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Labour group wants tenants to be let off rent during virus

A new Labour group - Labour Tenants United - has issued a four-prong attack on the current private rental sector including a demand for tenants to be let off rent indefinitely so long as the virus crisis continues.

A representative of the group, writing on the Labour List website, says party leader Sir Keir Starmer’s success in recent weeks provides “an opportunity for Labour to reimagine a bold, long-term policy package that puts renters’ right to shelter and housing above landlords wanting to own property and earn profit.”

The article calls for Labour to act “as the political wing of tenants’ unions in the same spirit in which we organise as the political wing of trade unions.”


The article makes sweeping attacks on agents, landlords and the sector in general, talking of “the everyday maliciousness of unscrupulous transaction fees” and the “lack of concern for maintenance”.

Specifically, it makes four demands:

- immediately extend the moratorium on possession claims and evictions;

- “suspend the obligation to pay rent to landlords by tenants for the duration of the Coronavirus crisis”;

- ban all evictions under Section 21 “permanently”; and 

- introduce controls “so that landlords cannot keep tenants paying for the cost of the pandemic for years down the line.”

The author of the article, Patrick Jenkin from the London Labour Party, says these policies could attract back voters lost in 2019 and “can focus on supporting the most vulnerable in our society through reflecting the duties that landlords owe in providing safe and affordable homes.”

Last week Letting Agent Today reported on a controversial statement made in the House of Commons by Labour’s shadow housing minister Thangam Debbonaire, in which she said: “So will the government heed, today, the calls of Shelter, Citizens Advice, Generation Rent, numerous charities and building societies - and the Labour Party - act now, and prevent people from losing their homes in an eviction crisis in the autumn.”

LAT asked the Labour Party if Debbonaire’s comments referred also to pre-Covid evictions in the pipeline when the moratorium was announced: the party declined to respond.

  •  G romit

    ....and in so doing make many Landlords bankrupt, houses repossessed, tenants made homeless.
    with ideas like this who needs village idiots!

  • jeremy clarke

    Keir starmer and success in the same sentence? Just shows how deluded these idiots really are.

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    • 22 June 2020 08:54 AM

    It is NOT the responsibility of LL to provide affordable rental accommodation.
    It should of course ALWAYS be safe!
    LL exist to make PROFIT.
    They mostly aren't in the game to provide affordable rental accommodation.

    That is what social housing is for.

    The market determines what rents a LL can achieve.
    Tenants may struggle to afford such market rents.
    That is just TOUGH!

    If you don't like it go and buy your own property or try and obtain social housing.

    But do NOT expect LL to take a hit to their profits to make life easier for tenants.

    Idiot Labour are as bad as idiot Tories in seeking by their actions the further eradication of LL.
    Generally speaking the more rental properties there are the cheaper market rents.
    By seeking the eradication of LL rents will then only increase.
    The market will out.
    Unless of course rent controls are introduced which may see rent levels reduced at the cost of far fewer rental properties being available.

    Not much point in having controlled rents if there aren't any properties to rent!!
    Invariably due to demand an extensive black market would result in the PRS.

    The lies must stop about an Autumn eviction crisis.
    It will take at least 1 year to evict tenants who need evicting.

    Govt could stop evictions by doing what the Spanish Govt has done.
    Namely paying the rent to LL directly.

    That prevents LL from having to bother to evict.

    Make tenants repay Govt rent loans through the PAYE system etc.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    I think the more of these ridiculous demands they make, - will ( hopefully ) help to reveal the absurdity of the suggestions.
    Will be interesting to see if it gets Labour leadership backing from Starmer, as he seemed to distance himself from Debboniares previous rants.


    Sir Kneel Starmer will wait time see how much traction it gets before making a decision.

  • Barry X

    While they're at it there is so much more that can be done, e.g. why not make private mini-cab firms effectively work for free as a convenient sort of public transport by giving people (especially our "struggling" tenants) free rides to anywhere they want to go, such as to the beach for a lavish (and probably quite boozy) picnic while on 80% pay from the government and no need to work, and the driver can (should and MUST!) wait till they've finished then take them back (again for free) to our flats.

    There's no reason why our "vulnerable" tenants should be “...paying for the cost of the pandemic for years down the line” because of course WE "malicious" and "unscrupulous" landlords CAN PAY IT ALL FOR THEM ("malicious" and "unscrupulous" as implied of us by the generous, wise, deep thinking and clearly very learned Patrick Jenkin in his brilliantly well thought-out article ).

    No doubt if the taxi drivers need to earn anything we "unscrupulous" landlords can pay for it all to protect our "most vulnerable in our society" tenants from needing to bother to pay (most of whom happen to be relatively well paid graduates and many of whom were commuting to the city to work every day up until covid-19 so no wonder they were all "vulnerable")....

    The same for shopping and everything else - let our "vulnerable" tenants help themselves to anything they like or feel they need.... then take it all for free - especially trolley loads of booze to help them pass the time comfortably in our rent-free, eviction-free flats (that Shelter and/or Generation Rent have quite rightly indignantly demanded be requisitioned, incrementally in many little steps, for the common good, but clearly not ours) while those same "vulnerable" tenants are paid not to work.

    Oh, and in case I forget to mention it.... and I think I'm speaking for us all here..... we should reassure the esteemed Mr Jenkin (careful - no "s" at the end) and his concerned shadow (or perhaps shady) minister colleague Ms Thangam Debbonaire (not to be confused with "debonaire" which is an entirely different word meaning sophisticated, carefree and of course deeply gracious) that OF COURSE none of us became landlords in the hope of "making a profit" or because we were "wanting to own property".... absolutely not!

    Obviously instead we all decided from a young age to devote our lives, precious savings and any money (that nasty stuff none of us want or need for anything) to providing top notch "safe and affordable homes" to "the most vulnerable in our society" as those are very obviously and clearly "the duties that [we] landlords owe".

    ....and don't worry about the "affordable homes" bit - naturally that really means completely for free in most cases and for most of the time!!!!

    Well, we "malicious" people have to redeem ourselves somehow!!!!!

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Barry, I don't think your being anywhere near ridiculous enough.
    I think Landlords should set up a campaign group for their tenants.
    How about we suggest they go to their local Car dealerships to choose a free new car, obviously putting, lets say a £30,000 cap on the vehicle chosen.

    Also, the poor dabs have had to put up with such psychological trauma, during Lockdown, having to remain at home and not go to work for 80% of their salary and not have to pay the rent out of that. Its no wonder they don't want to go back to work. This harsh Conservative government is now suggesting people actually return to work to ' earn ' their salary - preposterous. I'm sure a labour Government would extend the furlough scheme indefinitely, until the country was totally bankrupt.

    We should also be putting Tenants welfare above that of the rest of the country, on account that they are not home-owners ( who don't have a choice of not paying for their accommodation ) Look at the emotional turmoil they've had to put up with. The utter mental anguish can be seen in their uncontrolled enthusiasm to congregate at protests celebrate the end of Lockdown ( before lockdown ends ) So I propose that -

    Tenants should also visit their local Travel agents for a free holiday or cruise, lets be reasonable again to travel agents, who like landlords have suffered during the virus, so I suggest the value of free holidays that should be provided is up to a limit of £ 5,000.00

    I call upon all Landlords for any other nominations of Freebies that we could suggest the labour party pursues, as if this virus hasn't decimated the country's economy, the Labour party surely will !

    • 22 June 2020 12:01 PM

    Outstanding post of where we LL are.
    But you will never convince society of any of it.
    To them we are to paraphrase a Tory Councillor ALL

    Snivelling parasites!!!

  • icon

    I think it's time that we LL banded together to dispel the myths that we are 'malicious, greedy' etc. I became a LL quite by accident. My husband started a building company with just himself and one apprentice. I did the 'behind the scenes' stuff - liaised with Planning, Building Control, the Bank Manager, PAYE. Oh and the school run, the cooking, laundry, cleaning - stuff a lot of tenants don't seem to understand if the take away detritus, discarded clothes and filthy houses I have taken back into possession at times are any indication. Oh yes, not to mention putting on a boiler suit and becoming 'the third man' when necessary. When we wanted to expand the business we were worried we wouldn't have enough work to keep another couple of men employed, so we went into debt, bought a small plot of land and built two semis on it to ensure we could keep them busy. When they were finished, there was a recession and we couldn't sell them. It was a terrible time because you may not know but when a finished project goes into your balance sheet HMRC want a slice of the 'profit' even though you haven't made any!

    Our only option was to rent the semis out 'until the recession was over'. The first tenants we had were great. They stayed for five years. The gardens were tidy, the houses were in reasonable order and through sheet hard work and ingenuity we had pulled through economically and were running a profitable building company.

    Over the years the turnover of tenants reads like a sociological study. A generation came along who didn't know how to clean or garden and thought if they couldn't pay it was OK to shrug and expect me not to mind. 'Helicopter' parenting - no parenting - who knows why this trend occurred?

    I have always believed that if a tenant pays rent they are entitled to a good product. My houses are pristine when anyone moves to a very high standard, and any maintenance issues are dealt with promptly. Over the years I have often felt more like a social worker than a LL. I have bought white goods for tenants who couldn't afford them, kept tenants much longer than I should have done for the sake of giving their children some much-needed security and currently have a tenant who pays much less than market rent because I know she is very hard up. Obviously I am malicious and greedy!

    If I thought that writing to my dunder-headed MP was of any use, I would do so. Last time I wrote to him he told me I was 'shooting from the hip' and should take longer to consider things before contacting him again. Arrogant b*****d.

    Suggestions for how to tackle this ridiculous assumption that LL are not fit human beings will be warmly welcomed.

    • 22 June 2020 16:48 PM

    Just accept that for many LL are the spawn of the devil!!

    No matter how good you are as a LL you will still be reviled just the same.

    Don't expect ANY thanks from anyone you are still a greedy arrogant b#####d!
    No LL is ever just a LL.
    The standard societal descriptor is ALWAYS

    . Greedy LL.

    Nobody will ever point out when a LL is deemed to be greedy.
    Is there a greediness index where you go up the scale before you become a full on greedy LL!?

    Barry X

    Hazel - I think your post is excellent and extremely well put.

    I think your story, and many thousands like it (including ours as it happens), should be regular national news as part of the "re-education" process to inform all these spoilt, ideologically-programmed, ignorant and very much mistaken people the reality of most (admittedly not all) landlord's lives and how hard most of us (including you and your husband) work to provide them with the accommodation they want.

    I agree that quite a lot of their attitudes and behaviour is due to very poor - or sometimes nonexistent - parenting. But that's not the whole story though.... I personally believe another major factor is the heavy politicisation of education... in "the old days", i.e. when I and presumably you went to school (and even more so college or university for those, in those days, who didn't go straight out into the real world "university of life" to work and learn so much more, although the fees were always a lot more too)... anyhow, in those days (not so long ago) we were taught to open our minds and also HOW to think. NOW they are instead taught WHAT to think while their minds are closed and sealed shut.

    They are of course taught a whole lot of complete nonsense and lies and not only lap it up and believe every word without questioning it - they should be taught to question everything, but obviously that's "old school" and not the modern way of brainwashing. They should also be taught critical thought - but instead cunningly taught to distrust and fear any sort of independent or critical thought. They instead are trained to always avoid such things, sticking instead to hiding behind their ideological slogans and "no platform" for anyone they are trained to disagree with (obviously not daring to find out what they those heavily labelled, usually as "far right extremists" when they are not, have to say or why its officially deemed to be wrong, and whether it really is wrong or not.... and so on.

    Then there's the "social media" they are all now totally obsessed with and a slave to, that reinforces all of this. They are terrified of risking being seen to be even slightly different - they must all work hard to be clones of each other and guess what? **Almost** all of them carefully develop "Millennial" personalities!

    One of the messages they are thoroughly taught (and then all reinforce and "police" in each other) is that they are "entitled" to so much, and that we landlords are universal "capitalist wrong doers" and "owe" them so much.... no wonder we have Generation Rent etc.

    And there are increasingly more and more of them as they drop out of the end of this educational-indoctrinational sausage machine.... with such large (and ever growing) numbers of gullible, relatively mindless and easily led clones its no wonder so many organisations and of course politicians want to pander to them at the expense of everything else.

    The SECRET SOLUTION is to find ways to disrupt these people's cosy, easy lives and make such a nuisance of ourselves - but with good reason and easy to understand "sound byte" messages (both in the national news and by infiltrating and dominating and skilfully bombarding their social media "channels") - messages these mind-numbed millennials can comprehend - and doing it in very large numbers of landlords and agents (all sticking together as there is "strength in numbers" and weakness otherwise), and all of a sudden and at once

    They need re-educating, and/or we all need to get out, move on, find something new to do and not give a damn that in the process - collectively - they have killed their GOLDEN GOOSE, i.e. us, without instead cherishing, appreciating and being kind to it!!!!!

    I wish you and your husband, and business well and hope you (and all of us) find a way out of this increasingly tangled spider's web of nonsense (probably as indicated above and elsewhere in my posts) before it brings us all down and/or chokes us to death - if nothing else gets us first!!!

  • icon

    She has an MSc in Management, Development and SOCIAL RESPONSILITY! Could not make it up.

    • 22 June 2020 22:57 PM

    Is that from the Monty Python University.
    Sometime just sometimes these things are beyond parody.

    Its like we are living in a different time space continuum.
    Im convinced we'll soon all wake up to realise it was all just a horrible dream!!!

    Barry X

    Paul - I wish we could wake up to discover it was all just a horrible dream, but unfortunately the reality is that we landlords have all been more or less asleep - trusting that someone "out there" such as ARLA or the NLA in years gone by - would look after our interests and lobby for us to protect our industry and ensure we were fairly treated so the PRS could flourish for the benefit of all (by which I also mean our tenants)....

    Unfortunately if and when we do eventually wake up collectively (I think I've PERSONALLY been fairly wide awake and alert to all this steadily growing and chocking bind-weed of legislation and manipulated public sentiment for several years - see some of my oldest posts), THEN we'll all discover it has actually got FAR WORSE. I'd say its almost got to the point of no return - if not already passed it - while we were all (collectively) dozing in our vaguely concerned/aware but still totally apathetic and trusting cocoon....

    We need to burst out of that cocoon as a truly terrifying fully grown creature with teeth and claws and breathing fire so we strike fear in the complacent hearts of politicians, and the likes of Shelter and Generation Rent etc who would then all suddenly realise they are totally out of their depths and at the mercy of the giant and ferocious beast they've unwittingly given birth to and then helped nurture while not realising it wasn't the placid lamb for both slaughtering and somehow milking as it died that they they believed they had hold of!

    We need to become WELL ORGANISED AND MILITANT, PLUS ACTUALLY **THREATEN** THINGS WE CAN REALLY DO, e.g. (as I've said before) tactically serve s.21 notices on ALL our tenants together with a very carefully written letter explaining that, sorry but apparently unbeknown to them, successive anti-landlord measures have steadily caused the private rental business to become untenable (haha) and it has become too risky for us to to continue as landlords, due to so many heavy fines and penalties (and more in the pipeline) for trivial administrative errors (but no fines of penalties for blatantly defaulting tenants who rob us, damage our properties or cause us vast amounts of work for which nobody pays us anymore), and the courts have become so blatantly anti-landlord and biased that they have absolutely no sympathy anymore and will certainly not use common sense or treat us fairly.

    At the same time, we should go on to explain, most of our property rights have been seriously undermined, if not taken away from us entirely.

    History is repeating itself (we should tell them) - this is returning us to the nightmarish bad old days of the 1970s where it ended up that no more rental properties were available because anyone who had one could not be evicted and was going nowhere and virtually nobody was willing to offer another property for rent. The only options were to buy - if you could afford to, and then be stuck usually with a bad quality property in the wrong area that you only bought because it was cheap, and that you then discover needs to be repaired and maintained at your own expense, which is not so funny! They used to say "if you buy a cheap car you drive a hard bargain"!..... etc.

    Suggested to our weathy complacent tenants that they apply to the council for accommodation before what little they have is all gone. That will shock them. Or alternatively, tell them to write urgently to their MP begging for an immediate emergency suspension or reversal of these absurd laws (they managed to bring in emergency measures - just the wrong ones - for Covid-19 in March and April).

    Suggest too that the write to Shelter explaining that as they have potentially made hundreds of thousands homeless through their relentless wrongheaded lobbying they now urgently plan to house all these homeless people.... after all they do claim they are a charity for the homeless (but not because they are supposed to be MAKING people homeless, even though they are and its about to get much worse and become a national scandal).....

    And there are plenty of other things we can do as well....

    And so on.....

    Its obvious what NEEDS to be done (and should have started 5 - 10 years ago). What I can't understand is why so many bitter, worried, capable people are not doing this.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    I think you'd be interested in a Post I've just made on my facebook page, about Private Landlords NOT being responsible for the Housing crisis ( which we all knew ) but verified by independent research in a book and published by the Left !

  • icon
    • 23 June 2020 15:02 PM

    @ barry x

    I can't imagine any sane LL disagreeing with anything you have stated.
    I know
    I DON'T.

    @ possessio friend

    Yep will read up.

    Always interested to know what industry professionals such as yourself have to say.


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