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'Pro-lettings sector' group may be set up by political party

A Liberal Democrat activist is considering establishing a landlords’ group consisting of party members.

Tony Harris, writing on the LibDem Voice website, says he feels he is considered an ‘evil landlord’ by both the Conservative government and his own party when they promote some anti-landlord policies.

However he insists he is what he calls a “good” landlord who has, amongst other things, had one tenant for 15 years during which time Harris has redecorated their home and installed a new bathroom.


He also justifies why he rents only to professionals rather than benefit recipients, and explains that more tax and restrictions placed on letting agents and landlords will harm rather than improve the sector.

And - in an interesting insight into the thinking of at least some Liberal Democrats - he says it’s wrong to blame landlords for young people’s inability to buy their first property.

Instead he says it’s the fault of overseas investors “who purchase large numbers of properties en bloc as an investment and leave them empty.”

He adds: “Canada’s British Columbia has recently imposed high taxes for overseas property investors and imposes an annual property tax on the same investors while they do not occupy their own property. We should follow suit.”

Harris wants like-minded Lib Dems to get in touch to set up a ginger group.

“If enough landlords get in contact then I propose a meeting at Autumn Conference to discuss the formation of a Liberal Democrat Landlords Association with the objective of giving a voice to the responsible landlords in our party and to act as an advisory and focus group for our parliamentarians and policy makers.”

Poll: Would 'political' groups like this fight back against anti-private lettings sector laws?


  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Its a shame that Tony has to make the defense of landlords a Political Landlord association, - we could rather do without MORE divisiveness, and have some common ground.
    Blaming Landlords and legislating against them cuts across all political spectrum's and a support group shouldn't be conditional upon Political affiliation !

  • icon

    I can't understand how he can remain in a party that is so vehemently anti-landlord. Weird.

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    • 04 May 2019 12:15 PM

    He is fundamentally WRONG.
    Foreign investors don't stop people buying.
    They are built for the investor market.
    If not then they wouldn't be built.
    Certainly on plots of land no social or affordable housing will be built.
    It is a myth that there are no properties for sale.
    But it is the case that there are too few properties in areas of high demand.
    This then results in higher unaffordable prices.
    That is the market.
    Only subsidised social housing can buck that!!

  • S l
    • S l
    • 04 May 2019 12:23 PM

    The MPs are generally not very well verse in economics let alone the situation surrounding lettings to make laws regulating lettings to make it work. The only thing that happens is to cut down the economy in UK which are already in dire state. Even their immigration laws stop foreigners investing in properties that local wont buy or cant afford to buy. Its good common sense to encourage foreign investor as this would help ease off empty properties. We need more people to encourage the economy rather than come up with laws to suppress it whether against foreign and local investors alike. I suppose perhaps what Tony suggest is a good start.

  • Suzy OShea

    Tony's idea is sound. most industries have their lobbyists, why not landlords in the PRS. Furthermore, many MPs are also landlords so I don't see why we think that they are clueless!

    the only clueless politician at the moment is our PM Theresa May, who is trying to garner votes from generation rent with her clueless attacks on landlords. The Help to buy schemes help a bit, but short of that the only way youngsters are going to be able to afford a home is if they start small or in a cheaper area than they would typically want, build equity and move on from there! That is the way our parents got on the housing ladder and moved up.

    S l
    • S l
    • 04 May 2019 15:55 PM

    At least now, one of them, Tony is willing to stand up and fight for himself as much as other LL and do something about it.

  • S l
    • S l
    • 04 May 2019 14:00 PM

    Most people dont buy property because they are not responsible enough to save money to pay the deposit and the mortgage. Most would put their own well being first, buying gadgets, new sofas, wine and dine before saving to put away for the rainy day let alone buying a property. If we are to be honest, thats why they cant afford to pay for housing in the first place. The lack of disipline in controlling their own spending will be the first obstacle to overcome. Moreover, majority do not want the responsiblity of having to fork out to pay for home maintenance and the easy solution is renting. The laws doesnt exactly encourage or make it possible or rewarding to own our own property. In fact, it works against those who are hard working and saving for their future and pensions.

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    • 04 May 2019 15:45 PM

    I believe that if lenders as a matter of routine allowed homeowners to let out their home on a resi mortgage without needing CTL would encourage many to buy where they can afford to get on the proverbial housing ladder and then rent where they need to be.
    Though of course any homeowner could adopt the lodger strategy.
    I do agree though that the younger generation seems far more feckless than me at a similar age.
    I couldn't wait to get my own property warts and all.
    But it was mine.
    Nobody apart from the lender could interfere in my life.
    Yes I had to do things to the property.
    I accepted when starting out you can't have it all.
    It seems GR is simply NOT prepared to suffer a degraded lifestyle caused by the burden of homeownership.
    We as LL are now suffering from such fecklessness as that is why S24 was introduced to allay concerns of the whiney GR.
    Responsibility is something that seems to come hard to this GR when for previous generations it was just a rite of passage that you bought your first property; did it up and then moved to the next one etc etc.
    This concept seems to be lost on GR who seem to want it all NOW!!

    If they can't they cast around for who they consider are their villains allegedly preventing them from doing so.
    LL being a very handy hate group!!
    How to stop GR being being feckless beats me!!

    S l
    • S l
    • 04 May 2019 15:57 PM

    I had thought only teenagers felt entitled. It seems that this went on into adulthood. Saying anything in order to get freebie

  • Suzy OShea

    Paul Barrett,

    I totally agree with your comment above.

    Young people have more temptations, which advertising constantly pushes in their faces and fewer resources to pay for them. They are the first generation to grow up with the instant gratification of the internet. Small wonder then, if they have not developed required life skills, like thift, patience and perseverence! Whose fault is that? Their parents bear some blame too! Yes, everyone needs to be computer literate because this is our world today, but there are always losses and gains and consequences!

    S l
    • S l
    • 04 May 2019 16:33 PM

    Unfortunately, despite strict rules and discipline and also loving homes, this does not keep them off the bad influence once they reach teens and get gf/bf and peer pressures come in and smoking and drinking. No amount of cajoling, discipline or whatnots works at that age, not even simple advice are heeded claiming this is the 21st centuries. If only all parents think the same teach the right ways, then there may be hope but otherwise, its potluck who they chose as friends and the influence they get when not having extended families to give better influence.

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    • 04 May 2019 17:44 PM

    It is an unfortunate situation but society failings have been imposed on mortgaged sole trader LL.
    For such fecklessness of GR to be visited on LL is beyond the pale.
    I don't see as LL there is much we can do such is the disconnect between GR and reality.
    As LL however we are faced with the effects and it is causing massive distress to LL most of whom are let us say more senior in years than the average GR whiner.
    You could say that S24 is the result of the inter-generational war.
    This is now writ large with ridiculous policies like S24 etc.
    I don't see that there is much LL can do in this unfair war.
    LL are on a loser and will remain so.
    Only by bolstering their defences or by surrendering will LL stand a chance of remaining.
    GR hasn't finished with the war.
    They intend to engage in many more battles.
    They will win everyone as most LL are so apathetic that they just roll over and take it.
    The fact that this will result in extinction for many of them doesn't seem to have dawned on them.
    But so fractured is the PRS as a collective that GR will win all the battles.
    Not good news for LL at all.
    That is why I am getting out of the AST Lettings game.
    It is no longer fit for purpose.
    Lodgers are a far more effective strategy accepting that I will be foregoing CG on having multiple rental properties.
    But having leverage is no longer worth it for the gamble of hoped for CG.
    Income is now what I will be concentrating on.
    Lodgers deliver that in spades!!


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