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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.


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.

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