To be irritated at the coverage on hb spending?

(106 Posts)
facepalming Sat 20-Aug-16 08:34:43

OK so I know this is a bit of a touchy one so I'll try and word carefully!

The coverage I've seen today is all geared towards complaining about landlords lining their pockets with housing benefit money.

Now I'm not a landlord, but I think this is a little unfair on people who are. Most landlords own only one property as an investment and are perfectly entitled to rent it out for money. They have an obligation to keep the house in good standard.

the fact that people renting those homes are claiming hb is not the problem of the landlords surely? They are just providing a service and why should they do that cheaper to tenants on hb?

Of course rents being charged now are ridiculous but so are house prices and so mortgage payments are high too.

Surely the focus should be on providing more social housing (especially of a decent standard!) and creating an economy and society where people don't need to rely on hb??

wowfudge Sat 20-Aug-16 08:35:49

I thought just the same. The lack of social housing is the real issue.

NeedACleverNN Sat 20-Aug-16 08:38:46

They should never had started selling social housing

I know some people are happy to have the chance to purchase their own house but it was created for people who needed it and because it has been sold, it is no longer available for others.

Hissy Sat 20-Aug-16 08:39:27

Housing benefit in my area doesn't even cover the rent.

The issue is supply and demand. Pure and simple. There have not been enough social housing projects, social housing like everything else has been decimated by cuts.

Squeegle Sat 20-Aug-16 08:40:39

Yes
The lack of social or affordable housing is allowing rents to go up. Government needs to take this in hand, but also needs to work a bit harder to ensure people's vulnerability is not exploited by private landlords
And it is not right that sky high rents are paid for by housing benefit- ie profit is made out of the money we are all paying in taxes.
There are plenty of landlords who don't just charge enough to cover the costs and. Little more, and this is downright profiteering.

TheInimitableMrsFanshawe Sat 20-Aug-16 08:41:55

I'd like to know where on earth people would live if there weren't private landlords. Not in council-run accommodation, that's for sure.

treaclesoda Sat 20-Aug-16 08:42:48

This is very slightly off topic but do landlords have an obligation to keep a house in a good standard? My sister rents a house that is in a shocking, unsafe, condition. Black with mould, dodgy wiring, tiles have all fallen off the walls because it is so damp etc. She is disabled so receives housing benefit. I have been searching and searching for rules on this and can't find anything saying that the house must actually be of a decent standard.

facepalming Sat 20-Aug-16 08:43:33

Squeegle do you think it's down to landlords then to lower their rents and therefore their profits?

I wonder if a better solution would be to take the higher stamp duty charged on second properties and invest that back into social housing?

VladmirsPoutine Sat 20-Aug-16 08:43:53

They should never had started selling social housing

Have you thought that statement through? You genuinely think social housing should not have been implemented into government policy?

facepalming Sat 20-Aug-16 08:44:14

treacle soda yes they do - try contacting shelter

treaclesoda Sat 20-Aug-16 08:46:53

Thank you facepalm, I think I might do that. It is so depressing seeing the conditions she lives in.

evelynj Sat 20-Aug-16 08:47:03

Treacle, try this, (assuming your sis is NI)

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/landlord-and-tenant-obligations

dementedma Sat 20-Aug-16 08:47:12

treacle we rent my father's house out to cover the cost of his care home fees( a whole other thread!) and we had a mountain of regulations to comply with, including smoke alarms, repair tiny defects etc etc. Cost a fortune and it was in mint condition by the time we let it. Still doesn't cover care home costs though!!!

Leviticus Sat 20-Aug-16 08:47:56

Vladimir I don't understand your point. The PP was saying that they don't believe the right to buy scheme works. A lot of people think that.

treaclesoda Sat 20-Aug-16 08:52:58

It's all a bit of a vicious circle I suppose. Housing benefit allows people to afford a roof over their heads, which is as it should be. But supply and demand forces rents ever higher which makes renting out property more profitable so more people want to do it, so there is competition for houses when they come up for sale and then the prices are higher, so then more people need to rent because they can't afford to buy, so there is more demand for rental property and rents are pushed higher, etc etc.

I'd love to know what the actual answer is to it all.

VladmirsPoutine Sat 20-Aug-16 08:53:54

Apologies, I read it as though Social Housing should not have began, not that it shouldn't have been sold off. That said, though it's not an infallible process - I do think the gov need to do more to help FTBs, not just shelf the RTB completely.

Squeegle Sat 20-Aug-16 08:54:06

facepalm, no, don't think that would be realistic. But I do think more govt regulation is required. In this country as per PP's comments, private landlords have a lot of leeway and their responsibilities are not policed adequately. I think we all agree that more social housing is required which will ease the problem and stop the relentless rise in private renting costs.

treaclesoda Sat 20-Aug-16 08:56:26

evelyn thanks for that. I think that page has been updated since I last checked it out a few months ago because at the time I remember being shocked that there was so little mentioned about obligations on the landlord. I am a carer for my sister and we had a meeting with her social worker where we discussed it, which is why I remember it (either that or we were reading the wrong thing, which is always a possibility!)

bakeoffcake Sat 20-Aug-16 08:57:15

When I heard, I just thought "what an utter waste of money". If we'd built council/social housing all that money could have gone into reinvesting into housing.

facepalming Sat 20-Aug-16 09:03:44

bakeoffcake a total waste of money I completely agree!

I think my irritation was that the landlords renting out homes are being demonised which I felt was a little unfair.

I get squeegles point though on profiteering. I do think that we need to ensure something comes back into the system from them. Any tax they pay on that income / home should have a portion routed into social housing.

On the flip side I do think there are people renting social housing that no longer need that support. I'm conflicted on this as on the one side it seems logical to say those who can afford to buy or rent privately should do so to free up the housing stock, but on the flip side these are people's homes and aren't we all entitled to feel that security?

napmeistergeneral Sat 20-Aug-16 09:07:14

"most landlords own only one property". Or two, if you count the house they actually live in, surely. In addition to lack of building, one of the main problems is that despite buying a second property as a financial investment, people are just not willing to accept the same risks which are inherent in every other instrument of investment, I.e. The value of the investment may fall or rise. So house prices are artificially shored up through government / fiscal policy. Not least because so many properties have been bought by "amateur" landlords who have not factored in these risks.

Negative equity is shit, yes, but personally I find it infuriating that property ownership is clearly a financial investment, but then magically becomes some kind of altruistic provision of rental accommodation ("where will they live otherwise!?") when the lack and (Un)affordability--undoubtedly exacerbated by BTL and second home ownership--is raised. Very complex problem made worse by unnecessary second home ownership. IMHO.

fanjoforthemammaries Sat 20-Aug-16 09:07:34

There will undoubtedly be some cuts coming now then. We are just being prepared for them.

Jacobbay Sat 20-Aug-16 09:10:50

As a landlord with several properties, we have a programme every year to upgrade our properties. For example we put in new windows and external doors last year. This week we've been replacing storage heaters with new more efficient heaters in our flats. We will be changing kitchens when needed. It's in our interest to keep our properties in excellent condition. Our tenants are long term and know we get repairs done immediately. For us the benefits are continuous rent, because our tenants are happy and the value of our properties is better than if they slip into disrepair.

NotSayingImBatman Sat 20-Aug-16 09:12:59

If I were to lose my job tomorrow, very little of my mortgage would be covered by housing benefit, and for a very short time. If I didn't find work quickly, I would lose my house because, quite rightly, it isn't considered right that my mortgage be paid off by housing benefit and I end up with an asset paid for by the tax payer.

I don't see why this should be any different for private landlords. If they weren't able to accept tenants that claimed housing benefit - because their asset would be being paid off by tax payer money - the government would have to pull their heads out of their arses and provide decent social housing for those that couldn't afford market rates for rent.

treacle check out the Shelter website, you can also ring them for advice england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/private_renting/about_private_renting/landlords_responsibilities

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