Fideline so what do you suggest? Compulsory purchase of my 2 flats at a price you think fair?

And what would that be ? 50% of OMV value.

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 18:54:07

Actually you did call me unprofessional and I think an amateur as well.

evertonmint Thu 13-Mar-14 18:56:56

On the mega profits point that fideline raises, I do agree - anyone not making profits in a BTL should get out:

If you have an interest only mortgage as a LL, chances are you are making some kind of income each month however small after your costs. That is a profit even if it is tiny.

If you have a repayment mortgage you might not be making a profit on a month to month basis. Indeed you may be subbing the mortgage so it is costing you in the short term. But you own a property and your subbing each month is effectively an investment you make on the assumption that you make a profit in the long term - either by owning a capital asset outright which you can then sell, or keep renting out to give yourself an income, or by having this plus growth in the market giving you tend or hundreds of thousands of pure profit as well. You're taking a risk, yes, but with a potentially huge reward.

Anyone who is not making or expecting to make a profit in one of those two ways needs to get out of the BTL game.

I speak as a soon to be landlord <dons hard hat> who is reading this with interest as I fully intend to be a responsible LL who doesn't shaft my tenants. We will be subbing the costs each month as we have a repayment mortgage because we are viewing it as a long term capital investment for retirement rather than an income now. So hopefully our long term interests can align with the right tenant's interests too. But I know many people will see me as an evil landlord because I will (ultimately if not immediately) make a profit out if another person's need for a home. I would only ever expect sympathy as a landlord if I had a nightmare tenant from hell who wrecked my flat and cost me loads in eviction fees. But even then I suspect the long term financial gain would outweigh those short term issues so I probably wouldn't deserve very much sympathy.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 19:00:23

No i didn't.

Amateur LLing is the usual description for people doing what you're doing.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 19:01:29

"Fideline so what do you suggest? Compulsory purchase of my 2 flats at a price you think fair?

And what would that be ? 50% of OMV value."

Nobody said anything of the sort.

TheGreatHunt Thu 13-Mar-14 19:02:00

And as for it's not very nice for a tenant to have to move out, well no one's life is perfect. My flats are my pension fund . I bought them with earned income. So you seriously think my tenants have to be protected for ever more even if that might cause hardship to me

What you do directly impacts upon the lives of others. Tenants are not a hypothetical. You make money from other people, a pretty fundamental part of their life. It isn't to be taken lightly.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 19:10:17

It's a very telling paragraph isn't it Greathunt?

TheGreatHunt Thu 13-Mar-14 19:11:26


The selfishness of capitalism. It's great for making money but forgets that actions impact on others.

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 19:30:32

And of course my tenants get nothing for their rent.

So what other parts of capitalism do you object to?

Pensions? Any one owning a second home any one owning more land than you think is fair? Owning a house at all?
And Fideline I'm still waiting to hear what should happen to the houses I as an unprofessional landlord should own?
If you had one inkling of the rules and regulations which apply to the private sector in Scotland or indeed how the market works in a city like Edinburgh you might realise just how inaccurate and unrealistic most of what you have said is.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 19:32:40

Nobody called you unprofessional

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 19:35:23

By the way all of you bleating on about the evils of capitalism I'm assuming of course you never, ever buy cheap jeans or trainers or an iPhone because knowing the conditions of the workers who make them you couldn't possibly live with yourselves.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 19:36:22


TheGreatHunt Thu 13-Mar-14 19:36:36

They don't get security. Being a landlord brings with it responsibility.

I'm not anti capitalism. I'm just hmm at those who lack humanity.

TheGreatHunt Thu 13-Mar-14 19:37:18

<checks phone> I don't have an iPhone.

I don't buy cheap clothes.

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 19:39:31

You did. I am not an amateur nor am I unprofessional in any sense of the word.

I'm also pretty sure I know far more about Housing Law and policy, landlords' responsibilities and obligations, the way the market worked pre and post 1989 than many of the posters on here.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 19:43:23

Tell me which post I said it in.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 19:44:40

So much bluster and inaccuracy and missing the point, Caitlin

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 19:46:53

Read back your own posts you have said it several times . It is very offensive. I've never actually ended any of my tenancies. Most stay 2/3 years as it suits them for a period in their lives.

WhosLookingAfterCourtney Thu 13-Mar-14 19:48:23

It makes me livid what btl has done to housing. Such greed - I want that house, but I don't want to live in it, and I'd like someone else to pay the mortgage too.

I truly believe the world would be a better place if no-one owned more houses than they could live in.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 19:49:43

What is offensive Caitlin is for you to keep asserting that I have called you 'unprofessional' when I have done none such thing.

If you do not understand the terms 'professional landlord' and 'amateur landlord' then I suggest you look them up.

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 19:51:01

What ruined the housing market was RTB in the 80s.

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 19:54:22

Fideline You have been very rude to me.

You still have not replied to what you think should happen to my houses.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 19:54:46


"I have 2 flats let on the Scottish equivalent tenancy. I need to be sure if my circumstances change I can get either or both back for me or my son to live in or sell them with vacant possession. "

Suggests an amateur LL,

So does this;

"And as for it's not very nice for a tenant to have to move out, well no one's life is perfect. My flats are my pension fund . I bought them with earned income. So you seriously think my tenants have to be protected for ever more even if that might cause hardship to me?"

They are not things a professional LL would say.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 19:55:46

Caitlin I have not been remotely rude to you.

wowfudge Thu 13-Mar-14 19:56:33

Hi fideline - to answer your much earlier question, you could call it that I guess, but anyone who is letting a property may find that circumstances change and unlocking the resources in the asset may be necessary. More likely to be able to sell to an owner occupier than an investor.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 19:58:19

Not quite sure what my earlier question was wow

Was it about not regarding BTL properties as a liquid asset?

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 19:59:40

Surely it would be better for all concerned if BTLing was treated exactly like any other business?

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 20:02:05

Why do you think tenants should be protected from anything which might ever happen? Home owners aren't.

Why do you think it's fair one party can have a tenancy for as long as they want and the owner should never be able to access their property?

I don't let to families on benefits. My properties aren't suitable. The flats I have are for a youngish, professional and mobile population.

I also suggest you might try reading any of the information provided by Scottish Government to private tenants to see just how highly regulated the sector is.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:05:14

"Why do you think tenants should be protected from anything which might ever happen?"

I think WHAT?

I don't suppose you can point out the post where I said that either?

wowfudge Thu 13-Mar-14 20:06:28

You asked if I was an accidental landlord.

What do you mean by treating BTL like any other business?

Right to buy definitely depleted housing stock and now providers of social housing are struggling to build.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:07:10

"Why do you think it's fair one party can have a tenancy for as long as they want and the owner should never be able to access their property?"

The two parties are in rather different positions because for one party the contract pertains to their HOME.

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 20:10:07

Oh Fideline I'm sure you don't really mean that about it being treated like any other business. After all that would mean when evil landlords die the property would qualify for Business Property Relief and be exempt from Inheritance Tax unlike at present where a portfolio is fully chargeable.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:11:04

Oh sorry wow was trying to guess what my question had been. Got it rather wrong.

I feel very sorry for accidental LLs. It is like being thrown into business with no warning and no plan.

For people who deliberately become LLs, surely the only way to do it is to treat it as an unemotional long-term investment, with repairs and maintenance budgeted for plus a good margin and reasonable LTV.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:11:15


Rommell Thu 13-Mar-14 20:12:00

Caitlin's hysterical response sums up exactly why individuals should not be tasked with the job of providing housing for the millions of households in the UK who rent - they take things personally and cannot cope with the responsibility.

^While I want my tenants to be happy and stay a long time, I can't afford to subsidise there housing costs by charging less rent than the mortgage and ending up struggling to afford to pay if the boiler breaks down for example.^

This is also part of the problem. Lots of BTLers are far too highly leveraged - every time they have to shell out money it's a (personal) catastrophe. This experiment in turning the provision of shelter over to private individuals has been, not to put too fine a point on it, a disaster. They can't cope. This not coping means that their properties are poorly maintained. They are also too expensive as witnessed by the amount in HB that goes to private landlords every year. It isn't working. It needs to be fixed.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:12:17

Caitlin you are being rather tedious and histrionic.

Rommell Thu 13-Mar-14 20:13:49

Lol @ the idea of tenancy laws providing regulation. It's difficult to imagine a less regulated sector - cockle picking maybe?

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 20:13:59

Re being "protected from whatever happens" you made it quite clear you think no change in a landlord's circumstances entitles him or her to get their house back.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:14:06

X post Rommel grin

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:15:32

Good grief Rommel don't tempt the gang masters on here to get aerated too.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:16:40

Caitlin that sentence doesn't even have internal logic.

maggiemight Thu 13-Mar-14 20:18:59

And for the other party the property is their savings / pension/ money required to pay for care home fees/ money to pay for friends/family's rent.

This is the most bleaty 'discussion' about rentals I have come across on here. Basically if you don't own two properties it is wong, wong wong, poster stamps feet.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:19:10

But no I don't think people who might 'want my house back' for their own liquidity or for the use of their child or third cousin should be entering the LL business.

Catastrophes can never be planned for but you seem to think that your convenience or 'need' would be a perfectly standard reason to evict someone from their home.

I disagree.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:20:25

^" Basically if you don't own two properties it is wong, wong wong, poster stamps feet.^"

Eh maggie?

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:22:39

"And for the other party the property is their savings / pension/ money required to pay for care home fees/ money to pay for friends/family's rent"

Why would you invest money you might need for these reasons in a BTL?

Savings that might be needed need to be accessible surely? confused

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 20:24:42

Rommel"lol" at your lack of knowledge.

For starters.
The Tolerable standard, the Repairing Standard,the Private Rented Housing Panel to which a tenant can apply free of charge to enforce standards, The Anti Social Behaviour (Scotland) Act 2004(which means I can be fined if a tenant acts in an anti social way) compulsory Landlord registration on a public register which shows my home address, HMO licensing, mandatory gas and electrical checks, mandatory government approved tenancy deposit schemes(with substantial penalties which the Scottish courts apply in the of noncompliance), mandatory government approved information packs.

The thing is I don't object to any of them and comply with them all. I do object to ignorant comments like yourd

TunipTheUnconquerable Thu 13-Mar-14 20:25:26

Basically a lot of people are putting their savings into property because interest rates are so low (causing both cheap mortgages and poor returns on other investments) but ultimately that's not a good situation for the UK's housing stock.
Don't have anything against amateur landlords as individuals, but it's not beneficial for the country as a whole if people are encouraged to manage their savings this way.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:27:37

"Don't have anything against amateur landlords as individuals, but it's not beneficial for the country as a whole if people are encouraged to manage their savings this way."

Perfectly put.

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 20:29:47

Rommel you have "quoted" something which I did not say about tenants being happy.

maggiemight Thu 13-Mar-14 20:31:07

fideline, millions of people are in the letting business because they couldn't sell their property when they had to move to a new job, or because their DM died and they couldn't sell the property, or because it is looked on as more profitable than sticking money in the bank at .5% interest, you are in some sort of fantasy land spouting on about prof landlords. I have had with LL who you prob consider professional, when my DCs were at uni, they were the biggest rip off merchants, not doing repairs for months, taking forever to pay back deposit - charlatans imo, but students need accommodation so are just taken advantage of.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:31:08

That's a bit hypocritical Caitlin you've repeatedly quoted me on two things I didn't say.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:33:05

I have said repeatedly maggie starting in my OP that accidental landlords are a special case who need help and exemptions and/or phasing help should there ever be tenancy reforms.

See also what I said to wow

maggiemight Thu 13-Mar-14 20:33:28

Anyway, as I said this thread is just an opportunity for those without two properties to bleat and whinge (and stamp their feet) at those that do.

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 20:33:52

And why on earth would I not maintain my properties? not to do so is stupid. The repair cost can be set off against taxable income and why would I want the value to drop through not maintaining them?

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:35:21

But investing money you might need easy access to in a BTL for better returns does seem ill-advised to me. It is also unfair on the tenant.

I do share your pain re rubbish savings rates, though.

SlowlorisIncognito Thu 13-Mar-14 20:36:13

I think properly enforcing the current legislation would be a good start. It would also be a good idea if people were educated about how renting works in school.

Whilst tennant's rights are obviously limmited, many landlords and letting agents behave very badly. People still try to carry out illegal evictions, and it is very hard for the tennant to get any support. Most of the time the police will not get involved even though it is a criminal matter.

Even more common is the falsifying of inventories and the non-protection of deposits, which often leads to tennants losing out on £000s. If you are having to move every year or two, I do think that is a lot of money to lose each time, when you also have nothing to show for all the rent you have paid.

I do think short term renting has its place, e.g. for students, but I agree the current system has many elements that are neither sustainable or desirable. I also think there are issues that could be looked at to benefit landlords too.

I think regulation of lettings agents might be a good first step.

LadyRabbit Thu 13-Mar-14 20:45:52

I would just like to point out that it is very hard to be too highly leveraged on BTL in the current BTL mortgage market. Lenders want a fairly sizeable deposit AND they need to see rental income of at least 10% higher than the mortgage repayment. Any sensible person would go towards a rent that is more like 20-25% higher than mortgage repayment to cover any eventuality. I would like to see lenders require compulsory landlord insurance as well to protect all parties, as well as the mandatory buildings cover.

fideline you make some excellent points but I think your stance is particularly negative given your personal and therefore to some extent anecdotal experience.

I don't think you will see rent control in the private sector any time soon in this country because our financial recovery is so inextricably linked to house prices and as they rise way out of line with inflation, renting will just become the default setting in the way buying used to be. Right to buy certainly didn't help either.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:46:50

Which personal experience Ladyrabbit?

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:48:08

LadyRabbit I think you are confusing me with someone else

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 20:50:19

Caitlin that is nonsense. If you are a landlord, you don't want the roof the leak, but there is no reason to care about the threadbare carpet, or the dilapidated cooker, when you have a tenant in place, because by the time they leave it will no longe be new. Any such repairs would only logically be done when the tenant leaves, in order to attract a higher rent from the next tenant. And even then, you might not, if you don't think it will repay in terms of extra rent.

By contrast an owner occupier gets personal benefit from all improvements so obviously the incentive to do them is higher.

LadyRabbit Thu 13-Mar-14 20:55:00

Apols fideline I was referring to the post by maggiemight
I would further say that lots of landlords LOVE students and particularly invest in university towns. The standard of student accommodation has vastly improved in recent years, what with purpose built student studio apartments in decent parts of town, so students have more choice than before. Also, believe it or not, but some mortgage lenders would actually prefer to lend on a property that is tenanted by students rather than working professionals. (Coventry building society for example.)

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 20:55:21

The situation in Scotland is different but tenants' rights in relation to landlord's responsibilities, standards of maintenance, enforcement of maintenance, gas, electrical and fire safety,charges to tenants, registration of agents are miles greater than they were pre 1989

Rommell Thu 13-Mar-14 21:00:15

But all of those landlord responsibilities are worth nothing if the tenant does not have security of tenure, because they can be evicted as a result of wanting to enforce them. Thus they are meaningless.

^because our financial recovery is so inextricably linked to house prices ^

I agree that this is the perception and it has been for some while, but I would argue that it is a false perception. House prices do not equal wealth, apart from for people like Caitlin17 and his/her ilk - they just mean more mortgage debt. It isn't wealth unless you can cash it in and use the money elsewhere.

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 21:03:10

Aga with respect your post is nonsense. I'm not in the market to let long term to families on benefits. The larger flat is in a part of Edinburgh which if there are tenants they will be people on weekly commutes or have relocated and are renting until they buy or similar. Tatty carpets etc won't attract the tenants I'm looking for.

The other one is a one bedroom flat in a cheaper part of town with a high population of students and young professionals. It rents in a week between tenants simply because it is much nicer than equivalent flats in that area.

Rommell Thu 13-Mar-14 21:11:22

And yet again another thread on wide policy issues has been relegated into landlords bleating about their personal circumstances.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 21:16:04

^"But all of those landlord responsibilities are worth nothing if the tenant does not have security of tenure, because they can be evicted as a result of wanting to enforce them. Thus they are meaningless.^"

Excellent point

wowfudge Thu 13-Mar-14 21:17:07

Accidental this time but with past experience. I do wonder what you think a professional landlord is though.

Keeping good tenants keeps the income coming in so it is a false economy not to replace things for wear and tear. Better to keep things in good, inspect at regular intervals and so on.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 21:21:25

Interesting at lease three LLs have shown up to say that they might need to liquidise their asset at any time because of financial need and therefore need the right to evict tenants fast.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 21:30:59

Who are you talking to wow?

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 21:39:34

You really don't get it. In cities like Edinburgh there's a market for high quality relatively short term lets. These are not poor downtrodden families on benefits. The last tenants in my larger flat relocated from London and wanted to rent until they sold in London. The current ones have a 9 month tenancy as they are doing major repairs to the house they own.

You are assuming every tenant has the same circumstances.

And as for policy issues Rommel I note neither you nor fideline care to address the point the current housing crisis can be laid squarely at the door of Thatcher's right to buy council houses. I didn't live in a council house but in the village I grew up in in the 60s and 70s there was no stigma to living in one. I had teachers who lived in council houses. There were plenty of council tenants who made the choice to rent not buy Then all that changed.The good stock was sold off at ridiculously low prices leaving councils with the difficult, unsaleable stock. Council housing became the last resort, not a choice as it was the 50s,60s and 70s.

I expect neither of you will believe this but a survey by the Scottish government a couple of years ago found most tenants' preferences were, in order,owning a home, renting privately, housing association let and bottom of the pile council housing.

Maybe your outrage would be better addressed at why the body who is best placed to provide good quality, long term rented housing is failing so badly. Except of course you have an agenda that doesn't fit.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 21:46:52

Caitlin are you hallucinating?

Or just having a conversation with yourself?

What's all the 'family on benefits' stuff about? Who are you replying to? What does your reference to 'downtrodden' pertain to?

Does it matter who your tenants are? Do you think any of us are proposing more rights for some tenants than others?

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 21:47:08

No. We are renting because family homes are very overpriced to buy, in large part because of buy-to-let investors. We have never considered social housing.

There are an extra 2 million people living in private rented, not because of some increased desire for shitty short-term insecure leases, but because they are priced out of the ownership market.

The idea that all these professional tenants just want to rent houses because it's a wonderful convenient service is ludicrous.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 21:48:21

I think she is keen to point out that her flat is rather posh, Aga

Rommell Thu 13-Mar-14 21:54:23

Right to buy doesn't exist in a vacuum though - right to buy was pushed in conjunction with the introduction of ASTs as a deliberate policy of making the provision of rental housing move from the public to the private sector through encouraging so-called 'investment' (you say 'investment, I say 'speculation', let's call the whole thing off etc) in the private rental market. Thatcher and her advisers knew what this two-pronged approach would result in. As has every govt since - I don't just blame her; they're all as bad as each other. The consequences - an out of control benefit bill, poorly maintained houses in the private sector, an obscene amount of homeless families, owner occupation becoming a distant dream for many (the percentage of owner occupied households is now lower than it was 30 years ago), chronic instability for private sector tenants leading to fragmentation of communities and resultant atomisation due to people like you who want the freedom to cash in their assets on a whim etc - all of this has come about as a result of the two-pronged approach which you are profiting from.

stopprocrastinating Thu 13-Mar-14 21:55:39


Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 21:59:15

Fideline what is so difficult about the concept that there's a market for short term tenancies and long term tenancies? I've never had to end my tenancies as they move on naturally. If I did however have a financial crisis the leases could be ended after the first 6 months. I'm not expecting to but who knows if in say 20 years time I needed to pay for care for myself or my husband. If I had to end a lease none of my tenants would have been particularly bothered as they would have had no difficulty in finding something else. It works both ways they don't want to be tied into long term leases and neither do I.

Your right about having a conversation with myself however since other than being insulting neither you nor Rommel are willing to engage in any consideration of the damage done to social housing by Thatcher and how that might be redressed which is a more realistic way of sorting this.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 22:03:57

You are incredibly rude Caitlin

I must have read at least a dozen of your ill-mannered inaccuracies and irrelevances now. I don't think there is much intelligent conversation to be had.

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 22:04:24

Really Aga no tenants want short term lets? That is simply not true. It depends on the intended market.

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 22:05:34

Fideline you started with the rudeness just try reading back some of your posts.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 22:06:13

Would be interesting to hear from some calm rational LLs though

AgaPanthers Thu 13-Mar-14 22:06:17

Yes a small % of tenants want short-term lets therefore you aren't part of the problem.

Is that what you want me to say?

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 22:09:40

No Caitlin you lost the plot because I described you as an amateur rather than a professional LL,( based on your description of potentially needing your flats back for your or your son at anytime)

You then spent several posts insisting I had called you 'unprofessional' (which I hadn't) and getting rather hysterical.


Rommell Thu 13-Mar-14 22:10:32

Tenants who want short term lets would still be catered for under the return to the traditional model that fideline is proposing though - they would just give notice and move on.

I do agree, as I have said, that right to buy has been a disaster for this country. But it was done with the express intention of privatising housing, and of privatising it in a way that a small business owner's daughter would understand - lots of little people, none of them regulated, none of them answerable to anyone.

Dahlen Thu 13-Mar-14 22:15:37

I may have to move soon. If I do, it will be at short notice. Because of the time taken to sell a house and because of not wanting to change my DC's school mid-way through an academic year, I may become a LL because I may choose to let my own house and rent in the area I need to move.

I am fortunate that I have a large amount of equity in my house. It means I can set rent at what I think is a reasonable amount and it will still more than cover my BTL mortgage repayments. The 'recommended' amount I could ask is ludicrous and downright greedy in my opinion.

Renting was always supposed to be the cheaper alternative to buying. Rents now - at least those through tenancy agencies - seem to be almost as much as, if not more than, a mortgage.

I can't help feeling that if a rental property is owned with a mortgage and needs to have rent set above what is sensible, then the owner can't really afford to have a rental property. A fair rent should be a fair rent irrespective of the owner's needs. But then I feel that this would perpetuate the inequalities between the haves and have nots and penalises those trying to work hard to achieve more.

I don't know what the answer is TBH. I suspect very strongly that in order for things to become fair, there would have to be a lot of casualities somewhere along the line. Meanwhile, the babyboomers responsible for the huge inflation of house values are dying/going into homes and passing on their equity to their children, which is simply shoring up the situation for another generation. As long as some can afford to pay these prices, the rest of us will have to suck it up I think.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 22:17:33

"I can't help feeling that if a rental property is owned with a mortgage and needs to have rent set above what is sensible, then the owner can't really afford to have a rental property."


It also maintains a vicious cycle.

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 22:28:46

Fideline you're not interested in hearing the landlord's point of view. There are plenty of people who are landlords on this forum. If no one has piped up it may well be down to your tone.
I've posted on threads where I've been happy to tell tenants their landlord was in the wrong about deposits and repairs. I've told other landlords when I think they've been out of order witb their tenants.

I've stated I've no objection to complying with the very high level of regulation in Scotland; I've stated I have never actually ended a tenancy. I am not exploiting the benefits system as none of my tenancies are that type; I've stated I have no problem with maintenance of building or contents it's in my interest to do so.
I've given you real examples of tenants who positively don't want long term lets. But as far as you and Rommel are concerned I'm an evil capitalist and no one should own more than 1 house.

Oh another point someone mentioned the fact landlord's obligations on repairs can't be enforced. Try reading the case reports of the PRHP. If a landlord is taken to the panel and they order repairs ending the tenancy does not lift the repair order. Whilst there is an order the house can't be relet to anyone. A landlord with a poor record at the PRHP may well lose his registration. (I don't think you have that in England) Letting without a registration is a criminal offence which the Scottish courts do pursue.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 22:39:19

" But as far as you and Rommel are concerned I'm an evil capitalist and no one should own more than 1 house."

Making things up again there Caitlin

Some very interesting and reasonable LLs contributed earlier. I am sure more will be along.

Joysmum Thu 13-Mar-14 22:42:54

I'm a LL.

I've only ended 1 tenancy out of 7. That's because if non-payment of rent. I've been clear to explain to tenants that the property is a long term investment for me.

It's taken in average 4 years to break even on each of the properties (and that's with a pretty good yield percentage compared with many areas of the UK) so it's hardly a monthly money making machine. My main profits will come on that sale of the properties when the market is right and that matches with when I want to cash them in. It's a long term investment for me. 1 house for my DD (who's still only 11) and the others for my pension as I've been a SAHM for the past 13 years so don't have much if a pension.

That said, when the houses reach the top of the market it'll make sense for me to sell, bung the money in another investment and then liquidate again to buy houses again at the bottom of the next downward cycle.

That's saying nothing happens in the meantime and we don't need the money for unforeseen reasons. We hope this won't happen but we are glad we have a buffer of equity should the need arise.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 22:44:12

Dahlen Would you object to stronger tenancy rights? Or is that harder to contemplate in the case of the family home?

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 22:45:41

Rommell right to buy was instigated as a means of safeguarding the Tory vote. The more home owners the less Labour voters. The intention was to create a huge number of petit-bourgousie.(I know that spelling is wrong)

I was opposed to it at the time. It was a clever (but not admirable piece) of social engineering but short termism of the worst kind. Defenders of course would say it was the biggest single step of creating social mobility we'd ever seen. I personally think it has resulted in terrible social division.

As for buy to let, I don't have a mortgage and even when I did I wasn't dependent on rent to pay it.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 22:49:05

If I ever had to be a tenant again, I would rent from someone like you Joys

You sound business-minded. But you wouldn't want secure tenure for tenants either, I take it? You want the freedom to liquidise assets according to the market?

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 22:50:27

There's at least one poster on here who commented no one should own more houses than they can live in. There's been plenty of comments about exploitation and cashing in.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 22:54:05

None of them me.

I haven't said any of those things.

Not that you've let facts get in your way, so far...

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 22:54:49

Fideline you'd have no difficulty letting from me. I am a very good landlord but like Joysmum I want to be free to sell my houses when I want. Unlike Joysmum I'm not playing the market and have no intention of cashing in at the height of the market and buying cheap when it's at the bottom.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 22:58:39

She hasn't confirmed yet whether that is something she would only do if it was empty anyway or whether she wants to keep ASTs to enable it.

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 22:58:44

So Fideline you don't object to Joysmum being free to ending leases, cashing in and selling in a good market and buying cheap in a poor market as that is just being business like?

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 23:02:44

Of course I do

She hasn't confirmed that she does/would though.

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 23:02:51

She states when the houses reach the top of the market she will sell. There is only a limited market for houses with secure tenants. We still have them in Scotland(Assured as opposed to Short Assured usually created by mistake) except when they are part of a larger sale of a farm or an estate they are unsaleable.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 23:03:55

Well lets wait for her to come back and clarify whether she would actually evict tenants to do so, shall we?

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 23:10:11

I hope she does although she wants to be able to make the most of het investment by the "sale of the properties when the market is right"

How would you suggest she could do that in your scenario of unlimited security of tenure? I'm interested- how would you square being able to play the market to the best advantage with a tenancy that cannot be ended?

wowfudge Thu 13-Mar-14 23:10:50

Fideline I was addressing you - you are the person I have had a (limited) dialogue with on this. I would hope I came within the bracket of calm, rational landlord.

I am interested to know how you define professional landlord because you appear to have different categories and I wonder if, for example, an accidental landlord can be a professional landlord in your book.

What is wrong with a landlord making money and what is wrong with wanting to liquidate your assets when you choose to?

I think it would be really interesting to go back to the consultation documents and white paper which led to the Act which introduced ASTs and see what the rationale is.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 23:21:43

Professional and amateur landlord are widely used terms wow, it's not up to me to define them.

I haven't that there is anything wrong with a landlord making money. There would be a very odd thing to say about any business.

I do, however, think that good conditions for tenants including security of tenure should be an integral part of the rental market, which probably means that rented property is not a suitable home for savings that a LL might need to liquidise in a hurry.

Caitlin17 Thu 13-Mar-14 23:38:30

Wowfudge there's nothing wrong with either of those things other than certain people think they are wrong. Fideline doesn't seem to have an objection to people making money out of rent ( unlike others ) although she does object to landlords being able to end a tenancy if they want to sell.

I think her distinction between professional and non professional landlords is nonsensical. All landlords should be operating in and abiding by the same rules and standards.

There has been considerable consultation on the private sector in Scotland over the last decade and Shelter and Scottish government(neither of whom are particularly pro-landlord) have both always rejected the idea of having different rules for different types of landlords. I don't know what she means by "accidental " landlords.

Her distinction is also not sensible or even in tune with reality. I assume she thinks there are numbers of people whose job it is to be landlords. The reality in Scotland is that other than say corporate bodies like the Co-op and the traditional big country estates the overwhelming majority of private landlords in Scotland have only 1 or 2 properties. This is from research by Scottish government.

TOADfan Fri 14-Mar-14 00:40:11

I dont see how mortgages are the same price as rent paid. Im looking at the moment for a 2 bed house in an estate the rent is £450/£475pcm for most houses. The same houses to buy (terrace houses, same street) are £49,000 on a 25 year mortgage after 10 percent depositis £210 a month! Rates bills etc are £15 per month.

I cant buy even though I have the deposit as for now im in my probation period at work. Im thinking of living at home for another year until I can buy as I cant afford to rent. Im all for rent control its bloody outrageous.

wowfudge Fri 14-Mar-14 06:06:21

Hmm - I asked you, fideline, how you would define professional landlord, but if you don't want to, so be it. A number of terms have been used on here, some of them seem perjorative, such as 'accidental landlord'. Also when addressing one person, you have to think about who else is reading the thread as you may be offending many more.

Who said anything about liquidising in a hurry? Selling houses in the UK is not what you could call a speedy process. As things stand with ASTs both landlord and tenant know where they stand.

TOAD - that may be the case where you are, but there are limited places where you can buy a house for £49K.

Without the input of people who are tenants the discussion has become one-sided. My GPs lived in a house they rented for many years (over 30), pre-1989. They treated the place as though it were their own and looked after it accordingly. They still had an outside loo. The landlord did bugger all for his rent. Their was no requirement to check gas appliances for safety and so on.

WhosLookingAfterCourtney Fri 14-Mar-14 06:46:20

I said people shouldn't own more houses than they can live in.

I know that's terribly 'red' of me, but I don't care. House prices are ridiculously and artificially high. We are a family earning over the national average, why should we be trapped in private rental while people who already have a home of their own buy up all the property, then expect the less well off to service their mortgages and then some, with no security?

We're talking about people's homes - some things are more important than the rich getting richer.

WhosLookingAfterCourtney Fri 14-Mar-14 06:50:20

Op, Yanbu - the balance of power needs redressing.

I think perhaps if pensions were sorted out people wouldn't feel the need to own more than one house.

nooka Fri 14-Mar-14 06:50:54

I was an 'accidental' landlord for a while when we moved abroad with the expectation of probably returning a couple of years later, and we wanted to have a home to return to. I bought my house with a hefty deposit but the mortgage was relatively large as it was a London house at fairly close to the peak of the market. We used a reputable agent, got references etc but it was a very very stressful experience. Our tenants appeared to be good and wanted a two year lease which I thought good. The agents said they would visit monthly and make sure it was all going well.

Two years later I paid out over 10 grand in repairs, well beyond any profit I might have made even with retaining the deposit (I had to produce all sorts of paperwork to prove the cost of damage, and even so didn't get to keep it all). The next tenants I had were good but the costs just didn't add up so at the end of that tenancy I sold. For zero gain overall as houses that have been rented aren't very easy to sell , plus you either try to sell with tenants in situ which doesn't make them very happy, or empty with the mortgage cost racking up.

It's not as easy to be a LL as it's cracked up to be, plenty of risk involved.

We spent most of the time we were LLs as tenants ourselves, I don't have any issues with renting myself. But then we were good tenants and we got on with our LLs neither of whom were evil money grabbing bastards, just families fairly similar to ourselves.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 09:51:41

Bit hmm at the idea that the term 'accidental landlord' is perjorative!

wowfudge Fri 14-Mar-14 09:59:42

Really fideline? The term 'professional landlord' keeps being used and distinguished from 'accidental' and 'BTL' landlord. That's why I asked you what you meant by it. I don't see why an accidental or BTL landlord cannot also be classed as professional, but that's not the way it's coming across in the debate.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 10:04:20

Wow do calm down.

Who said that they were distinct groups and that I was defining them?

I haven't published a Venn diagram and laid down diktats about how LLs should be classified.

This is supposed to be a discussion and I am using normal english vocabulary and phrases.

The question in the OP is whether tenants should have some of their pre-89 rights, including greater security of tenure and 'fair rents' restored.

Do you have a view?

wowfudge Fri 14-Mar-14 10:42:31

I am calm, thank you.

I have to say, having disagreed with Caitlin in the past in other threads, I agree with her here! You seem unaware of how what you state can be construed. You have persistently categorised landlords, separating 'accidental' and 'BTL' from 'professional', yet you won't define 'professional landlord'.

It might help if you re-read what you have posted. I agree - it's supposed to be a discussion, but you are very rude; perhaps without realising, perhaps deliberately.

FWIW, having seen very little on here to convince me otherwise, I am happy with the status quo. How about HAs compulsorily purchase privately rented housing stock at market values in order to provide homes for those who need them? Then they can manage them and deal with the tenants, rent setting and so on.

And anyone, corporate or private who holds property as an asset may need to liquidate that asset at some point. That does not mean that they are not cut out to be landlord.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 10:55:23

" You have persistently categorised landlords, separating 'accidental' and 'BTL' from 'professional', yet you won't define 'professional landlord'."

At no point have I 'separated' as you put it BTL landlords from any other kind of LL. The financing is not the point.

I haven't been rude. I was eventually slightly brusque with Caitlin because she kept telling me I had called her unprofessional. Which I hadn't.

You are also making a habit of telling me that I have said things that I haven't.

Your hectoring is not the same as debate.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 10:57:43

Anyone who says that they need to reserve the right to evict at any time in order to move their child into the property or pay bills, is not a 'professional landlord'. They are small scale amateur landlords.

It's really not complicated or perjorative.

Caitlin17 Fri 14-Mar-14 11:31:58

Fideline I've never come across any landlord even corporate portfolio landlords who are happy with unlimited security of tenure. That is why the 1988 Acts in both Jurisdictions were introduced.

I see you're choosing to ignore my point that in Scotland at least the vast majority of landlords are the small scale "amateurs" who will be as reluctant as your preferred "professionals" to accept unlimited security of tenure.

What you are proposing will simply remove letting stock.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 11:38:19

Oh I imagine England and Wales are not dissimilar. Never thought otherwise.

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 11:48:21

I somehow doubt the OP is campaigning for return to pre-1989 standards in rented property either. We now have two HMOs which are far, far safer than any council house to which the HMO regulations don't apply. They are inspected every year, rigorously and we set aside £2000 a year for complying with the new "safety" measures we must comply with each year, on top of the £1500-£2500 we spend on general maintenance/repair (gas boiler servicing, roof repairs, window repairs, replacement of carpets, replacing kitchen and bathroom fittings and so on). This is all on top of annual gas and electrical safety checks, EPCs and fire safety checks. In fact our properties are far safer than any office in terms of fire safety that might have hordes of people working together and be full of electrical equipment.

If you think I'm bloody doing that for a tenant who will have security of tenure, whom I will have to go to court with to raise the rent, whom I will have to wait to die until I can sell my property (even if they are destroying it).

I also cannot plan my finances retrospectively, in terms of what the government will do in 30 years time to change the regime (although they have done that to a certain extent anyway) and will simply sell up in advance and buy in unregulated Germany instead.

By the way OP when you talk of professional landlords, I assume you mean that all landlords should be solicitors? (which seems rather unrealistic). I cannot think of any other profession which encompasses the requirements of landlords so comprehensively. I am a solicitor, and therefore am constantly pointing out to the HMO Department when they make legal errors, as they often do, because they are not properly qualified to tell people how to lease out their property.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 11:51:15

"By the way OP when you talk of professional landlords, I assume you mean that all landlords should be solicitors?"

That's a rather bonkers presumption Abs

Why on earth would you presume that?

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 11:51:45

This doesn't seem to be a subject that people can discuss calmly.

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 11:53:28

OP - are you in Scotland? In a previous job as a solicitor, I had to advise HMO Departments on the legalities of what they were doing. I was horrified by some of the LA's strongly communist views towards private rented housing stock and the comments made ("all landlords are capitalist scum"). It was only a few LA representatives that were like that, all from the west of Scotland, and they were quickly shushed by the more sensible representatives.

However a lot of these old fashioned ingrained socialist/communist mindsets remain and I wonder if this is what you are harking on about. It is not a view shared by a majority of local authorities in Scotland, and several of the things you advocate would be in breach of human rights legislation. Scotland already has by far the most over regulated private rental sector in Western Europe, and I do question what treating tenants like incapable children will do to society long term.

However I think it should be pointed out that your views are not mainstream, have very little support and are completely unrealistic and borne more out of perhaps a personal and rather old fashioned strongly socialist agenda which you would like to push, rather than a workable position.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 11:54:55

I'm a Londoner in London Abs

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 11:56:07

"By the way OP when you talk of professional landlords, I assume you mean that all landlords should be solicitors?" That's a rather bonkers presumption Abs Why on earth would you presume that?

Well make up your mind OP. Do you want them to be professional landlords or not? What other profession is going to understand the complex law of landlord and tenant, leases, liens, and so on? Or do you not want landlords to be professionals after all?

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 11:57:05

I'm a Londoner in London Abs

So do you have no idea of the rental market in Scotland, which is after all part of the UK then?

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 11:57:16

It really isn't an ideologically suggestion, more a practical one.

Geography might come into my thought process. Prices are sky high here and there seems to be a lot of rental 'churn'. Always seems to be some acquaintance or other on the move at short notice.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 12:01:09

Can I ask what your bonkers presumption re LLs being solicitors was all about?

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 12:02:28

Incidentally, I have seen two Assured Tenancies advertised here today. ie with security of tenure, in Scotland. The landlords are looking for offers over £1100 a month for a two bedroom cottage on a country estate. I assume the rent is high because they will have to go through a lengthy statutory procedure with appeals to raise it during the lifetime of the tenancy or put in clauses to do so every few years, which can also be appealed. As opposed to re-negotiation with SATs. And also to put off people who cannot afford the rent.

In other words, there is premium for this type of property and the security of tenure it offers.

Incidentally, all the Assured Tenancies I have seen advertised are not for HMOs and the high standards provided for them, but for properties to be let to families.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 12:04:04

I doubt anyone would ever seriously propose secure tenure for HMOs. Can't see how it would be workable.

drivenfromdistraction Fri 14-Mar-14 12:07:02

Nothing silly about investing money that may be needed for care homes / retirement in property. I rent out two properties, and they are my eventual pensions. I'm only 40, so that's pretty long term. I've never needed to chuck out a tenant yet, nor have i refused to renew a contract. I suppose if I had a sudden catastrophic reversal of fortune and needed to sell urgently then that might happen.

What do you suggest? A ban on owning more than one property? A ban on private landlords?

I can see an argument for having a 'rental middleman' whereby landlords turn over their properties to professional 'rental companies' for specified periods of time, and those companies rent to tenants.

Only thing is, I suspect those 'professional rental middlemen companies' would be inefficient, sloppy and useless. I say that through long experience of using estate agents to rent out and manage my properties (I am too far away to do it myself)...

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 12:09:02

"What do you suggest? A ban on owning more than one property? A ban on private landlords? "

People really are making all sorts of leaps confused

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 12:13:37

OP you wrote to Caitlin17:

I have 2 flats let on the Scottish equivalent tenancy. I need to be sure if my circumstances change I can get either or both back for me or my son to live in or sell them with vacant possession. "Suggests an amateur LL

So does this; And as for it's not very nice for a tenant to have to move out, well no one's life is perfect. My flats are my pension fund . I bought them with earned income. So you seriously think my tenants have to be protected for ever more even if that might cause hardship to me?

They are not things a professional LL would say

Why not? I'm a professional, as a solicitor, far more qualified in being a landlord than any of the LA Departments I deal with, having worked professionally in the sector itself advising LAs. And those are exactly the same remarks I would make.

You are confusing large scale property owners with small scale, which mixture is characteristic of the rental property owning sector. Why on earth would you think a school leaver working for a company which has lots of rental properties is more "professional" than a person managing their own properties?

There is in fact no such thing as a "professional landlord". There are no such things that a "professional landlord might say" because a professional landlord does not exist. There is no such profession, no such qualification. Setting up as a company is merely a business form, not a guarantee of professionalism. Companies which can of course hide behind the corporate veil and limited legal liability, and be wound up to avoid their responsibilites and liabilities. You have no idea what relevant qualifications any landlord may or may not have, and in fact yourself are not qualified to make comments on the rental sector, as you have shown time and time again that you do not understand it but have a personal agenda to push.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 12:18:18

The expression "professional landlord" exists.

You are the one who seemed to confuse this with a) being qualified in one of the (capital P) 'Professions' or b) professionalism

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 12:19:22

And now I have to get some work done.

wowfudge Fri 14-Mar-14 12:20:51

I have not been hectoring. I asked you a question as part of the debate and you won't answer it.

You seem to be doing plenty of hectoring yourself.

Telling me to 'calm down' is rude and condescending.

FWIW I am happy with the status quo. How about HAs compulsorily purchase privately rented housing stock? They can then manage it, set rents, deal with tenants, etc. Maybe they can do all that, charge lower rents and give tenants increased security of tenure. Maybe they couldn't because it would be uneconomic and sounds rather like old Soviet bloc communism.

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 12:22:10

Its actually quite hard to work out what you are trying to say OP.

Special exemptions and phasing arrangements could be made for accidental LLs and amateur LLs with small portfolios

Again, we come back to the issue that you consider private investors to be "amateur landlords" and larger, corporate owners/managers to be "professionals".

That is your mistake. There is nothing more professional about a large property management company and a small private landlord. Neither are professionals, unless they are solicitors, bound by professional practice rules, with an academic qualification which requires passes in exams relating to the law of landlord and tenant.

Setting yourself up as a company and expanding to own or manage many different properties is no guarantee of professionalism. There is no professional governing body to enforce standards on the sector. I know that in Scotland, we have far more problems with certain large portfolio owners set up as companies not complying with their statutory requirements than small.

So your proposal seems to be that any company which owns more than a certain number of properties (5? 10? 20?) should be regarded as "professional" and should be compelled to let their properties on Assured tenancies rather than SATs (as long as they are not HMOs).

That sounds like a recipe for slum landlords to me. There wouldn't be enough profit in it to compel high standards when complying with such a strict and limited regime. It would run at a loss. It is an unworkable business model, unless a very high minimum rental were set for this type of property alongside.

What is it you are actually proposing, because it sounds very muddled?

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 12:23:57

The expression "professional landlord" exists

What on earth is it? Which qualification is there and what is the governing body? How does one set themselves up as a "professional landlord" and what is the criteria for doing so? What is the sanction for non-compliance with professional standards?

It sounds a fiction to me. Or an urban myth, if you prefer.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 12:24:18

"Again, we come back to the issue that you consider private investors to be "amateur landlords" and larger, corporate owners/managers to be "professionals". "


fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 12:26:25

There really is no point in arguing with posters who are intent on misrepresenting what I have said and what I think.

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 12:26:32

OP, do you understand the complexities of the subject you have taken on?

You seem so muddled.

wowfudge Fri 14-Mar-14 12:27:15

Sounds naive as well LesMissAbs........ I asked for fideline's definition of professional landlord because all the way through this thread the implication is that anyone who doesn't meet the 'professional landlord' standard/description/definition - call it what you will - is being denigrated.

I don't like being called a bully when I am nothing of the sort and have not behaved in such a way.

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 12:31:15

There really is no point in arguing with posters who are intent on misrepresenting what I have said and what I think

You haven't said clearly what it is you are saying. You have simply trotted out a piece of personal ideological dogma and then got annoyed when other people have pointed out pitfalls.

You also seem to continually confuse the adjective "professionalism" with some guaranteed adherence to certain esoteric standards, but have no idea how the noun "professional" relates to it.

Someone simply stating that they are a "professional landlord" does not make them a professional. There is no such generally or legally recognised concept as a "professional landlord" and any fiction of such does not guarantee a higher or better service.

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 12:35:21

wowfudge Sounds naive as well LesMissAbs........ I asked for fideline's definition of professional landlord because all the way through this thread the implication is that anyone who doesn't meet the 'professional landlord' standard/description/definition - call it what you will - is being denigrated

Well, exactly. Its this careless misuse of professionalism and "professional" as if it is a magic word which somehow guarantees something superior.

So within that definition, someone who has left school with no qualifications but who wants to make a lot of money and is quite streetwise, sets up a ltd liability company and gets lots of mortgages on cheap rental properties and/or manages other's properties, and who describes themselves as a "professional landlord" is a "professional landlord", when the firm of solicitors down the road which manages a few rental properties on behalf of long term existing clients is not. Or someone who is a genuine professional in a relevant field who owns 2 rental properties but continues to work in that profession for a living, is not a "professional landlord".

How illogical!

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 13:04:00

You're quite right Abs - that definition of yours is v odd

wowfudge Fri 14-Mar-14 13:48:12

LessMissAbs - who knows what fideline means by professional landlord because she won't say. Sure, your definition could well fit the bill. Although fideline says not confused.

Caitlin17 Fri 14-Mar-14 13:51:26

There is no legal definition of "professional"landlord" certainly not under Scots law. Landlords may or may not use that description but it's meaningless.

All landlords in Scotland must be registered with their LA as fit and proper persons to be landlords. LAs and Scottish government make no distinction on types of landlords, the rules apply to them all. The suggestions about accidental landlords, small landlords/ HMOs having different and lesser rules are nonsense and would be rejected out of hand by Shelter or any government housing policy unit.

I see Fideline ignored the point I made that a portfolio of rental properties does not qualify for business property relief from inheritance tax so from that point of view no individual could be a "professional"landlord.

Maybe it is a defined term under English law, in Scotland it's no more than a self appellation by someone who may or may not be fulfilling the statutory obligations.

Caitlin17 Fri 14-Mar-14 13:57:19

LessMiss in my professional capacity as a solicitor the worst examples of bad landlords I have come across who think none of the regulations apply to them are the "professional" landlords-" meaning exactly the sort of person you mean.

Someone whose only income is from a portfolio of cheaply bought and cheaply managed properties. These people are "professional" in the strict sense of the word.

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 15:19:55

LessMissAbs - who knows what fideline means by professional landlord because she won't say. Sure, your definition could well fit the bill. Although fideline says not

Seems to be if she or some other posters on here call them one! The "professional sanction" also seems to be if some posters on mumsnet bitch about them.

Her other comment I found contradictory was why do landlords keep rolling up and insisting they make no profits from their property?

Ignoring the fact that her so-called "professional landlords" with many properties will be running them in the most tax-efficient way possible, which may well include making a loss on some of them at least for some years and off-setting against other or related business ventures.

Ignoring also the fact that most property owners have to get mortgages which they have to pay on rental properties, along with maintenance costs and increasingly, compliance costs - as you will know Caitlin17, we have now been lumbered with the costs of carpeting all HMOs in this year's change in the regime.

Oh, and what else was it? A "class of accidental landlords who weren't professional either" who were a new invention. Because no-one ever in the history of the UK has had a property which they cannot sell but can rent out.

** annoys me when someone like the OP comes along and starts making rude, sweeping assumptions. I've worked very hard for my degree and career, have invested my hard earned salary in my properties and spend a lot of time and effort managing and maintaining them to the most exacting standards in the world. I'm sorry if the OP's life has panned out disappointingly for her, but that's not my fault - I've also had my share of living in rented rooms in shared flats on not much money while working towards my end goal, but I think intelligence is also about learning from your environment as much as academics, and I learned a lot from how my own landlords came about having their properties, rather than wanting to restrict them and crying out "its not fair".

maggiemight Fri 14-Mar-14 15:22:16

Professional seems to mean, to some posters, LLs who never ask/force tenants to move out. So say I have a huge number of let properties, when I decide to retire to Spain I won't be able to sell them, according to these rules, somehow I need to find someone to take them off me (and this person must also promise to never ever make a tenant move out so not much chance of that!) - who in their right mind would attempt to put such restrictions on the sale of their property.

In fact they want nice kind council's to take on the properties for ever and ever regardless of what this might cost the council tax payer

I couldn't have summed it up better than wowfudge

FWIW I am happy with the status quo. How about HAs compulsorily purchase privately rented housing stock? They can then manage it, set rents, deal with tenants, etc. Maybe they can do all that, charge lower rents and give tenants increased security of tenure. Maybe they couldn't because it would be uneconomic and sounds rather like old Soviet bloc communism.

wowfudge Fri 14-Mar-14 15:34:34

LessMiss, Maggie, Caitlin, etc - I can't help wondering, was 'professional' a misnomer and did the OP mean something like, 'cuddly, non-profit making, non-tenant-evicting'?

This 'accidental' landlord has been sorting out getting a broken boiler fixed for her tenant today. But was I professional? I was definitely quite cuddly and I won't be profiting, given the likely cost of repairs.

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 15:36:24

But has there ever been a way of guaranteeing a property for life, even if you buy it? If you lose your job, or have a severe illness, you might lose your property if you own it, or for all sorts of eventualities that life may throw at you. Or you might be compulsorily purchased. I don't think its realistic, although rentals do have housing benefit to help out. But to expect other people to subsidise a perfect property, for life, at an affordable non-market rent? Why should rental tenants get this benefit?

In reality, most people need the flexibility of moving about with work, and tenants also enjoy the benefits of shorter term tenancies.

As I pointed out in a previous post, there are Assured Tenancies still about, but they tend to be in rural areas and owned by large country estates, require excellent references and be quite expensive.

The trouble is that the nice kind councils don't have to comply with many of the exacting standards that private landlords do and hence a lot of their properties are not that desirable. Its also ironic that we have to install a sprinkler system, mains operated smoke alarms with battery back up tested and logged every month, 30 minute fire resistant doors, intumescent door seals, self closing doors, fire blankets and fire extinguishers all replaced every 3 years, for an HMO but councils have to do none of this for families with children.

noddyholder Fri 14-Mar-14 15:36:58

Rents need regulating full stop. The number of people buying up property to let is ridiculous. rents should be set and not be determined by how much the owner has borrowed! Also think BTL should be taxed and 2nd homes not occupied all year double the council tax.

noddyholder rents are NOT determined by how much the owner has borrowed. If only it were that simple ! DH and I owned a large 2 bed detached house in a great location, but at the end of the day it was a 2 bed house, therefore the rent we would have gained would have been limited. We sold and bought a 4 bed town house for the same money in the next street that was worth £400 a month more in rent.

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 15:52:11

Noddy buy to lets are taxed - rental income is taxed and CGT is payable on sale if its not someone's main residence.

If you regulate rent, you risk the payoff in it not being viable to provide properties to exactingly high standards.

Rents need regulating full stop Why?

Good luck in finding someone to rent you a cheap, desirable, perfectly maintained property for life. You might be searching all your life...

wowfudge Fri 14-Mar-14 15:57:55

noddy - rents aren't determined by how much the owner has borrowed. They are determined by the market.

Without BTL there would potentially be many homes on the market with no one living in them or people wanting to move who can't because they can't sell. BTL is taxed.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 16:02:03

" I'm sorry if the OP's life has panned out disappointingly for her, but that's not my fault - I've also had my share of living in rented rooms in shared flats on not much money while working towards my end goal, but I think intelligence is also about learning from your environment as much as academics, and I learned a lot from how my own landlords came about having their properties, rather than wanting to restrict them and crying out "its not fair"."


I'm not remotely disappointed with my life confused

Is there a reason I should be?

Rented rooms? Shared houses? What on earth are you talking about?

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 16:04:38

Rented rooms? Shared houses? What on earth are you talking about?

Have you actually left home OP?

You know, when you fly the parental nest, at age 18 as was my wont, generally you can't afford to rent a whole house, so you rent a room in a shared house.

you actually need this explained to you?

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 16:05:48

"Oh, and what else was it? A "class of accidental landlords who weren't professional either" who were a new invention. Because no-one ever in the history of the UK has had a property which they cannot sell but can rent out."

I do understand how accidental LLing comes about Abs. My DH is an accidental LL since he moved in with me. That is why I said they needed special consideration; being thrown into LLing without having a chance to swot up is quite full on.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 16:07:36

Why am I supposedly disappointed with my life? And what is the relevance of rented rooms?

Damnautocorrect Fri 14-Mar-14 16:07:38

A point that I feel is missed not all private renters claim HB
I don't, we can't buy through circumstance, shit timings, abusive ex partners leading to a lack of deposit. So when I say we are being priced out the area we really are

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 16:12:35

Indeed autocorrect, a third of renters don't claim a penny.

Slight lack of calm discussion in here at the moment, unfortunately.

expatinscotland Fri 14-Mar-14 16:12:46

I agree, but it will never happen because everyone in power needs to keep this house of cards that is the property market standing up as a crash would be very bad considering we have basically no industry, widgets or people to sell and limited natural resources to flog. When you have an economy like this, you either become a tax haven or go bust.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 16:13:44

Yes I left home more than twenty years ago Abs but I don't quite see the relevance of that either.

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 16:15:23

OP - you are beginning to sound increasingly erratic.

Do you have much experience of life at all?

I mean I, like many people, have rented rooms in shared houses, whole flats on my own, a whole house with my then partner, bought and sold flats and houses, rented abroad in Germany for work.

And oh my goodness, its hard to find somewhere to rent in Germany and the standards of rental properties are so low. They do have protected tenancies and rents there, and I think the UK market is so much easier and healthier for tenants. We ended up renting a horrible studio apartment in a high rise block miles out of the city for an inflated rent, and never saw a gas safety certificate.

Never have I felt any overriding desire to rent one property for life. Who does? Its always at the back of my mind that I might need or want to move elsewhere for work. Work dictates where I live, not some fear of moving.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 16:20:16

No Abs I have been entirely consistent. I suspect you have been making some pretty inaccurate assumptions about me and misreading some most posts.

noddyholder Fri 14-Mar-14 16:21:57

Not where I live I have been told by several agents when I asked why one 2 bed was 850 and another in the same block 1200 that the owner had to cover their mortgage. I know lots of landlords and they all do it.

noddyholder Fri 14-Mar-14 16:23:37

I work in property and I hope for a crash! Don't think you should be allowed a mortgage for a 2nd property cash or forget it and hope interest rates rise asap

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 16:23:43

You still haven't told me what is disappointing about life Abs

I'm worried because I am feeling remarkably content actually. What have I missed?

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 16:24:40

You're scrabbling now, OP.

What is it that you are actually trying to say?

Caitlin17 Fri 14-Mar-14 16:25:42

Oh I see Fideline security of tenure for all tenants except your husband's because he "accidentally became a landlord"

No it wasn't by accident. He deliberately chose to keep a house he doesn't need to live in. Nothing wrong with that but what a hypocrite you are coming on here and going on about how unfair AST/SATs are.

noddyholder Fri 14-Mar-14 16:26:26

I agree with you fideline on accidental and esp amateur landlords.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 16:27:39

No don't duck it.

Why are you sorry that I'm disappointed with my life?

What makes you think that I am disappointed?

What was the hyperactive little rant about rooms in shared houses in aid of?

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 16:28:31

How can anyone, never mind someone who claims to be interested in improving the lives of millions, not know what a rented room in a shared house is?

How is that even possible?

Please define an amateur landlord noddy?

noddyholder Fri 14-Mar-14 16:29:08

I sold a bog standard 3 bed terrace 3 years ago and it was on the market to let 2 months later as a 6 bed??????? £400 per room. £2400 a month. They had done no work to make the 3 other bedrooms. It would be a perfect house for a family as near good schools and yet what family can afford that! So its let to sharers.

Caitlin17 Fri 14-Mar-14 16:29:52

And you have the nerve to criticise me but your husband was "thrown into it without having a chance to swot up on it"

What nonsense. Did he wake up one morning and suddenly find he'd acquired a house with tenants?

It is his duty and responsibility not to become a landlord until he has "swotted up"

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 16:31:38

DH is only offering holiday lets and has kept the cottage quietly on the market Caitlin. He has no interest in being a LL. It's been quite a stress.

However it does give me insight into how it can happen in a sluggish or nervous market.

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 16:31:55

Nevertheless Noddy people who can only afford to rent a room and not a whole house and who aren't families also have a need to rent.

noddyholder Fri 14-Mar-14 16:33:21

Chancers Hoping to cash in in a few years while somebody pays over the odds for their house and covers the mortgage because they can't buy their own. Then when any problem arises with the property they move heaven and earth not to fix it. Our last house we rented was riddled with damp and our landlords after 2 years asked us to leave as they wanted to sell. What they actually did was paint over the damp with white gloss and let it to 2 poor students whose parents now are taking action.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 16:33:25

He doesn't have tenants Caitlin just holidaymakers. But he doesn't want them either. A lot of accidental LLs don't want either, they just want to sell.

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 16:34:14

DH is only offering holiday lets and has kept the cottage quietly on the market Caitlin. He has no interest in being a LL. It's been quite a stress

The sheer hypocrisy is astonishing. You are keeping an entire property empty except for a few holiday lets because you and your DH find it too stressful to let it out?!

Heres an idea. Start putting your money where your mouth is, lower the price and get it sold to someone who actually wants to either live in themselves or organise it so that people can rent it.

What a waste of property.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 16:36:08

noddy various people on here are claiming not to understand the term *amateur landlord'

Please ignore. I know what you mean.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 16:41:48

Abs Lot's of people (DH is just one) don't want to be half-arsed LLs, believe it or not, they just want to get married, relocate, emigrate, or whatever it is and sell.

Understandably people have to find ways to pay the mortgage, but that's not to say accidentally sliding into LLing is a desirable thing.

DH was lucky; most property isn't in tourist areas.

(And don't worry it hasn't been empty much)

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 16:44:49

Ah, the clarion call of the champagne socialists...

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 16:46:03

Carry on Abs you just sound consistently silly.

I agree with the op. I think it is immoral that some people live in bed and breakfast accommodation or in badly maintained homes,others cannot afford to buy a home and yet others are able to buy multiple properties and make a living from the profits. I think the number of properties people own should be limited to 2. That enables people to make some money if they so choose but doesn't restrict other people's rights to live in a home. At the moment, the cost to the taxpayer which goes to landlords is again, for me, immoral.

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 16:49:29

You know OP, instead of sitting on here, if you actually got off your backside and did some work in swotting up about how to become a good landlord and getting that property ready, it could be housing a needy family?

Too much like hard work I should imagine.

I cannot believe that you have told two posters on here who are solicitors that they are not professionals in the field of property rental.

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 16:52:25

I actually think restricting people to two mortgages is quite a good idea angryyoungwoman.

Although it wouldn't affect those who can buy for cash or who inherit properties or multiples thereof, and would not stop people setting up badly run incompetently staffed property management companies and getting lots of commercial mortgages.

fideline Fri 14-Mar-14 16:54:17

Thanks Angry

As you can see, the proposal makes some LLs rather cwoss, so who knows if reform is possible?

vickibee Fri 14-Mar-14 16:54:52

I work for a large LL in xs of 600 properties and some are on fair rents, as little as £250 Pm for a 3 bed in a sought after location. However their contract states that they are responsible for all but structural repairs . A lot of tenants are elderly and live in homes without cg horse what most would deem a suitable kitchen or bathroom. They will not invest in their home even though they have lived there decades and will do until they die. Once a fair rent tenant leaves it is removed from the fair rent register, renovated and let for £1000 plus per month

vickibee Fri 14-Mar-14 16:56:30

She say without central heating

wowfudge Fri 14-Mar-14 16:56:34

So, OP, why not let what is currently a temporarily occupied holiday property to a family, at a reasonable rent for a good long time. Or put it on the market at a price that will attract a buyer.

Noddy - I would be interested to know the reason you sold your property. Without the buyer of your house, where would you be now? Could you not have let it to a family yourself?

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 16:58:22

cwoss? Jesus Christ.

This one for Caitlin17. Don't you think that the requirement in the city we both have rental properties in to use their standard lease or get their (non-legally qualified) approval for amendments thereto is a breach of the human right to contract and also to privacy in your own home? Alongside a restriction on the basic right of entitlement in Scots law to the "fruits" of your own property?

That council actually cut and pasted several sections of my lease I sent to them for approval into their own standard lease, without my permission, in their first version!

Caitlin17 Fri 14-Mar-14 16:58:22

Fideline no MissAbs is not silly but you are a hypocrite. You keep banging on about amateur and professional landlords but still cannot point to any legal definition of what this might mean other than whatever Humpty Dumpty like meaning you've decided.

You're now being self -pitying about the terrible strain and stress of owning a second home.

I don't know about English law but in Scotland you can create a secure tenancy (an Assured Tenancy ) I'm sure the option is available in England if you don't set it up as an AST.

As others have said why not do this or sell at below market value to a deserving first time buyer. Why would you want to hold on to a house as an investment given the views you've expressed here.

wowfudge Fri 14-Mar-14 17:03:25

vickibee - your point on fair rent properties is a good one. How many tenants are prepared to put work in when we are always hearing that rent is 'dead money' and that paying rent merely lines the landlord's pockets?

angry, it's capitalism in action. What you have stated is not far away from suggesting that those people with a certain level of income should give the rest, which hypothetically they don't need, to those less fortunate to themselves.

That's ok Fideline, this thread seems to have become centered around your situation and for what it's worth, I am what you have been accused of being ;a champagne socialist. I just believe everyone is entitled to the champagne, not just some... smile
Hi missabbs, I think the number of properties should be restricted rather than the number of mortgages. Going back to your previous post mentioning thatcher and the sell off of social housing stock, do you think the solution to the problems we are talking about, e.g homelessness, people not able to buy even one home for themselves would be solved by the building of more social housing or do you suggest another solution? Would be interested to hear what your positive solutions would be.

wowfudge Fri 14-Mar-14 17:09:36

I gave one earlier angry. But I don't believe homelessness and enabling people to buy a house for themselves would be achieved by building more social housing.

wowfudge Fri 14-Mar-14 17:10:34

Sorry - ending homelessness

Hi wowfudge, it is capitalism but also market failure which could be addressed for the benefit of the majority. We are discussing how...

And the second part of your point described the tax system...

Caitlin17 Fri 14-Mar-14 17:14:14

LessMiss who told you your lease had to be approved by the Council? The Council provide a model tenancy style but unless it's an HMO condition (I don't have HMO) there's nothing which permits them to force the use of their style.

wowfudge Fri 14-Mar-14 17:18:11

No angry, earlier in this thread I suggested HAs compulsorily purchase rental stock and manage it, set the rents, deal with the tenants.

MoreBeta Fri 14-Mar-14 17:18:21

If you restrict rents you get two thinsg happening::

1. you get a shortage of rental property as LL will not make the investment without a sensible return;

2. what little rental property is available will be in very poor condition as a LL will not invest in repairs as the rent is not high enough.

You will get slum landlords for sure. That will not be good for tenants.

I bought my own house last year but rented for 30 years before that. I always rented from private LLs and most were good or very good to us.

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 17:18:32

I don't know AngryYoungWoman, homelessness is not my field and I wouldn't profess to know about the multitude of problems that contribute to it. I am sure there is a huge difference between the tenant that consistently doesn't pay their rent/damages property and is evicted for this and other decent genuine people who for no fault of their own find themselves homeless. Even councils and social housing landlords can and do evict the former. Lets not forget that their neighbours have to be taken into account.

In fact, with HMOs in Scotland, landlords are responsible for the actings of their tenants within the curtilage of their properties, which is a far more onerous duty than on social landlords. But it probably also creates a duty also to evict troublesome tenants to avoid being sued by the neighbours...

Do you have a solution for ending homelessness Angry? Is there any country in the world which has achieved it, and how?

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 17:20:22

Wowfudge No angry, earlier in this thread I suggested HAs compulsorily purchase rental stock and manage it, set the rents, deal with the tenants

Did they not try that in the Soviet Union? And then you would read about doctors and award winning writers and scientists living in slum conditions with their families in 1 bedroom flats, sharing bathrooms and kitchens with 3 neighbouring families...

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 17:22:32

No, Caitlin17 its on their departmental Advice to Landlords (or similar). If you don't use their model tenancy and instead use one of your own, you have to send it to them for approval! And I am pretty sure they don't have any lawyers working in that department, so that means your lease is being looked over by a non-legally qualified person.

wowfudge Fri 14-Mar-14 17:24:29

LessMiss - if you see my earlier post, I made reference to the Soviet communist bloc. I was being a little tongue in cheek with my post to angry as it looks as though she hasn't read the whole thread.

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 17:25:10

Thank goodness for that wowfudge!

Caitlin17 Fri 14-Mar-14 17:26:39

The obligation to control anti social behaviour isn't just on HMO property. It applies to all private landlords in Scotland.

I have never had problems with tenants but in theory I could be fined and/or have a rent suspension order made which has the bizarre effect of allowing an anti social tenant to stay rent free.

wowfudge Fri 14-Mar-14 17:27:35

LessMiss - some of the other posters are in cloud cuckoo land when it comes to the realities of living in a democratic, capitalist society.

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 17:32:06

That is true Caitlin17 and I do think that is also a breach of the fundamental common law right in Scots law to the fruits of the property.

Alongside said interference with personal property rights/human rights to property/private life, there are a few parts of this (which after all is all in secondary legislation and not debated by Parliament) which are untested and quite possibly would not stand up in court if they were.

I do think though that the issue re landlord respsonsibility for anti-social tenants creates and eventual duty on landlords to evict, which Assured Tenancies would make very difficult.

Just who are all these people who want to rent one property for life, and how do they know they will never have to move for work?

Hi wowfudge, I was referring to your post that started with saying that it was capitalism in action. My post to you was referring to that and the market failures that the current system produces. I did read your earlier post, but was asking missabbs for her solutions because I prefer to have a
discussion based on solutions and suggestions rather than tongue in cheek comments or sarcasm.

Missabbs, I am not professing to be an expert either that's
Why I find threads like this so interesting. Is it possible to end homelessness? Can we create a perfect society? Probably not, don't want to be accused of living in "cloud cuckoo land"???! But I do believe the current system is unfair to more people than the number who benefit.

wowfudge Fri 14-Mar-14 18:20:58

Angry - sorry if I have offended you. What the OP suggested won't fix things and nor would HAs taking over housing stock.

The benefits system is being overhauled with the aim of getting those who are able to help themselves off benefits and it will impact on HB. This is contentious for many reasons.

A lot of homelessness is linked to mental health issues and majority of homeless people are men on their own rather than families.

Councils spent huge sums of money building social housing on the 60s and 70s which then proved to be unsuitable and was replaced at great cost in subsequent decades. Perhaps they could be given powers to buy unoccupied housing stock to renovate, or demolish and replace and increase social housing stock. This might be more expensive than paying HB though.

Perhaps we just need to accept than many more people will be long term renters. Renting is the norm in many countries.

I don't believe that giving tenants greater security of tenure is the solution though.

wowfudge Fri 14-Mar-14 18:22:34

That was a bit higgeldy piggeldy but you get my drift

Caitlin17 Fri 14-Mar-14 18:37:23

LessMiss I can't find anything which obliges anyone to use the Council's model style or have your own style approved by them. There's nothing in the legislation which gives them this power.

Their site does say a landlord has to have buildings insurance, which is not true. It might be sensible to but there is no obligation to insure your house.

noddyholder Sat 15-Mar-14 13:29:06

I don't want to be an amateur landlord. I buy old houses and renovate them. I buy with my own money and do the renovation with my own money and hope to sell for a profit. But its a risk. No house I have ever bought has been habitable before I have done the modernisation so not suitable for letting. And I am not a landlord I am a designer.

fideline Sat 15-Mar-14 14:34:58

So you're making the point that what you do is different Noddy?

noddyholder Sat 15-Mar-14 14:46:35

No I'm not making any point Mainly I think house prices are too high and need to fall so that people have CHOICE.People pay me to do to what they can't/won't. Whether prices rise or fall doesn't really affect me.

noddyholder Sat 15-Mar-14 14:48:29

I have never let anything so have no idea although I know a lot of BTL landlords and its a complete different thing as they put in any old cheap kitchen/boiler/bathroom etc an just want a high return. I use the best of everything and leave nothing undone and hope when I sell it covers all I have spent plus my fee.

fideline Sat 15-Mar-14 14:56:32

Well your doing something positive by bringing uninhabitable stock back into use.

The problem is a lot of people in their 30s I know are semi-resigned to raising their families in rented homes a)because their is no sign of house prices coming down and b) because they can't afford to continue saving a deposit whilst paying rent. We know some people in intermediate rent or 'rent to buy' schemes, but they are thin on the ground. One couple I know completely changed their life by leaving London for a rented cottage on a country estate (might have been NT) and new careers so that they could start TTCing with some home of medium-term housing stability.

I think a lot of under 40s are in the same dilemma. The whole subject of housing dominates conversation.

fideline Sat 15-Mar-14 14:57:22

some hope of medium-term....

noddyholder Sat 15-Mar-14 15:00:31

I think it is such a shame that people are just unable to choose where to live and to have enough money left over to have a decent life too. BTL has contributed to this and low IRs. Before the mad housing boom of the last 10 years I still had a career but all the BTL landlords I know are 'new'. Also if rates rise or prices fall they jump ship and try and offload. I know a lot of people who will never buy and are living in cramped flats paying someone elses mortgage and pension when they could pay their own

fideline Sat 15-Mar-14 15:04:10

Yes. It all feels very tenuous and febrile.

noddyholder Sat 15-Mar-14 15:05:37

I would also point out that the house I sold 3 beds was a 3 bed price.(350k) The current owner lets it as a 6 bed with beds in every room. A 6 bed house in that road would be 550 plus but I couldn't have sold for that and claimed it was a 6 bed by putting beds in the living room dining room and loft!

fideline Sat 15-Mar-14 15:17:21

Gosh, there seems to be an awful lot of that going on. Ramps up the rental yield, I can see that, but people must be desperate to want to live like sardines with no communal reception.

Was it two bathrooms?

I don't remember ever seeing an HMO let like that when I was teen/early 20s looking to rent a room. Seems to be a new thing like the West London sheds-with-beds phenomenon .

noddyholder Sat 15-Mar-14 15:29:42

Yes students and sharers it was let for 2700! If I had let it as a family house to a couple with 2 kids it would have let for 1250. It had one bathroom and an extra toilet.

fideline Sat 15-Mar-14 15:57:22

More than double the rent is quite an incentive.

But not even two full bathrooms !

The mortgage paying neighbours must be chuffed

I would like to point out that not all LL's "put in any old cheap kitchen/boiler/bathroom etc an just want a high return" DH and I have several BTL's and they are maintained to the highest standard. We have houses in 3 areas, 1 being the south west, where a tenant never stays longer than 2 years and the north east and north west where we have had families in for up to 9 years (with no sign of moving). They are all maintained the same, only difference is the families in the north don't want us to decorate every two years, they are happy to do it themselves. We offer, to get someone in but they always refuse and say they are happy to do it themselves.
We are just about to complete on another, it is a 10 year old property and we will decorate from top to bottom, re carpet and floor, all new blinds and appliances because we wouldn't let anything we were not happy to live in ourselves.
If the market drops we will not be off loading our properties and making people homeless, that is not something a "professional" landlord would do.
I agree there are some unscrupulous LL's out there that let hovels and do not maintain them properly hoping to make a fast buck. People like that are scum and give us all a bad name, We have some tenants that were in a place like that with 2 children. They now pay the same money for a modern well maintained property are are a very happy family.

wowfudge Sat 15-Mar-14 19:04:32

Noddy - just as HaveToWear has stated, you can't assume all LLs do the bare minimum because they don't. Just as when you make improvements to your own home, you have to decide whether to go all out (often determined by how long you plan to stay) or whether to do to a level where you increase the value and make a decent return when you sell, you don't put yourself in the position as a LL where you need an extra £50 per month because you've put a handmade solid wood kitchen with granite worktops into a two up two down terraced house in an area where the average monthly rent is £300 for similar places.

When I bought my first place, interest rates were quite a lot higher than they are now. The difference, as well as lower house prices, was that only 5% deposit was needed and to encourage FTBs mortgage lenders were offering all sorts of deals where they paid your legal fees. Made the whole process more affordable.

wowfudge Sat 15-Mar-14 19:09:06

In fact, if mortgage lenders were prepared to lend 95% and you could take out a mortgage for a longer term, say, 40 years, it could be much more affordable for younger people to buy. Let's face it, they won't be retiring at 60 anyway.

AgaPanthers Sat 15-Mar-14 22:06:36

40 year mortgages and 95% mortgages would just drive prices even higher, and force people into debt slavery till the day they die. It's just about the worst thing you could do, and only those with an interest in selling houses at inflated prices could want it.

Caitlin17 Sat 15-Mar-14 22:09:52

Fideline yes Noddy is doing something positive to increase the housing stock. Unlike you and your husband holding on to the spare house you "accidentally" acquired. You'll get far more letting the way you do as holiday lets than of you let it out permanently.

LessMissAbs Sat 15-Mar-14 22:18:32

Caitlin17 LessMiss I can't find anything which obliges anyone to use the Council's model style or have your own style approved by them. There's nothing in the legislation which gives them this power

Its changed. There was a point last year when their info did compel landlords to either use their standard lease or seek their approval of your own lease. I did raise my concerns with them...!

Their site does say a landlord has to have buildings insurance, which is not true. It might be sensible to but there is no obligation to insure your house

Absolutely. Information appears on there from time to time which is at best inaccurate and at worst, misleading.

fideline Sat 15-Mar-14 22:31:01

Caitlin DH wants to sell his house and buy into mine, (thus releasing an ideal FTB cottage on to the market) he doesn't want to be a LL. Lots of people don't. It really isn't complicated.

If it hadn't been for the floods it would have sold months ago. This proselyting is just odd.

Aga I don't think we even have agreement on this thread that ever-increasing prices are undesirable.

Caitlin17 Sat 15-Mar-14 22:55:05

Then why doesn't he sell it ? You've said yourself it was an easy holiday let so presumably quite a nice property. The market is picking up and despite the doom and gloom on here mortgages are available.

fideline Sat 15-Mar-14 23:00:30

Caitlin what are you on? He is trying to sell it. He has accepted three offers, all from FTBs, all of which fell through (two of them for mortgage reasons). It will sell. It's just taken a hell of a long time. Why am even explaining this?

The point was that I understand how accidental LLing can happen to people who don't want to be LLs. In DH's case he is lucky to have a third option that allows him to cover mortgage without compromising vacant possession.

LessMissAbs Sat 15-Mar-14 23:05:00

NoddyHolder I don't want to be an amateur landlord. I buy old houses and renovate them. I buy with my own money and do the renovation with my own money and hope to sell for a profit. But its a risk. No house I have ever bought has been habitable before I have done the modernisation so not suitable for letting. And I am not a landlord I am a designer

I've done up a few properties and sold them on as well as having to do work on the rental properties. I admit I sub-divided a room to make two bedrooms in one but considering it was 28 feet x 17 feet to start with the result is still pretty large. In Scotland, the HMO Regulations are so strict that, although their interpretation varies from LA to LA, you need planning permission for change of use for large rental properties and a certain number of bathrooms per number of bedrooms, bedrooms having to be a minimum size, etc.. All this is useful, some of the more esoteric interference such as having to carpet the whole flat and chain cookers to walls because one tenant once pulled a cooker over on top of them, is less so.

I have to say, even if I won the lottery, I would still do up, sell and rent properties. I'm a bit obsessed with the property market! I also enjoy the design side. I must admit to being a bit puzzled about the comments re the cheapest kitchens and bathrooms possible though. Yes, it would be lovely to put in luxury stuff but in a rental, its not always practical, unless you are aiming at the luxury market. The chances of it getting trashed are quite high. And I realise there is a snobbery element against using B&Q or Ikea, but tbh I will be putting B&Q gloss units in my own house, which I'm currently doing up and extending. Its good enough stuff for me. Same with the bathrooms, I mean how good a toilet do you need to sit on! I've faffed around with marmoleum and Amtico floors and I honestly find a good lino just as good and in practical terms, if its going to be damaged, lasts just as long.

Caitlin17 Sun 16-Mar-14 00:03:00

Of course Fideline he could offer a secure long term tenancy to one of the first time buyers who couldn't get a mortgage.

fideline Sun 16-Mar-14 00:09:04

If he professes a sudden urge to be a LL, I'll point him in your direction.

fideline Sun 16-Mar-14 23:15:09

Interesting Guardian article about the life upheaval caused by the instability of living in the private rental sector here

wowfudge Sun 16-Mar-14 23:52:12

There are plenty of younger people who pay horrendous monthly rents for one room in HMOs in sought after areas so they can be near the action. For the same money they could rent a whole, small house a couple of miles away. They would be no worse off. I'm talking about areas outsider London.

Also the woman in the Guardian article should have stood up for herself at the time instead of bleating about it afterwards.

fideline Mon 17-Mar-14 00:11:00

Wow wow you really are hardcore.

She explains in the article that the last time she 'stood up for herself' re repairs, she received a notice to quit soon after. She is explicit that she didn't dare insist(despite the ceiling being crumbled on the carpet) for fear that the same happened again. You really can't understand that?

As for 'younger people' wanting to be 'near the action' - where's the evidence? Even if a few people make that choice, are you really saying it is widespread? That is explains the well-documented rental crisis?

Caitlin17 Mon 17-Mar-14 00:14:31

Re The Guardian article the situation isn't the same in Scotland but:-
1. Tenants in Scotland can't be asked to pay any agency or landlords'fees. It is illegal and a criminal offence. Any tenant asked to pay should report this to the local authority private housing officer.

2. The Private Rented Housing Panel investigates disrepair and standards. If it agrees the house isn't in good repair it will make a repair order and the house can't be re-let to any one until the order is lifted. It is a criminal offence to re-let.

3. The PRHP case load and decisions are made public on their website.

4. Any landlord who falls foul of these rules risks losing his registration and without being registered no property may be let and there is the potential of fines of up to £50,000.

4. All of the above has been widely advertised by Scottish government. The Scottish courts do enforce this.

Perhaps she should be looking to lobby housing officers to enforce existing rules (private rental is not unregulated) and for England to adopt the additional rules which apply in Scotland.

AgaPanthers Mon 17-Mar-14 00:14:44

Bloody bleating tenants, damn nuisance eh what? Bring back the property qualification to vote. That should keep the vassals in their place.

fideline Mon 17-Mar-14 00:26:50

You're quite right as usual Aga. In fact a vote per property owned would seem the rational and fair way forward. That should entrench the situation nicely.

fideline Mon 17-Mar-14 00:28:48

Maybe the first step should be for the whole of the UK to emulate Scottish regulation then Caitlin. The question is does the Scottish system work?

Caitlin17 Mon 17-Mar-14 00:54:15

Fideline did you read my post and previous posts about regulation in Scotland? I've already said it works; I've already said there have been prosecutions.

I've referred you at least twice to look at the website of the PHRP. Their case load and decisions are public.

Oh and one thing for you to consider which I know you won't believe but I have never been instructed to end a lease just because the landlord can. SATs (our ASTs) can be ended at the end of their contractual period. With a bad tenant a landlord can use the "natural end" ground or try to prove fault. It's far easier to go for the natural end as bad tenants can and do string fault cases out for many months by lodging spurious defences, turning up at court as an unprepared party litigant and requesting extensions all whilst not paying rent. A decree will eventually be obtained but it's a long drawn out process.

An SAT tenant whose lease has been terminated at its natural end isn't going to own up to Shelter or the local authority that actually he had huge rent arrears and/or had trashed the house. But then I expect you don't believe tenants cause damage either or ever behave badly.