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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Leading Tory speaks up for agents, landlords and the rental sector

A senior Conservative peer and consumer campaigner has written an article strongly defending the private rental sector, agents and landlords.

Baroness Altmann of Tottenham - who as Ros Altmann is well known as an expert on pensions, social care and later life issues - writes on the Conservative Home website that while she supported the eviction ban in principle she has recognised that this has created problems as well as provided solutions.

And she says in a pointed statement: “After so many months, I do wonder whether the Conservatives need to do more to show support for some of the landlords (especially small ones who own only one or two properties).”

After saying how the ban has indirectly protected anti-social tenants from evictions, Altmann says many landlords - who have been compassionate in the face of requests from renters during the pandemic - are now struggling.

She says some buy to let investors, who may only have entered the sector as a way of providing themselves with a pension, have little or no rental income as a result of the pandemic and “must still meet costs such as licensing fees, insurance, and maybe even utility bills for the property.”

So Altmann calls for a framework of measures to support both vulnerable tenants and hard-pressed landlords. 

- The government should clearly re-state that tenants must, wherever possible, continue to pay their rent as normal, and no longer suggest implicitly that all landlords are wealthy or large firms who can afford to receive no income;

- Government should offer landlords and tenants additional support, including mediation, to agree rent repayment plans where arrears have built as a result of the Covid outbreak;

- Court processes should be urgently reformed so that possession cases are heard more effectively and speedily. to help clear the backlog of cases the reformed could include online hearings and making better use of web-based arbitration;

- In the case of future local lockdowns, clear plans should be in place - perhaps to pause repossession cases in those areas, within a specific timeframe. 

Altmann concludes: “The private rented sector plays a vital part in housing the nation. Some seek to paint a picture of tenants and landlords in constant conflict, but in the vast majority of cases they have been working constructively to address the challenges of Covid-19. 

“Once the immediate crisis measures are relaxed, the proposals I have outlined here could engender a sustainable balance between the rights of renters and of landlord. But Conservatives also need to bear in mind the political realities, and must avoid causing long-lasting problems for landlords.”

  • Angus Shield

    Dear Lady Altmann
    Thank you
    Yours sincerely
    The PRS

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    Hallelujah!

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    What? A Tory has taken their head out of Shelters arse and smelt the reality of the PRS?
    Flabber-bloody-ghasted!

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    Spoken like the true gentleman you clearly are!

     
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    Let us hope that Baroness Altmann starts a trend of realisation that the PRS is actually needed and is good for the country.

    Barry X

    Well you never know and here's hoping......

    Pigs might fly, as they say, but if they show any sign of it we should give them all the help they can to take off!!!!!

    If anyone - the more of us the better - is able to in effect "re-tweet" her by making her comments and thoughts more widely known, quoted and promoted in as many ways, forums and channels as possible then please let's do it!

    And let's contact & encourage her too!

    Her full name is Rosalind Miriam Altmann, Baroness Altmann, CBE and she has a website you can easily find by googling her (take out the space in rosaltmann .com).

    I've already sent her an email to thank her, agree with her point of view and offer my support for what its worth.... it would be worth a lot more if several thousand other did the same!!!!!

     
  •  G romit

    The Government should provide financial help to tenants to pay their rent (with direct payment to Landlords where necessary).
    There would then be no need for eviction bans, repayment mediation, dealing with claims from Landlords, etc, etc.

    SIMPLES even MPs can understand it, maybe.

    Matthew Payne

    Exactly, whilst I welcome her input, it's the one thing she didnt mention and ultimately the most straightforward solution to avoiding mounting arrears, a section 21 backlash in the autumn, homeless tenants and a court system that won't be able to cope. They should just create an online application for means tested "rentlough" payments like they have everything else. Would weed out all the chancers at the same time, as if they are refused the support, it means they have the cash.

     
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    Don't bet on MP's understanding anything G romit

     
  •  G romit

    Altman needs to become the PRS champion!

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    Unfortunately another Baroness is opposing her.

     
  • Barry X

    Well hallelujah.... its nice for a very unusual change for someone to show some support for landlords, agents or the PRS in general, and almost some understanding of what it/we are all about.

    I'd welcome this if it were the start of a pendulum swing the other way, but fear it won't be. We shall see.

    My guess is that she'll be a lone voice or there might be a few murmurs of cautious (or more likely pretend) agreement but when it comes to actually DOING anything NOTHING WILL HAPPEN. Instead there will EITHER be a growing clamour of disagreement and even rage from a number of noisy, aggressive, dismissive quarters OR she'll be totally ignored OR a mixture of the two with most MPs, Lords and civil servants (the hidden menace) studiously ignoring her and hoping she'll go away, while a few will angrily denounce her.

    The real problem is that there are 365 supposedly "Tory" MPs, and (I think) 650 MPs in total (or thereabouts), plus over 800 "Lords" in the House of Lords (most of them political non-entities foist on the nation through bogus "honours lists" to stuff the place with unquestioning pre-programmed socialists) and of course the mysterious civil service that is supposed to only advise but really drives and runs so much of it...... THAT'S what we are up against (plus all the local councils and other anti-landlord vested interests etc).

    It would be foolish to think the occasional sensible and apparently landlord/agent considerate voice is going to make any difference. Yes, its a very welcome change and good to hear or read about, but in reality its a so-called "outlier" and not going to help us much unless it can be nurtured and made to grow into some sort of unstoppable movement with both "real teeth" and "marching boots" etc.

    Let's hope, but also let's not make the mistake of sitting back, holding our collective breath and expecting anything to be done for us. We must make things happen for ourselves.

    Be realistic; we must wake up from our apathy and fatalism (while moaning to each other without explaining anything to the nation) and instead FIGHT with guile and strategic cunning if we actually care and want to save ourselves, and if she is kind enough to join in and support us and spread the words then great; its always good to have a "friend at court" but even better to have an army marching on the court and/or laying siege to it!!!!!

    When we start gnashing our fangs, breathing political fire and rolling out barrels of political dynamite THEN we might start to see a few real and long awaited changes taking shape....

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    If those are genuine conservatice supporters then I fear for the conservatives. Th level of anti-landlord feeling is worrying.

     
  • Barry X

    PS. This might give you an idea of how it could be done - though with a little more tangible substance of course.....

    vimeo. com/ 235412480

    (obviously please copy and paste by hand into your browsers then take the spaces out before pressing enter)

    :-)

  • Barry X

    By the way (not buy to let for a change!).......

    has anyone here actually gone to conservativehome .com/platform/2020/07/ros-altmann-what-ministers-need-to-do-to-ease-the-plight-of-small-landlords .html (copy & paste into your browser then be sure to delete the two spaces I've added before pressing enter)?

    She makes some good points, though only in relation to smaller landlords, i.e. those with one or two properties and who became landlords to provide themselves with a pension (fair enough as that's her area of expertise). BUT then take a look at some of the comments at the end posted in response.... some of them are absolutely appalling and virtually all of them represent the kind of twisted, ignorant "let's-roast-a-few-landlords-then-laugh-because-they-deserve-it" attitude that makes me so ashamed of this country as its now the normal, accepted mainstream and even encouraged view.

    There are so many well established, decent, honest, often generous and usually extremely experienced landlords like me/us who want out!

    Is it any wonder when, apart from having our legitimate and highly professional businesses unfairly targeted relentlessly for years on end, fleeced and milked by local authorities and taxed to death both by them (with c/tax on empty properties and "licencing fees" and all the rest) and central government/HMRC.... and then all the still growing mountains of mainly pointless and ill considered red-tape and over regulation..... we then ALSO have to tread so carefully, super politely deal with, humour, pander to and accommodate (literally as well as metaphorically) the increasingly ignorant, nasty, "entitled" and of course utterly unappreciative population that both eggs councils and governments on to attack us more and more and also at the same time wants (with council, government and court backing) to cheat and steal from us while partying wildly to annoy neighbours that WE - not they - have to deal with, damaging our properties, not paying the rent or repair costs, having the courts totally on their sides, having "human rights" etc, unlike us we inhuman scum-bag hated landlords and agents, and then one day many of them simply run away after having paid nothing for months and there's nothing we can do or are even allowed to do about it.

    Read some of the comments on the "Conservative Home" website in response to Rosalind Altmann's quite mild and cautious article and you'll see several horrible specimins of humanity lurking there fondly imagining they are being so grown up and sophisticated when in reality its very obvious to me, at any rate, what mindless thugs they really are.

    THAT is the sort of thing we have to face and deal with.

    Its no good being weak and trying to appease or kowtow to such oiks.... better to get ourselves as organised as they are, but way better informed and intelligent than they ever could be, and force through all sorts of new legislation (while having some of the crap axed and repealed), laws that, for example, allow a central public register to be set up that only, say,"licensed" (haha) landlords and agents canb update or comment on that record the names and former addresses of nuisance tenants who were evicted, didn't pay their last months rent or owed anything else (in many cases far more) and so on.... they need to wake up to the fact that without us they will have nowhere to live, and we can get organised, share information about them and take back control.

    Paul Barrett

    @Barry X
    You make fantastic points.
    But in your heart you know they haven't finished with LL yet.
    Far more pain to come.
    Like you I'm desperate to get out despite being highly profitable.
    I simply don't care.
    I just want away from all the aprobrium cast the LL way.

    I can't think of any other profession that is so loathed by society.

    Prostitutes have better social standing than LL!!!
    People rent them and their little accommodation but don't seem to resent them like they do with LL offering larger rental accommodation!!!

    This societal loathing is only going to get worse.
    There is absolutely NO political will to reverse the incorrect perception of LL.

    We are where we are.
    A tactical withdrawal is required.
    Downsize
    Delverage
    Sell up

    Do all this and EVENTUALLY......................someone will say where have all the LL gone?
    I can't find anywhere to rent!!!!

    There will be the response

    Told you so!!

    Being a LL is a thankless task.
    Quite frankly many tenants don't deserve our services.

    About time these tenants were denied rental property by LL not being there.

    We would then hopefully reach the stage as in Ireland where Govt finds it is desperate to attract back LL and has to offer all sorts of incentives in an attempt to entice the LL to return.
    By all accounts the Irish LL are having NONE of it and consequently there is a homelessness crisis in Ireland.
    Who'd have thought eh!!??
    Mind you the LL will probably be just as resented but this time for not supplying rental property!!
    A no win situation for LL



     
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