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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Professor slams “record incomes for landlords” and private rental sector

The private rental sector has come under attack for its conditions and costs to tenants in a report looking into health inequalities.

The report, by Professor Sir Michael Marmot - regarded as one of the country's leading experts on health inequalities - says: “One third of households in the private rental sector fall into poverty as a result of their housing costs. As housing costs have increased there is less to spend on other essential such as food, clothing and transport; this, and the stress of trying to pay housing costs, will have significantly worsened health for low income families.”

The report continues: “The increasing costs of the private rental sector have not only led to increased arrears for renters but also for record incomes for private landlords as a growing number of private renters receive Housing Benefit.

“Housing conditions tend to be worst in the private rental sector although there have been some improvements since 2010. Still in 2017/18 around 1.9m private renters reported an issue with condensation, damp or mould in their home and many more keep silent about these conditions as private landlords can evict tenants if they complain.”

The report - commissioned by the Institute of Health Equity - claims that widening health inequalities and deteriorating health observed over the past decade cannot be put down to one-off issues such as cold winters, nor wider problems such as social care.

Instead, it points the finger at "social and economic conditions, many of which have shown increased inequalities".

Marmot says that as a result a slowdown in life expectancy is more obvious in the UK than in most European and other high-income countries, apart from the US.

The government must tackle health inequalities "as a matter of urgency" and bring the level of deprived areas in the north up to the level of good health enjoyed by people living in London and the south, the report says.

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    • A H
    • 26 February 2020 09:16 AM

    Yet another article showing the glaring ignorance of people who do not understand basic supply and demand economics. Instead of blaming the landlord's who simply capitalize on market conditions, why not change the market conditions i.e. BUILD MORE SOCIAL HOUSING? They should be lauded for their entrepreneurial skills and benefit to society (providing housing stock), not demonised.

    "Housing conditions tend to be worst in the private rental sector although there have been some improvements since 2010" - Evidence?

    "The private rental sector has come under attack for its conditions and costs to tenants" Ermmmm Tenant Fee Act 2019 & Fitness For Human Habitation (Homes) Act 2019... does nobody keep up with current legislation?

    And just as another side note, of course prices rise over the years - let me introduce these people to another revolutionary economic term "inflation".

    "many more keep silent about these conditions as private landlords can evict tenants if they complain" - Again Deregulation Act 2015, retaliatory evictions are illegal.

    "around 1.9m private renters reported an issue with condensation" - condensation mould is generally due to the tenant not properly ventilating/ heating a property and is rarely (though occasionally is) due to the structure of the property. Here's a property management term; acting in a "tenant-like" manner.

  • SCN Lettings

    And some tenants are forced to spend more money on essentials like big screen tv, Iphone, X Box, and can't afford food.

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    Tatoos and fags are also an essential requirement!

     
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    The trouble is that everyone seems to label owners as vagabonds that should not benefit by their entrepreneurial efforts. Property ownership costs hard earned income to upkeep to a decent standard and saving to find the purchase capital.
    It's as usual - blame everyone for the worst examples.
    Catch the criminals and appreciate the decent suppliers.

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    And of course the learned professor works for nothing...

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    Has anyone actually looked into the costs to the landlords who are forced to up their rents in order to cover them? They are being taxed to death and they have to fork out money for all the different regulations that pop up over night. Not to mention increases in all other fees to rent a property. It's simple mathematics. The landlords have somehow become the villains of the 21st Century, all for daring to invest their hard earned money into a property that gives shelter to another human being. What scoundrels they must be!

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    Well he doesn't need to worry for much longer. The Government attack on the PRS means there will soon be far fewer private landlords and properties, so future tenants can look forwards to being put into beautiful and reasonably priced social housing ..... mmm

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    I think the problem is housing social tenants in the private sector.

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    I don't have that problem. I only house professional, working tenants.

     
  • Mark Hulbert

    What a bizarrely uninformed professor - I very much hope that he's being misquoted. I can't really believe that a person of that intelligence really blames the rising costs of housing, the causes of which are now myriad, on the people who currently own the properties.

  • Paul Singleton

    They may be charging more for the rents than ever before but they are actually earning LESS!

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    Jeeezzusss....I’m almost giving up. Some great posts above summarising the position well.

    Half of these guys are actually “Housing Prevention Officers” themselves with comments like this

  • Matthew Payne

    Interesting that in the same report that he cites that lack of security of tenure for tenants in the PRS, discrimination by Landlords in not accepting tenants on Housing Benefit and increasing rents are all causing health issues, and that all 3 need to be tackled.

    Another reader quoted Le Chatelier's principle the other day that can be applied to commercial markets, and so many commentators simply dont understand or ignore the fact that the PRS is a marketplace, not a state owned commodity. Put pressure on a system in equilibrium and it will change just like squeezing a water balloon. Restrict a landlords rights to who can rent their property, how long they can stay, what remedies they have, they will naturally become more selective and rents will rise. If his recommendations are adopted it will give tenants even less choice and fuel rents to rise even faster if section 21 is removed for example.

    We have seen this cause and effect already with government policy in these areas which he fails to acknoweldge, instead implying it is unilateral landlord behaviour that is the driving force. The under publicised clawback system is a main reason many agents and landlords avoid tenants on housing benefit, not for any sinister social stigma that is implied. Likewise, the Tenant Fees Act has recently had repercussions for yet higher rents, younger tenants, families and pet owners.

    Similarly, landlords very rarely exercise section 21 (about 10% of tenancies), and where they do it is either to regain possession to sell, move into, or remove problematic tenants. Landlords do not evict well behaved tenants only to risk a void looking to replace them with other tenants who are an unknown quantity. If anything, most landlords are very accomodating with good tenants and often leave rents unchanged to reduce the risk of them leaving.

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    • S S
    • 26 February 2020 11:11 AM

    One of the biggest problems is that Good Landlords don't make Headlines!
    15% OF ALL TENANTS ARE UNHAPPY WITH THEIR LANDLORD.

    That means 85% are happy - very small media reaction. No follow-up stories indicating that there are plenty of good Landlords, that good tenants usually get 100% of their deposits back, that good tenants are rarely evicted (perhaps a few due to LL wanting to sell or move family in), and that someone who has been "unfairly evicted 3 times + " may be making bad decisions - like choosing a "cheap" property or not renting through a qualified professional LA. Bad LL are the easy headline and as a group they are "nameless", it perhaps feels to that no one is actually being hurt by the constant denegration of the LL.

     
  • Mark Wilson

    Professor Sir Michael Marmot - regarded as one of the country's leading experts on health inequalities - says: “One third of households in the private rental sector fall into poverty as a result of their housing costs. Is it being suggested that is not the case? As usual I am confused by the headline of the article and the replies from readers. If Professor Marmont is right, i would say that situation is quite tragic.

  • jeremy clarke

    Am I missing something here?
    I always thought that to be a professor you had to be intelligent?
    How then, is this professor able to spout such absolute rubbish and show that he has just no clue about basic economics and the open market?
    These fools should make better use of their energy by looking at the problem ie the failure of consecutive governments to build anywhere near enough social housing to house these poor tenants and the suffocating legislation and costs that consecutive governments have burdened the PRS with!

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    Having dealt with students/Universities I am firmly convinced that whilst they and ther professors may well be intelligent, they totally lack commonsense.

     
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    I went to see a tenant who has been in 1 months & 2 weeks. Not paid the 2nd month’s rent. Had a 65 inch TV which they had drilled into the wall brackets without permission, the brick dust still on the skirting and carpet. Some of these so called knowledgable people are brains heavy and commonly sense light!

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