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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?

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