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Graham Awards


Tory says government “war on landlords” will make housing crisis worse

An outspoken Conservative party figure says government policies such as the scrapping of Section 21 will play into the hands of rogue tenants and lead to a worsening of the housing crisis overall.

Rosalind Beck - a doctor of criminology and Tory member from south Wales, who recently alleged that the increasingly anti-business sentiment of the Conservatives was driving voters to rival parties - says on the influential Conservative Home website that proposed reforms to S21 should be of wider concern, not just to housing professionals.

“Section 21 was the key element in the Housing Act which gave landlords and lenders confidence they could get a property back when they needed to. Abolishing it will take tenancy law back to the last century, when the absence of adequate means of regaining possession caused the private rental sector to shrink from comprising 90 per cent of all housing to just nine per cent. Housing quality was also poor” she says.


Beck points to the recently-published English Housing Survey which reveals that 83 per cent of private tenants are satisfied or very satisfied with their housing, compared to 80 per cent in the social sector. 

“Why would the Government interfere with the excellent progress that has been made in housing quantity and quality, by taking this regressive step to shrink the private rental sector? An estimated 150,000 more households will be needed in the coming year. Who will provide the homes for them? Not private landlords. Where is the estimation of the effect this will have on homelessness levels?”

And she adds that she has personal experience of the loss of stock which could result from the government policies. 

“I have advised my brother, now that he has retired, to leave empty the extra property he purchased when he moved for work. As I told him, when faced with potentially losing control over his asset, it is not worth the extra income of a few hundred pounds a month. Is this what the Government wants? Empty houses?” she writes.

Beck warns the Conservatives that losing landlord and other property professional votes in marginal constituencies could, quite literally, cost the party seats. 

“We can only hope that Boris Johnson not only retains Section 21 – to scrap was an ill-considered attempt by Theresa May to establish a legacy – but in fact, improves on it so that landlords can get swifter justice. One should not forget that although the private and social housing sectors together house nearly half of the population, it is private landlords who now provide the essential safety net for the lowest-income tenants and who house 10 out of 11 homeless people. If the hostile environment for landlords persists, they won’t for much longer.”

  • James B

    Agreed, but it will likely fall on deaf ears in the frantic chase for generation rent votes.. despite the fact it will backfire

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    Correct, already landlords are derisking due to financial pressure, so anyone that isn't a solid bet as a tenant has little chance, rents are up to pay for S24 & No Tenants fees. S21 will be the last nail in the coffin as the sell off continues

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    It is a shame that Heather Wheeler has now moved away from housing as she was going to solve the homelessness problem.

  • Ian Narbeth

    The Tory Party has been called the Stupid Party. Until 2015 I never understood this. After Osborne's aggressive attack on landlord's finances, the appalling Tenant Fees Act and now proposals to revoke s21, it seems the Tories have declared war on their most loyal supporters without even realising they have done so. Stupidity on Stilts!
    This stupidity cost them North Kensington (where I am registered to vote) in 2017. A 10,000 majority was overturned and Labour won by 20 votes. I abstained and I would bet that two dozen other disillusioned landlords did likewise.

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    • 04 November 2019 11:03 AM

    2.5 million LL votes surely should not be treated with so casual disregard!?
    However what the idiot Tories could do is retain S21............................................but ONLY for rent default.
    That would mean EVERY S21 would be a FAULT based eviction.
    S8 may be used for all other eviction requirements.
    Surely the public would not support rent defaulting!!??

  • Suzy OShea

    The 'public' is happy with 'open Season' declared on PRS!!!!!!! Its just another example of our riven soCiety, which Brexit has and continues to fuel for any fool who looks no further than The divisive rabble-rousing headlines of the tax-dodging Tory media, some of whose owners live on off-shore tax-havens!

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    • 04 November 2019 16:19 PM

    More tax avoidance than tax dodging though there can be a fine line between the two
    Personally I believe all tax havens should be shut down.
    Then the super rich will have to pay taxes they can currently legally avoid .
    Without a tax haven it would be difficult to avoid taxation
    But of course such taxation should be fair and should be NO MORE than 45p in the £.
    Taxation should ALWAYS be less than 50% EXCEPT of course if you are a mortgaged sole trader LL when infinity taxation is considered to be a perfectly reasonable taxation policy courtesy of the bonkers S24!!!


    I agree, but for one small detail. I can see why responsibilities should return even a few hundred thousand per year. It has been argued though that it is hard to justify paying more than the traditional superstar, the brain or heart surgeon.
    However, salaries of several million per year may be a little excessive. Especially when these reward kicking a ball around a lawn or diving a gas-guzzling car around a track for a couple of hours every two weeks.

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    Those who seek to rent because they can't afford to buy, so like to blame landlords for their situation.
    1. They can't afford the deposit, so they can't buy. That's the landlords' fault.
    2. Rents are high. That's greedy landlords.
    Sorry chums but . . .

    1. Mortgage lenders do not trust anyone and are not prepared to take a risk. THAT's why you need a deposit. Not because landlord's dictate.
    2. Rents may be higher than they need to be because of the liabilities and burdens placed on landlords.


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