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Paul Barrett
Paul Barrett
5549  Profile Views

About Me

my expertise in the industry

Paul's Recent Activity

Paul Barrett
As others have suggested more clueless ideas from the Tories. They clearly have no idea as to the business imperatives that the PRS is subject to. The mere idea that LL engage in non-fault evictions willy-nilly is for the birds. Clearly the Tory policy wonks have never had to endure the tortuous and very expensive Eviction process whether allegedly non-fault or otherwise. The process takes just as long!!!! No sane LL engaged in an eviction process without just cause. They know they will be losing bundles but evict to get rid of a miscreant tenant. S21 is also used to give NTQ just in case the tenant doesn't leave when they advise. This so at least the LL could start a PO process just in case the tenant doesn't vacate. Unless there is an equally effective process as S21 then more LL will sell up. Govt seems to believe it can force LL to remain invested with little control over their investment property. They will be soundly disabused of this idea as LL sell up or substantially reduce their property numbers. It is quite frightening as to how little Govt understands the PRS and what motivates LL to remain invested. The PRS has thrived precisely because of the control LL have been able to achieve. It seems Govt's of all persuasions fail to understand these basic concepts. They seem determined to proceed with these bonkers ideas Which is OK if you DON'T mind the PRS reverting to how it was in the 60 and 70's!! If LL are unable to effectively control their investments they will leave the AST market. They are already doing this such that it is impacting the availability of property for AST letting. So of course none of this assists tenants. Govt doesn't seem to understand any of this. I'm sure tenants WON'T thank Govt for the ever dwindling supply of rental properties!

From: Paul Barrett 21 November 2019 09:20 AM

Paul Barrett

From: Paul Barrett 04 November 2019 08:46 AM

Paul Barrett

From: Paul Barrett 01 November 2019 11:19 AM

Paul Barrett
There is the bonkers idea that LL buying properties for rent prevents others from buying. This is simply not the case. LL need large deposits to buy. Homebuyers DON'T. Most property purchasers use leverage to buy property. The leveraged LL is no more risk to the property market than homeowners. Indeed I would suggest homeowner leverage is far more risky than LL leverage who are mostly leveraged at no more than 75% Homeowners are at 95% A LL can have rent paid by HB if the tenant loses a job. Not so the homeowner. The ridiculous SDLT surcharge and S24 are irreparably damaging the PRS and domestic Residential market. LL are leaving and they won't be returning. Just look at the problems there are in Ireland as a consequence of the introduction of their stupid version of S24. LL are taking early retirement and cashing out. They won't be returning. Tenants are not buying former LL properties not are FTB. It is upsizers and downsizers that are doing the buying. Taxing LL on turnover is simply beyond the pale. It will never achieve its alleged objective of providing more homes for FTB to buy. There are more than enough properties to buy. Adding to that existing plentiful supply won't make FTB and tenants buy them. To make properties affordable you would need to see a collapse in prices of about 50% Never gonna happen!! Mind you unaffordability is only a SE issue. Plenty of affordable properties up North. But for obvious reasons nobody wants to live there. Hardly the fault of the mortgaged sole trader LL!!

From: Paul Barrett 26 October 2019 06:08 AM

Paul Barrett

From: Paul Barrett 22 October 2019 13:29 PM

Paul Barrett

From: Paul Barrett 19 October 2019 23:04 PM

Paul Barrett
@SI ICTB----- INDIVIDUAL COUNCIL TAX BANDING. I doubt with your particular circumstances you have anything to concern yourself with. The big risk is that the Council refer your property to the VOA who appear to be a law unto themselves liable to apply ICTB to any property with separate AST. Which is why if you keep below 5 occupiers you shouldn't pop up on the VOA radar. Licencable HMO are being targeted for ICTB. The rule is DON'T improve the facilities at your HMO due to the risk of ICTB being imposed Just a bedroom with an en-suite can result in the LL being clobbered for ICTB. Very risky. The VOA doesn't apply it's ICTB coherently across the country. So a LL with HMO en-suites will get clobbered in one part of the country and yet won't in another part. I was just raising a potential paranoid situation on my part that Councils would revalue every CT bill at any rental property where there was a shared property with individual AST. They might even try it for lodgers. My paranoia knows no bounds when it comes to greedy grasping councils who seek to screw every single penny they can out of the PRS even including homeowners with lodgers!! I personally use different SIMs when speaking to the Council officers anonymously so that the number can never be ascribed to me when I do call identifying myself from my normal number. The VOA has no consistent policy which is why I wouldn't go anywhere near any Licencable HMO situation. I don't trust Councils one little bit which is why I am a bit paranoid about the risks of ICTB which could severely upset a rental business model!!

From: Paul Barrett 19 October 2019 15:57 PM

Paul Barrett
Oh! I totally agree with your sentiments. For some reason small independent LL especially those who trade in their own name using mortgages are seen as the devil incarnate. I maintain that there is room in the PRS for all types of offer. But the problem now is that the various offers are not being provisioned on a fair basis. S24 discriminates against mortgaged sole trader LL. There is no advantage to any particular type of LL. Their relevant offers all deserve a place in the PRS to provide as much choice for tenants. That is a Fred and open market and as such is the best way to provide what a private tenant might choose. Of course from a Govt perspective the sole trader LL is lot less easier to control. This is something they really don't like. Yet for over the past 20 years it has been the private rented sector consisting mostly if small independent traders that has provisioned and effectively housed millions of tenants who would otherwise be homeless as they certainly couldn't afford to buy or they would already have done so. In the absence of the ability of people to buy then Govt must facilitate rental accommodation. But by introducing S24 they are effectively attacking about 25% of the existing market provision. That is simply bonkers. Govt should be doing exactly the opposite to engage increased rental provision by all different types of provider. Discriminating against different types of providers is crazy. Tenants have the right to have made available to them a totally transparent PRS. With Govt effectively trying to eradicate the mortgaged sole trader LL this does no service for desperate tenants who cannot see 25% of rental supply disappear and yet that is what is slowly happening. I was discussing things with a B Sortford EA who advised me that in 2018 he sold 3 rental properties on behalf of LL. This year he has sold 23. None of them were sold to FTB or former or existing tenants. They were all sold to upsizers or downsizers mostly from London determining to cash in on the profits of the London property market. I have no problems with the brave new world of different form of private sector rental provision but not at the expense of the small independent provider. There is space in the market for all different types but there must be a level playing field for those providers to operate within. However it must be accepted that for many of these private providers they do not wish to let to those who qualify for HB. Consequently it is only the State that will be prepared to house people that private providers choose not to do business with. Unfortunately for the taxpayer this means Social Housing. Billions need to be spent to house these HB claimants LL simply AREN'T interested in housing HB tenants for a wide variety of reasons. Social Housing with social only rents provision needs to be massively increased and RTB should be banned unless at FULL market value with the sale proceeds being invested in other social housing. There is room in the PRS for all different types of provider but for obvious political reasons the small some trader LL is being eradicated by unfair and penal Govt tax policies. Free and fair competition is good for the end user consumer. This applies in the PRS as any other market. Govt seems to have lost all commonsense in trying to eradicate a vital part of the PRS. If all the mortgaged sole trader LL are eradicated those LL WON'T be replaced by other LL ofif any type. There would be millions of homeless tenants.

From: Paul Barrett 13 October 2019 20:08 PM

Paul Barrett
Luke P very interesting stuff you have quoted. But to 'professionalise' LL would need to be registered which effectively means a National LL licensing scheme which in principle I have no issue with providing the Licensing is FREE or very cheap. This should result in all other LL licensing schemes to be abolished. Registering the LL rather than per property owned. RSW already had this scheme in place but there are many thousands of LL who are NOT using LA who have failed to comply with the RSW regulations. For LL to 'professionalise' I believe a similar scheme that vocational transport drivers are required to have would be appropriate. So that would be something like 40 hrs of CPD training to be carried out once every 5 years. It should also be a requirement that before any property may be let out the LL will be required to undergo the 40 hrs of CPD training. If not then a LA may manage on behalf of the LL until the LL has achieved the CPD training. Such requirements could result in LA obtaining more business from LL who choose not to 'professionalise' which would be their prerogative though doing so they are hostages to fortune of LA who will know the LL isn't able to self-manage. I believe that before mortgage lenders lend for BTL or LTB they should require that the borrower has a LA who will be used to manage or has achieved the CPD training. There would be the problems of being accredited for LL until CPD training had been completed. But I believe as a general principle all those involved in the lettings industry should have taken part in some sort of formal training. The new NRLA should be perfectly capable of devising a CPD training package and delivering it which would garner considerable income for them. This would be great news. Potentially many LL would join the NRLA which would substantially increase the gravitas of the NRLA giving LL a far better lobbying voice. I know that personally had I been required to undergo CPD before I became a LL my investment business decisions would have substantially changed. But certainly some sort of professionalisation for LL should be required. Whether the political will is there for this to be achieved is another matter!

From: Paul Barrett 19 September 2019 12:56 PM

Paul Barrett
There can be no such thing as sensible across the board rent controls. Such controls simply aren't capable of coping with individual LL business dynamics. Let us return to 2015 prior to dopey Osborne announcing the S24 policy. Up til then things had been ticking along OK in the PRS. Rents were set at reasonable market rates. Since 2015 there have been a flurry of bonkers anti-LL policies that has led to LL having to increase rents substantially or selling up. Rent controls would not take account of these business dynamics. Every LL will be affected different ways and would need to manage their individual property circumstances. I'm afraid rents are as they are due to market forces. It would be politically unacceptable but if there was a real desire to lower rents there would be immediate closure of the borders. Repatriation of the 2 million illegal immigrants. Removal of EU migrants who haven't been in the UK for at least 5 years. Removing the 400000 EU migrants currently occupying social housing to be replaced by sole British Nationals. An immediate buyback at market prices of about 2 million private properties for social housing use along with building 1 million social homes over the next 5 years. Plus abolishing all the recent bonkers policies introduced since 2015. NONE of this will EVER happen. It would if I was running things! Indeed the cost burdens on LL are likely to further increase as even more bonkers policies are introduced like abolishing S21. There is simply no way that rent controls could be adjusted to cope with all the detrimental effects on LL which would be slightly different for every LL. Rent controls if introduced will simply speed up the selling up process resulting in an ever declining PRS. That would mean even more homeless. We are talking millions NOT thousands!! It would also result in a massive reduction in tax receipts as inevitably LL will evade rent controls by managing properties themselves which would massively hit LA businesses. A LA can hardly go around collecting brown envelopes of cash for the real rents on behalf of LL clients! Only LL will be able to do this. Very few LL could survive on controlled rents. The last time this was tried most of the LL sold up. This resulted in the rise of Rachman. We really do not wish to return to those days!!

From: Paul Barrett 17 September 2019 09:39 AM

Paul Barrett
Many LL will refuse to pay higher LA charges. They are under enough other cost pressures that are barely being met by rent increases. Where LL are able to they will self-manage. There must surely be a competitive advantage for self-managing LL over those who remain with LA full. management. Such self-managing LL will presumably have lower costs if not using a LA. It will be found by many LL that if they wish to achieve net income from their properties they will have to get their hands dirty. The days of passive income with a LA managing everything are over. LA charges are a significant cost for LL and removing such costs can easily be the difference between viability or not. I predict many LL terminating their LA contracts. Obviously all this is a challenge for LA especially as those self-managing LL not using LA will have cheaper rents than those with LA. This cost burden must surely start to affect where LL choose to invest or retain properties. Investing no more than say 1 hrs drive away will perhaps mean LL are more able to self-manage. Inevitably this will mean fewer properties being retained and a retrenching of investment in properties nearer to where the LL lives. There will to some extent be a large repatriation of capital from the North to the South where much of the PRS investment capital comes from. Not sure how this will assist the poorer Northern tenants with rental stock being sold off. Tenant fees have to some extent suppressed rents. This inevitably now must change as it seems most LA are simply passing on the cost to LL. This simply ISN'T a viable solution as LA will find when LL start terminating contracts.

From: Paul Barrett 16 September 2019 09:50 AM

Paul Barrett

From: Paul Barrett 09 September 2019 22:20 PM

Paul Barrett
Really!! Are you seriously that ignorant!? Your naivety simply beggars belief!! Where to start!? There are no residential mortgage lenders as far as I am aware that permit AirBnB lettings. Most lenders do permit LODGERS usually no more than two. So AirBnB is in breach of mortgage conditions which is fraud as the mortgage was taken out on the basis of Residential occupancy and the mortgage product priced accordingly. Then we have fraudulent insurance. I know of NO Residential insurer that permits AirBnB letting. Any homeowner with a residential mortgage is required to be correctly insured. With any AirBnB occupant the homeowner will again be committing fraud as he will not have valid insurance. It is a condition of a residential mortgage that the homeowner has valid insurance. Next we have those with leasehold properties. I know of no Freeholder that permits short term letting like AirBnB. Therefore any such usage is breach of the lease. The freeholder would be legally entitled to call in the lease. Then of course there is the situation where the Freeholder block insurance would not cover damage caused by AirBnB occupants which again would be breach of any mortgage conditions even if a BTL mortgage. BTL mortgages have conditions requiring occupancy by tenants on an AST usually of no more than 1 year in length. Next we have a planning fraud as AirBnB is a business and Councils require planning permission to change use from a residential to a commercial use. Such planning if granted would be breach of Residential mortgage conditions. Then Council tax would need to change to business rates.. Again breach of Residential mortgage and BTL mortgage conditions. So as you can see there are literally very few circumstances where AirBnB would be legal. So my contention remains that most of AirBnB is fraudulent.

From: Paul Barrett 05 September 2019 20:42 PM

Paul Barrett
The LA game is a declining industry. There will be far fewer players and far fewer LL. LL simply won't be prepared to pay what LA may need to remain viable. With increasing costs for LL they need to reduce costs to remain profitable. Dumping the LA is the first cost that could be reasonably dumped by LL. There are now many cheap or even zero cost ways of sourcing tenants. For LA the only way to survive is to have far more properties under management but with the same numbers of staff. Many LA are simply not proficient enough to survive the loss of tenant fees and will struggle to convince LL to pay additional charges to cover for loss of such tenant fees. So there needs to be a vast consolidation of LA. It is pointless LA trying to squeeze LL for more now that vast numbers of them are up against the bonkers S24 policy. But actually all this could be a good thing as far as the remaining LA are concerned. They will become far more professional and will have the security of scale to keep them viable. The days of the small LA are numbered. Not their fault of course but the sheer weight of regulation etc coming to LA is too much to ask of the small-timer. In a town you really only need one LA with one office. They will have an online presence with the office for those who wish to have face to face interaction. LA will need to change their ways of doing things or they will find thenselves out of business or being taken over. This of course must be all very galling for the small LA who has built up a successful business. A bit like mortgaged sole trader LL have done. Well those LL have been hit by the bonkers S24 and now LA with the TFA which is effectively their version of S24. Both polices are bonkers but we are as LA and LL all in the same boat as victims of totally ridiculous Govt policies. Many LL are being put out of business by S24 and the same will happen to LA. Effectively LA are victims of the TFA and S24 as LL are terminating contracts as they leave the PRS or decide to self-manage to reduce costs to cope with S24. There is on the near horizon another massive threat to LL and LA alike..................................RENT CONTROLS!!!!!!! IF they occur expext a mass exodus of LL from LA to becoming self-managing LL. There will be a massive black market and LA can hardly be expected to collect more than the controlled rent!! For LL this won't be a problem. No problem collecting the real rent in cash from the tenant above the capped rent level. If Labour get in expect RENT CONTROLS to be introduced effectively overnight. Which is why with such threats I am converting to lodgers. No more AST lettings for me!!!

From: Paul Barrett 26 August 2019 20:31 PM

Paul Barrett
Rubbish BTL hasn't distorted anything!! Properties purchased by LL could equally have been purchased by potential homebuyers but for many reasons they didn't do so. That is NOT the fault of LL who did come up with the resources to buy properties. I well remember back in 2007 purchasing new-build properties. There remain at least 10 remaining unsold. So desperate were the developers to sell that they sold all of them at a massive discount to the onsite HA. Nobody was preventing the properties being bought by homeowners who for whatever reasons failed to buy the properties.........................funny that!!? So lets dispense with the Govt propaganda that you are repeating that LL prevent others from buying. The UK property market is open to all. It all depends on resources. Those who become LL have usually worked very hard to obtain the very large deposits that BTL lenders require. Homeowners do not require large deposits to buy. There are more than enough properties to purchase. LL buying property don't prevent anyone else buying the many other properties that are for sale. LL have no more engaged in property speculation than homebuyers. What anyone chooses to do with a property once purchased is up to them. Property is like any other commodity. I speculated on buying my residential properties. I always reckoned I would make a PROFIT or speculation as you might term it!!! BTR by the way will NEVER replace the private LL. The business model for a start is extremely vulnerable to any looney Govt or Mayor introducing rent controls. Govt simply has to appreciate that the capital of millions of private citizens is required to be invested in housing stock to ensure millions of people have somewhere to live. Govt in trying to prevent and eradicate such private citizens from investing in rental properties has yet to explain where all the millions of homeless tenants are supposed to live when all the private LL have gone!!!! Any ideas!?

From: Paul Barrett 14 August 2019 16:02 PM

Paul Barrett
Unfortunately thorough referencing while ideal may not result in finding tenants who can qualify for RGI. It is simply a fact that very few tenants are able to qualify for RGI and therefore the LL is forced to take as an informed gamble as they can. The vast majority of tenants are of very low quality as far as referencing is concerned. This makes being a LL with a mortgage a very risky business. With S21 being abolished this becomes even more so. If you factor in RGI to the possession process then you are easily looking at 10 months for eviction and that is using the current supposed quick S21 process!!! The reason for the longer period is that most RGI claims don't have to be submitted for 90 days. The reason for this is obvious. The RGI companies hope that rent arrears will be resolved so that no claim is made. I waited until the 85th day before I made a RGI claim as the tenant kept promising to pay. I did warn them that once I made the RGI claim they would be evicted. So giving the tenant the opportunity to recover rent arrears 10 months for eviction is easily achieved!! That means for at least 5 months the LL has to find the monies to service a mortgage. All insurance claims take time!! Even RGI when it is critical to be paid. RGI is more of a cashflow issue. So for every mortgaged property with RGI on it a LL would need at least 5 months of mortgage payments. That is obviously on the basis that in extremis all mortgaged properties rent default at the same time and RGI is available on each of them. Now imagine the situation where very few mortgaged BTL properties are capable of achieving RGI on the tenants and you can see the massive business risk that mortgaged LL are running. Indeed LL suffer losses of over £9 billion per year most of it due to rent default. This is something that is rarely discussed. But as a general principle can it be right that so much rent defaulting is facilitated by the current system.. Surely tenants should be able to be removed by the LL without any court action the day after the 2nd month of rent default!? That would be 1 month and one day where rent is paid in advance which is the case for most tenancies. But Govt effectively conspires against LL with a currently dysfunctional eviction process such that LL suffer massive losses which can only very rarely be covered by RGI where achievable on tenants or their possible guarantors. The facts are that the PRS comprises of very low quality tenants which occasions massive business risks for a LL. I don't believe the vast majority of mortgaged LL appreciate how much risk they are running by taking on tenants who can't qualify for RGI. Taking on low quality tenants is OK if as LL there is no mortgage to pay. Then all you lose is income which is still a bummer but won't usually bankrupt you which could easily happen with a mortgaged LL. S21 is far and away the process the LL use to get rid of rent defaulting tenants. I've had to evict 5 and it never happened in 2 months from my issuing the S21 notice!!!

From: Paul Barrett 12 August 2019 11:32 AM

Paul Barrett
Easy response is to reduce sharers to 4. However a guest may be permitted under certain circumstances. That means the guest can have no connection with the address. Now it maybe that the 'guest' happens to be the same person as the Fifth sharer. It maybe that the 'guest' chooses to pay the other sharers for the guest facilities. Obviously the LL will permit guests which do not have to be in a HMO Licence size room. So a new AST will be required with the former sharer having to sign a surrender document. I believe there are other types of occupant which would mean a property is not an Mandatory Licensed HMO if there are 5 or more occupiers. Now if the former Fifth tenant doesn't want to play the game then they will have to permanently vacate and not even stay as a guest. The LL would just have to increase the rent by Fourth for the existing tenants which may be done when the new AST is produced. With many of the new Mandatory HMO compliant properties failing to meet the new regulations it won't be easy for the tenants to move to another shared property. There have been very few 4 bed HMO so it will just mean the non-compliant fifth bedroom can't be used so tenants will be effectively paying for its non-use. It will mean a rent increase for each of the remaining 4 occupiers of about £150pcm! I'm sure the remaining tenants will be delighted to be paying for an empty room which used to be let saving them £150pcm each in rent!! Very few LL would be prepared to accept the same rent each from 4 occupiers with no rent from a now absent Fifth occupier. The viability of many of these properties will be called into question. It should be the case that only self-managing LL might chance it as I'm sure no LA would let a property when it should have an HMO licence and actually DOESN'T!!!?

From: Paul Barrett 25 July 2019 09:21 AM

Paul Barrett
It might seem counter-intuitive but the easier Govt makes it for LL to manage their businesses the more LL will choose to stay in the market providing those vitally needed accommodation services. It is only because Govt is making it harder for LL that many are choosing to leave the market or not bother with becoming a LL. I have always said that the easier it is made to get rid of miscreant tenants the more likely it is that LL would be prepared to countenance risking letting to more difficult tenants many of whom are languishing in very expensive TA. Govt by it's very attempts to give tenants security actually introduces INSECURITY!! LL will NOT allow themselves to be controlled by Govt as some sort of quasi social housing providers. I would question as to whether tenants would vote Tory if it is realised that Govt actions to introduce security for tenants actually achieve the opposite!! Reduced availability of rental stock hardly gives the security that tenants allegedly crave. The best security that may be provided by LL for tenants is that which encourages market rents and facilitates near enough complete control by the LL of his rental properties. Those are massive incentives for LL to remain in the market which de facto gives tenants security that there are rental properties available. It is pointless having rent controlled secure properties if there are no LL to provide such!! The whole exercise becomes somewhat pointless! I do believe that the PTB and tenants have a mistaken perception that LL will continue to be LL come what may. I do believe that gradually this perception is being recognised as a false one. But it will be too late before everyone realises this. As happened in Ireland the LL left and now there is a massive homelessness problem. The Irish Govt is now desperately trying to persuade LL to return. Understandably many LL simply don't want to play anymore. Many have effectively taken early retirement and show no signs of being willing to be coaxed out of that retirement. With the age demographics of UK LL this is what is happening here. Many LL were 5 to 10 years away from exiting the PRS. They have just brought forward those plans earlier than they might. They don't see things improving in the next 10 years so not unreasonably they are determining that enough is enough and are getting out while the going is reasonably good. Not good news for tenant security at all!!!

From: Paul Barrett 13 July 2019 10:00 AM

Paul Barrett

From: Paul Barrett 11 July 2019 17:25 PM

Paul Barrett
Perhaps we should be using the services of private detectives!!!?? With effective FREE referencing for every Johnny come lately it seems the doors have been opened for anyone to game the system to obtain a tenancy. All a fraudster has to do is pay the deposit and 1st month's rent and then not pay anything. Wait to be evicted could be an extra 8 months of free accommodation!!! Courtesy of the poor old LL!! Do that 3 times and a fraudster tenant could have saved enough for a deposit on a house purchase!!! The world has gone crazy. There will be a lot more nightmare tenants than slum LL in the coming years. Personally I will be using LRS who offer the facility of sending a checkmyfile link to a tenant prospect to enable them to send the full reports from all 3 CRA to the LL. As this is free there is no fee ban to consider. I would suggest that at least 75% of tenant applicants won't bother sending their Credit reports to the LL. So that will be an ideal filter for LL. Any who do send their reports can be whittled down by the LL to leave most likely bona fide tenant applicants who can then be subjected to more intense referencing by LRS. £40 per tenant apparently. Use LRS referencing and if RGI qualification occurs that costs £150 for an annual policy for up to £50000 including legal costs. Of course there are other referencing operations out there. But they only check soft searches not hard credit searches. Only banks and the consumer themselves can see hard credit searches. Of course with the tenant applicant sending the free credit reports to the LL email address for free will give lots of valuable information..Very few few fraudsters are able to construct false credit profiles. This is what I will do in future. I simply cannot afford to pay for referencing for every Johnny come lately..So I will have to become more selective. This inevitably means without a valid passport I will reject a lot of tenants. My advice to tenants would be to obtain a passport and Register for accounts with the 3 CRA. These are Credit karma Clearscore MSE Credit Club. You can register with the CRA directly which are TransUnion Experian Equifax. Everyone should access their free credit reports. It costs nothing and you never know when you might want your credit files to be correct. Before any credit application or other usage of credit file information ensure the details are correct even if detrimental. You only want to be assessed on CORRECT information!!!

From: Paul Barrett 11 July 2019 08:40 AM

Paul Barrett
Yes I get there is a lot of sophisticated fakery out there and with the TFA LL are now disincentivised to carry out thorough referencing due to the cost. No LL can afford to pay for multiple exhaustive referencing for every Johnny come lately tenant applicant. I do not see why the Tenant Referencing Passport system cannot be used to produce effective referencing. However there is some uncertainty as to whether it is possible for a LL to advise a tenant prospect that UNLESS they provide their TRP to the LL they will not be considered. This is NOT the LL requiring a tenant prospect to obtain their TRP at their cost as the LL is perfectly entitled to state that they are NOT prepared to pay for a tenant prospect to be referenced but that if they do show a TRP to a LL then that LL will CONSIDER them!! LRS are running scared currently and have withdrawn their highly effective TRP product. They are attempting to find out from the PTB whether a TRP purchased by a tenant prospect to be in with a chance of being considered by a LL is breach of the TFA. The TRP methodology is a highly effective form of referencing. A tenant should only need to purchase one TRP valid for 3 months to then be able to approach multiple LA and LL with their one TRP. If the the TRP is that good it might even qualify the tenant prospect for RGI. Without a TRP facility many tenant prospects will struggle to even be considered by LL. Preliminary enquiries will result in many tenants being rejected whereas an effective TRP paid for by the tenant could well encourage a LL to take that tenant on. As it stands currently LL are going to be increasingly selective so as to avoid taking on a wrongun tenant of which there are millions!!! Personally I would like to see a State run TRP service like a driving licence. If you want to rent you get a TRP from the State. Cost would be about £100. But that would be it!! A lot cheaper than tenant fees used to be. You need a Passport to leave the country why not a passport to be able to rent if the LL chooses you!? It would also solve the problems if R2R as it would be the State determining the status of the tenant. It would also ensure that the State would be able to provide certainty as to many tenant's status so that a Windrush issue doesn't occur again!

From: Paul Barrett 05 July 2019 21:17 PM

Paul Barrett
Income tax would be about £6 billion per year. The reason it ISN'T.........................the PRS suffers losses of about £9 billion per year. Such losses are offset against income causing a lower profit amount to be taxed. The majority of the losses are caused by rent defaulting tenants. The way to generate more tax is to change the eviction process in cases of rent default only so that rent defaulting tenants maybe evicted by the LL with police assistance without recourse to any court action. This to occur after two month's rent default. This means after 1 month and one day where rent is paid in advance monthly. Such a situation would enable a LL to quickly relet and of course generate taxable rent receipts Govt must realise that the current eviction process is costing the Treasury £billions in tax. The question needs to be asked. Should the taxpayer essentially support feckless tenants in their rent defaulting? Which currently the Govt is by the mere fact of the dysfunctional eviction process. Surely no Govt should be supporting a process which facilitates massive losses to LL and the Treasury!!! The eviction process only needs to be amended in rent defaulting cases. It is Govt which is causing the massive losses to the Treasury. LL would be highly delighted in having more tax to pay on rental income as it would mean substantial reduction in rent defaulting losses Wonder if Dopey Govt will be able to join the dots to see how more tax could be achieved from LL. Somehow I doubt it!

From: Paul Barrett 03 July 2019 12:53 PM

Paul Barrett
The 'hostile environment' is ENTIRELY appropriate. Unfortunately the way it is managed has been substantially inappropriate. It should be Govt Agencies managing the borders. Trained professionals not untrained LL should determine who has the R2R. The 'hostile environment' for illegal immigrants should be rigorously and thoroughly enforced. But it does tend to sweep up those that should not be subject to it. These are then left with no Govt support and can suffer greviously inappropriate treatment. That must be resolved. In the meantime Govt must be much more considered as to how it manages thing to avoid making mistakes like with the Windrush debacle. I have been advising my EU nationals they must obtain Settled Status documents. Most of them haven't a clue they are required. It is technically none of my business but I'm just trying to help them out as I will be selling up and they will struggle to source another rental property without the correct documentation if R2R is still in force. Nobody wants illegal immigration but Govt must provide support systems for those who accidentally are caught up in a system which sanctions them when it shouldn't. Passports should be made free. It is now a vital document even needed by British Nationals to rent in their own country. I see nothing wrong in there being allowed sponsors for some of the pages in a passport. Many large advertisers would love to be able to use a passport as an advertising medium. The State should attempt to provide a free passport for every citizen who qualifies. The citizen won't realise but it is an ID card by another name. Nothing wrong with that and at least the citizen gets a passport out of the whole situation. The passport being seen as the most bona fide of ID documents. So free UK passports please in black as per the original Card UK Passport. Doing this would substantially reduce the distress that an inappropriately imposed 'hostile environment' can cause. Govt must factor in assistance for when it goes wrong. Those needing it should be given every assistance to regularise their status even if it means the State pays for things because the citizens can't for whatever reason. We need to have British citizens assured of their status. Nothing says that more than a British passport.

From: Paul Barrett 25 June 2019 01:42 AM

Paul Barrett
Err!! How many LL would ignore any rent cap!?? I would be one of them So the capped rent would be paid in cash. Then I would at the same time collect in cash the extra rent to make a market rent . Fortunately I self manage as a LA would be unable to carry out what would be in effect criminal instructions. This would mean a substantial loss of business for LA as LL terminated management contracts to be able to collect cash rents. I will commit crime in obtaining my market rent. Few tenants will kick off as they know that only by paying a market rent will they achieve a tenancy. There will be NO receipts for the additional cash rent HMRC will be unable to detect those LL who obtain cash rent in excess of the controlled rent. Tenants and LL will deliberately enter into a conspiracy to defraud HMRC It will be to their mutual convenience that LL and tenants won't say a thing. Both will want to maintain a tenancy. The tenant will know that there is no way a LL will let at less than market rent. Govt simply doesn't have the capability to detect cash payments being made to LL. I predict many LL obtaining safes. I predict that many LL will start settling credit card bills etc with cash. I predict the tax take from the PRS plummeting I predict that many LL will reduce their alleged rents to below the 40% tax threshold to avoid S24 effects. I predict that few LL will be declaring many profits as they will only be receiving controlled rent!! In short it will be a disaster. Of course I was forgetting a collapse in BTL values as lenders will only be able to lend on the basis of controlled rent levels. There will be a knock on effect for residential values. Bank loan books will be substantially devalued resulting in a bank CC. Banks will require cash injections for portfolio LL to keep the LTV within agreed parameters. This will bankrupt many LL causing many evictions and consequent homeless tenants. Rent controls would destroy the business models of many mortgaged LL. Of course the cash rich LL won't be that fussed if they are in for the long term. Yes they would suffer a reduction in net rental income which whilst annoying won't bankrupt them. 50% of the PRS is comprised of cash rich and unmortgaged LL. Just wondering where the other 50% of tenants currently letting from mortgaged LL will stay!? Rent controls would be an unmitigated disaster for the UK economy as a whole. However to avoid all I have suggested I will be ensuring I am no longer an AST LL in about 3 years time A GE with Corbyn the winner would see rent controls introduced overnight. Good luck to all you LL who intend to stay the course.................I'm out of here!!!!

From: Paul Barrett 19 June 2019 11:34 AM

Paul Barrett
The only way to level the playing field is for ALL LL to be licensed. There are too many LL getting away with not observing regulatory requirements which is manifestly UNFAIR competition for LL who are diligent and do comply or try to comply with all legal letting requirements. For far too long good LL have been letting bad LL get away with it. There also needs to be licensing and qualifications etc for LA. Currently it is possible to walk out of Prison and set up as a LA the following day! This brings the whole LA sector into disrepute. There needs to be far fewer LA but they should be qualified and trained to do the job for much larger property portfolios. LA need to have a large number of properties under management if they are to provide a viable service. It is unreasonable to expect LA to do this without sufficient income to provide a viable service and an income for LA employees etc An effective and all encompassing LL licensing scheme would force many LL to become compliant and would see some leave the sector. This would ensure that tenants receive the effective service they deserve. Tenants deserve a professional service. With licensed LL LA would have far fewer problems with their LL clients. LL are getting away with things which ultimately causes Govt to dump on good LL. I would be perfectly happy to grass up all bad LL I know of. Trouble is it is very hard to find rogue LL. I only know about 2 LL in 10 years. It is just too easy to be a rogue LL which is why I believe licencing will at least be a start to making LL compliant with regulations.

From: Paul Barrett 17 June 2019 21:41 PM

Paul Barrett
Interesting case with regards to incompetence of DWP JC Tenant now 13 months in rent arrears. Tenant submitted HB application in Oct 2018 I submitted UC 47 in November 2018. Nothing heard. Tenant warned not to submit a third HB application. I eventually managed to have an email sent via a sympathetic DWP manager at a different office from where the HB claim has been submitted. Received a reply a few days ago. Now just get this to prove how useless and incompetent the Harlow JC are. Their manager has stated in an email that the reason the HB claim has been rejected was because there was no valid AST at the time of submitting the HB claim. So work this out. AST for 6 months signed on April 1st 2018. Two month's rent paid. Then no rent from June 2018. So AST was for 6 months expiring in September. As per the AST terms it proceeded onto a Statutory Periodic Tenancy. This was the AST the tenant used as part of his HB claim. Now this will really dumbfound you. The DWP Manager no less has stated via email that the HB was rejected as there was no FTT AST in place at the time of the application!!!! Now there is NO requirement to have a FTT in place when making a HB application. It would be somewhat strange for the DWP to expect a LL to issue a new AST for 6 months when the tenant was already 6 months in rent arrears!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have requested for an interview under caution with a DWP Fraud Investigator; not for me but for the fraud perpetrated on my tenant and I by the DWP Manager!!!! You really could not make it up. The Harlow JC do not seem to understand that an AST is valid until a tenant has signed a surrender letter along with the keys returned or has been evicted. This is basic stuff. How can they be so incompetent!? I have NEVER heard anything so ridiculous that unless a FTT is in place within the FT period that it is NOT a valid AST. Just beggars belief that we have these incompetents controlling our business. I have only ended up with a HB tenant because his role was made redundant He was on good wages etc Anyway the idiots have now replied that it will go to a Stage 1 complaint etc. As I know sweet FA about the new UC system I am instructing Caridon to sort things. I am simply amazed at the level of incompetence shown by the Harlow JC. Councils wonder why we don't want to take on their homeless!!!!!!?????

From: Paul Barrett 13 June 2019 00:55 AM

Paul Barrett
@Luke P Excellent post. Very effectively illiterates exactly why I REFUSE to ever take on HB tenants. It is not really the tenants themselves it is the pathetic system that allegedly serves them along with the pathetic eviction process. Govt doesn't seem minded at all to address all the very relevant issues you have so pertinently pointed out. Govt just doesn't seem to understand that LL do not need to take on HB tenants anymore. There are lots of far more profitable tenants out there not reliant on HB. I well remember Govt believing that by reducing LHA rates to the 30th percentile of the BMRA that this would cause rents to be cheaper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My rents are now DOUBLE the LHA rate so of course HB tenants will NEVER be able to afford my properties. Govt is seemingly Incapable of understanding that it cannot constrain a market with a political straitjacket!! So no surprise that homelessness is increasing and is only made not noticeable by Govt expending billions in DHP. LL etc know exactly what is going on but Govt has been allowed to get away with their political policy of the OBC and LHA freeze when in actuality it has been a completely failed policy. It would have been far cheaper to pay slightly more in market rents rather then the horrendous costs of TA to say nothing of the costs tangible and otherwise with the domestic upheaval of tenants having to vacate because their HB etc is insufficient to meet the LL requirement for a market rent. Of course Labour aren't saying much as they support S24 which is a major reason why LL are getting rid of HB tenants!! Smoke and mirrors!!

From: Paul Barrett 12 June 2019 20:11 PM

Paul Barrett
No more so than in any other business cycle. The sooner a No Deal BrExit occurs the better. This is what was voted for. It needs to be carried out ASAP. Forget economic effects they matter not. What will be will be. I have every confidence in the ability of the UK to thrive in world markets uninhibited by the protectionist EU. The sooner the UK starts on its sovereign journey the better. That is what was voted for and so it must occur. As regards migration it has been an unmitigated disaster. Millions of unwanted and unneeded migrants depending on Working Tax credits to make low paid jobs viable. Most BrExit voters have no problems with appropriate migration. Something I fully support. The UK just curently doesn't have sufficiently robust migration regulations to only allow the migrants that a duly elected sovereign UK Govt decides are required. Just like the Aussies do. Any migrant fetching up on our shores I would immediately return. The last time I looked there were all safe countries off UK shores. The only way I would accept the UK as being the first safe country is if the migrant landed at a UK airport. I agree that there is no need to provide UK Border Agency Cutters as effective taxis for what are actually illegal economic migrants. The UK must have control of its borders. Remaining in the EU prevents this. Such a state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue. Which is why leaving the EU will greatly assist border control. But the UK must be open to those migrants that the UK needs. The UK cannot allow its economy to degrade for lack of skilled workers. If the reality is that the UK has to scour the world for such skilled workers then so be it. Until the UK can train sufficient skilled workers that it requires then the UK will need to plunder the skilled workers of other nations. Even the most ardent nationalist could not in all seriousness deny that the UK will need skilled migrants for years to come. This obviously is as a result of the complete failure of the UK education and training system. Migration is the price that the UK had to pay. This causes pressures on available housing stock and has ultimately resulted in S24 etc. There are always major effects when control isn't exerted. Blair throwing open the borders to a EU allcomers ultimately resulted in the EU referendum with its leave vote. Remember this was a political strategy to rub the right's nose into diversity. Well the right has got its own back by voting OUT!!

From: Paul Barrett 30 May 2019 21:07 PM

Paul Barrett

From: Paul Barrett 30 May 2019 18:28 PM

Paul Barrett
Something that could greatly assist tenants is to announce that the Room For Rent Allowance is to be abolished. For any residential property unencumbered or with a residential mortgage to be able to take in lodgers completely tax free. Obviously the number of occupants would need to be no more than 4 to avoid Mandatory HMO Licensing. There are millions of spare rooms in residential properties that could be used for lodgers. These would ease tenant demand on normal rental properties. So if a LL can afford 5 residential mortgaged properties then lodgers may be taken in completely tax free. No S24 either. Most residential mortgages restrict lodgers to two as a maximum anyway. Of course not many homeowners would want to take in lodgers to their various residential properties. But tax free rent could be the vital incentive to encourage such homeowners to take in lodgers. Of course for troublesome tenants the only real protection against rent defaulting ones is RGI. But RGI isn't easy to qualify for so is not a viable for most LL. As suggested most LL take on a massive risk when they let to tenants who don't qualify for RGI Few guarantors if they can be sourced would qualify for RGI. The public at large simply doesn't appreciate the massive business risks that LL take when letting to tenants who mostly can't qualify for RGI. There comes a point when letting to lower quality tenants is not worth doing anymore. One wrongun can destroy profits for years. Only a speedy eviction process will encourage LL to risk letting to lower quality tenants.

From: Paul Barrett 24 May 2019 18:22 PM

Paul Barrett

From: Paul Barrett 22 May 2019 08:30 AM

Paul Barrett
I have read the Labour Housing policy and I'm quite impressed by their intention to build massive amounts of housing especially different types of private tenure types. This will only work with closed borders. Not sure whether Labour intends to close the borders. Housing is the most important thing for the electorate. For a Govt to remain in power they need an effective housing offer. The Tory one is pathetic. They are hell bent on eradicating LL who provide housing until social housing is built in sufficient numbers so that tenants can move from the PRS to the SRS. But without closed borders it is simply IMPOSSIBLE to build your way out of housing shortages. In the meantime evil leveraged LL are seen as a problem even though they aren't and in fact provide housing for those who can't possibly house themselves. Many LL will be leaving the AST sector. Perhaps investing in B & B is a better investment strategy. TA is desperately needed by councils and it will be decades before TA B & B may be dispensed with. The only electoral hope is that the Tories and Brexit party have more seats combined than Labour and all the other parties put together. A Tory/Brexit Coalition would make for an excellent Govt. Get rid of neo-liberalism for a start! But I do fear that the right will inadvertently bring in a Marxist Govt. I'm not sure the right is politically sophisicated enough to understand this. But I fear a minority Labour Govt in coalition with the SNP. This could result in an independent Scotland. Personally I'm planning for a Labour Govt and am getting out of the AST market. Selling up to reduce leverage. Yes I might be exposed to rent controls. But at least I should be able to pay a small mortgage and won't be subject to S24 as I won't have much mortgage interest income!!

From: Paul Barrett 20 May 2019 11:45 AM

Paul Barrett
For those LL that do not have a mortgage then they will change from the AST business model to things like AirBnB and other Serviced Accommodation. They will wish to retain control of things especially if S21 abolishment comes into the mix. Control is what LL want. Removing such control will cause LL to sell or choose different options than the AST. LA willĺ be dumped by these LL so LA business will suffer loss of income as a result of LL clients terminating LA contracts. Those mortgaged LL will game the system by dispensing with the AST business model. There is no way that lenders will ever find out what they are doing. Of course some LL may actually convert to FHL BTL mortgages. The point here is that the the numbers of rental properties available on an AST will be reduced. Shelter continues to quote oxymorons. The latest being the ridiculous suggestion that there should be more stability in the PRS for tenants. By it's very nature the PRS will ALWAYS be unstable. Such stability as there is only comes about as a result of private LL determining to stay in the market. They can choose to leave anytime they like. Tenants surely know this. The only way to achieve a better degree of stability is to buy your own home!! Shelter simply CANNOT force LL to remain in business. The best way to achieve stability for tenants is to ensure that LL are allowed to charge market rents to make PROFIT. As long as LL can make PROFIT they will remain in the market and consequently that is de facto stability. When bonkers policies like S24; SDLT surcharges and potential S21 abolishment are introduced they introduce INSTABILITY!! To keep the market stable which is what tenants want the LL has to be incentivised to remain. Shelter support the bonkers S24 tax policy which is and has been the major driver for LL to downsize or sell up completely.. There are many LL that are technically bankrupt even though they are operating currently profitable rental busines session. S24 will bankrupt them very shortly. The ones to be bankrupted sooner rather than later will be those LL who have increased the numbers of rental properties they operate by utilising leveraged borrowing on increased equity. They can't afford S24 taxes and they can't afford to sell because there would be insufficient sale proceeds to pay CGT. All this creates massive INSTABILITY for tenants. LL will only remain in the market providing tenure security if they can make a PROFIT. Profit by it's very nature provides STABILITY. Very few LL would choose to give up profit unless forced to. S24 etc is forcing profitable LL to sell up if they can. People should look across the Irish Sea and see what the Irish Govt is rapidly unwinding it's own S24 policy which failed utterly. It has resulted in rents increasing by 50% and homelessness as a consequence of LL abandoning the market. This with the Irish version of S24 NOT being retrospective!!!!! Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results. Shelter should consider the Irish experience and come to the obvious realisation that S24 is a bonkers tax policy and is and has introduced INSTABILITY into the PRS!!

From: Paul Barrett 09 May 2019 19:41 PM

Paul Barrett

From: Paul Barrett 04 May 2019 17:44 PM

Paul Barrett
As in everything PRS one cannot generalise. Having personally experienced recently the bills occasioned by occupying a semi-detached terrace property there is NO way I would offer inclusive bills to any tenants if they were occupying. Even though the property is EPC C status with this particular property the bills especially the gas would be horrendous. Only by carefully managing gas usage have I been able to keep bills in check. A tenant with inclusive bills would not feel constrained in such usage. So for my new-build flats then inclusive bills are sustainable. Each rental property has to be considered individually. I know which properties I can safely offer inclusive bills to and to what tenant types. I would for example NEVER offer inclusive bills to any tenant on HB; not that I would ever have any as I don't accept HB tenants particularly as they can never afford my rents. But as always a LL has to carefully tailor any offer with their property based on full DD. I for example have usage records going back 10 years so I know based on different types of occupancy what usage was occasioned. It is I admit only a rough guide but does assist my DD on what my offer for a particular property will be. My flat tenants have tended to be Portuguese and they do like the warmth so gas usage for CH is slightly more though fortunately the flats are very thermally efficient to the point that the flats are too warm for me but don't use that much in gas once up to the set temperature. But I would imagine for most LL offering inclusive bills is not a wise business offer. But of course with the new housing regulations tenants not keeping properties warm causes disrepair issues which then create a whole heap of problems. One thing that might assist LL to prevent tenants in degrading a rental property by refusing to use heat adequately could be the advent of smart meters. Subject to a tenant giving permission for a LL to discuss aspects of the utility accounts then LL would be able to ascertain energy usage remotely to determine that tenants are using sufficient amounts of energy to keep the property warm enough to prevent mould and damp. Any tenant not using sufficient energy could then be advised that they are not complying with the tenancy conditions to keep the property ventilated and warm and if sufficient energy is NOT used then they will be given NTQ. Though how this would work if and when S21 is abolished beats me!!

From: Paul Barrett 04 May 2019 17:21 PM

Paul Barrett
Simply wrong. There is NO restriction of lodger numbers. But if there are more than 4 occupants NOT households then even a residential property would be subject to MANDATORY HMO LICENSING. There is simply NO way any EHO may prevent lodger numbers subject to HMO and planning regulations etc and overcrowding. This is why a 4 bed residential property may with a single live-in LL take in 3 lodgers totally legally. In fact you may not know that a 5 bed property may have 4 occupants and a guest staying in the 5th bedroom for up to 140 days per year I think and for no more than 30 days at a time with NO requirement to be HMO licensed Explain to your EHO that they are simply wrong! Refer this ignorant EHO to the very informative posts by Gary Hodge on propertytribes who has the best understanding of lodger LL I have ever seen. Your EHO is simply WRONG!! I believe your EHO might be getting it wrong on the basis that most residential mortgage lenders will only allow 2 lodgers and of course any live-in LL would HAVE to comply with lender conditions. For those live-in LL with mortgages they will HAVE to comply with their lender conditions. I would though expect that many residential mortgage lenders to remove such lodger restrictions in future a bit like they are for tenancy lengths and DSS tenants. It clearly makes financial sense for a 4 bed property to be fully occupied with as many lodgers as may be achieved. In a 4 bed house this would be 3 lodgers. A lender would then know income would be more than sufficient as any lodger income would be more than the other income the LL used to support the residential mortgage application. The lodger strategy is an ideal one to beat S24. Your EHO doesn't seem to understand relevant regulations and planning Refer him to propertytribes. Brilliant information resource

From: Paul Barrett 02 May 2019 22:30 PM

Paul Barrett
Listen I agree with your sentiments except for the migration issue. Migrants by their very nature inflate the demand for rental property. We as LL have serviced that demand. Hopefully migration will be substantially reduced when we leave the EU. Yes that will affect LL. But LL have only had the opportunities they have had as a result of such migrant demand. Personally I wish all migrants would return home. You would then find a substantial surplus of rental properties. It's just how any business would react to changed dynamics. A reduction in tenant demand would be usually met by reduction in rental properties available which you and I might need to sell all or some of our properties I have no issue with this; it comes with the territory!! Of course nobody likes change but as LL we need to adapt or die! A bit difficult sometimes. I accept when you have lunatic policies like S24 things can become problematic. But we are where we are! It is a fact that MASS UNCONTROLLED EU IMMIGRATION has been of no net benefit to the UK. We don't need or want most of them. We have millions of economically inactive people not including pensioners. It is these that SHOULD be doing the work that these EU migrants have been doing. There is NO xenophobia in wanting controlled borders. The UK has a population problem in that it is too big for it's existing infrastructure and we certainly don't wish to spend on this to cope with migrants. It isn't certain what will happen to the PRS in light of reduced EU migrant demand. My manner by the way is not insulting at all. Just you have some strange views about controlling borders. Your attitude is a minority view to those who voted out and only the most stupid liberals and lefties would agree that free movement of people is a good thing. If everything was equal then fine but I doubt I could fetch up in Spain and demand social housing like is possible in the UK with all welfare paid. That is why they come here. So as LL we have to accept a reduction in business. Controlling borders is something that should always have been the case. It was stupid Labour that opened the borders. Remember the same stupid Labour Party that gave the Nene jet engine to the Chinese who then put it in the Mig 15 which killed Allied Personnel in the Korean War. Labour a criminal party responsible for killing it's own citizens and presiding over Mass uncontrolled immigration. As this reduces so might our business. Just suck it up; there is no alternative! ! Err no I reckon I know far more than you etc. As a Brexiteer my knowledge is pretty thorough S21 is NOT S24!! Two different things which are both having a very negative effect on the PRS. I guess you are a remainer so logic is not something you are capable of understanding. The EU is a political construct which we don't wish to be any part of. Trading with the EU fine but no free movement. You don't know much about lodgers do you! You need to get educated because you are commenting on things you clearly lack understanding of. Just as an eg regarding lodgers you clearly do not understand that with a 4 bed property with live-in LL subject to any residential lender constraints that it is perfectly possible to have 3 single lodgers on individual lodger agreements with no tenure rights beyond that which was mutually agreed at the beginning of the lodger occupation. Normally a months notice . This is basic stuff which you don't appear to know. . As a remainer you don't know what you are talking about. What else don't you know! !!?? Leave means leave not based on any agreement. No deal is better than a bad deal.I am not interested in what Parliament has to say. If they can't sort out a deal then the UK should have left. I am largely in agreement with you but migration is a problem. Yes we have our feckless but they are ours. We don't wish to import the feckless of Europe. They cost too much to support. Remember years ago when students could readily find work in coffee shops etc. Now they have been forced out by low waged and low skilled EU migrants who aren't wanted or needed despite the benefit they bring to LL. I'd rather have substantially reduced migration even if it affects my business. I do get we have a massive proportion of feckless wasters who I believe should be conscripted into work. No more lazing on the sofa. Work or no benefits. It is only because the feckless are given the choice that jobs are available to migrants Without open borders these migrants would never have come. As LL we now face a potential major change to our business. Massive reduction in migration is to be welcomed for the good of the UK. Let us have British rental accommodation for British Nationals with just some of it for the migrants we want. That time cannot come soon enough. I fear it will never come which is why I am out of the AST market ad I just cannot guess what is going to happen. My biggest fear is Corbyn. I want to be out of the AST market before he may attain power

From: Paul Barrett 02 May 2019 21:22 PM

Paul Barrett
@suzy O'shea Oh dear I think you have got your proverbial knickers in the twist. UKIP as was who I totally and fully support only espoused a controlled immigration policy based on the Australian points based system which has worked very effectively for Oz and NZ for the past 70 years!!! Granted the current incarnation of UKIP has drifted towards an element of xenophobia so my support would be for the Brexit Party. No xenophobia at all as a rule from those wishing to leave the EU. Just managed migration which UKIP fully accepted was the way to manage any immigration. Uncontrolled borders do not allow such control. The reason I mainly voted out was to control UK borders IRRESPECTIVE of any effects on my LL business. If reduced or controlled immigration results in less tenant demand then so be it and good. The only reason the PRS has expanded to the size it has is because of MASS UNCONTROLLED IMMIGRATION which over 51% of the UK population have voted that they don't want. The UK will of course ALWAYS need and want immigrants for certain roles that for whatever reasons the BRITISH workforce are unable to qualify for. Such migrants are to be welcomed. Seasonal workers are to be welcomed but with NO entitlement to the NHS and welfare including WTC. But please stop this immigrant rant. The UK when it controls its borders will be able to choose the immigrants it wants. If that affects your sensibilities and your business that is simply TOUGH!! In light of hopefully controlled borders you might wish to re-evaluate your business model in light of potentially much reduced demand from those former UNCONTROLLED EU migrants. If you extrapolate the problem MASS UNCONTROLLED IMMIGRATION has caused the PRS it could be stated that S24 has resulted from this UNCONTROLLED IMMIGRATION. Without migrant demand the PRS would probably be a far smaller industry and therefore S24 may not have been intoduced. Of course we will never really know but a good guess could be that migrants HAVE caused S24 to occur. I will NOT mourn the loss of my EU migrant tenants at all. They will be effectively causing their own homelessness as I am selling up due to S24. LL need to carefully consider what the new status quo might be without UNCONTROLLED EU migrants. It seems that non-EU migration is continuing at about 150000 per year so perhaps there will still be sufficient migrant tenants to take the place of reduced numbers of EU migrants. It is really all up in the air at the moment and as such LL need to take a bit of a gamble. Selling off properties and reducing leverage would I suggest be a more resilient method to maintain business effectiveness rather than be out there on the ragged edge desperately relying on continued demand from UNCONTROLLED EU migrants which could soon be controlled. Things are gonna hopefully change very soon. Time to plan based on your assessment of how the market will look when hopefully MASS UNCONTROLLED EU MIGRATION ends!! Unfortunately it may have to be accepted that your business model will need to change. That's business. It is a dynamic thing. You must surely understand this concept. I would go as far as to say that without UNCONTROLLED EU migrants only one of my properties could be let. Like you EU migrants have been the majority of my tenants. This situation along with S24 is sufficient now for me to exit the AST PRS. I will convert to a lodger LL in my new resi property if I can afford it!!! New business model in reaction to changed circumstances. Just one of those things. Remember NOBODY owes a LL a living!!

From: Paul Barrett 02 May 2019 17:32 PM

Paul Barrett
Personally I welcome the ever growing reduction in the PRS. Only this will force the Govt to recognise that their bonkers anti-private LL policies are causing massive harm to tenants. This situation has already occurred in Ireland where a similar dopey Govt tried the same bonkers policies as the UK Govt is trying though not to the same extreme as the UK Govt. The Irish Govt belatedly realised that things weren't going well. Their PRS massively reduced and rents increased by 50%. The Irish Govt is now severely back-pedalling to in an attempt to return to the previous PRS. They are having to offer all sorts of incentives in an attemot to entice private LL to return. Some are returning but rents are not returning to previous levels before the Irish Govt introduced their bonkers version of S24 etc. Irish tenants have suffered massive detriment caused by the Irish Govt. Far higher rents than would have been the case have occurred caused mostly by lack of supply as LL got out. We really DON'T need to reinvent the wheel. So why does the UK Govt refuse to acknowledge that their experiment has already FAILED in Ireland with no reason to suggest that a similar fsilure will not occur in the UK? I am one of the UK LL that will be leaving the PRS as a direct consequence of S24. I will have lodgers in future where I will make far more net income than with tenants. I will be making 15 tenants homeless as a consequence of my leaving the AST PRS. How does that assist the tenants none of whom are in a position to buy but then none of them want to buy!!!? I CAN'T force them!!

From: Paul Barrett 03 April 2019 19:07 PM

Paul Barrett
It is a crying shame that that Councils refuse to enforce regulations against rogue LL. We all understand the reasons why. But for such Councils to engage in what are just revenue raising exercises in the form of expensive LL licensing fees is simply beyond the pale. But of course Councils DON'T wish to find all the dodgy properties because as soon as they do they are obligated to house the tenants of these dodgy properties!! That could involve the Council having to house these tenants in very expensive TA!! I have every sympathy for Councils but it is simply inexcusable that those self-same Councils are trying to use private LL as cash cows to cover for loss of Govt grant. This will simply result in a further reducing PRS which will impose even further TA costs on councils. Councils need to think out of the box. Support private LL. Encourage private LL to take on tenants making their properties available for inspection. Councils to pay market rents. Forget LHA rates they are inadequate to persuade LL to take on certain tupes of tenants. Accept that a S21 is a notice to terminate a tenancy. Eviction is not such a tenancy termination that councils routinely rely on to put off responsibility for housing homeless tenants. No tenant who complies with a S21 should be considered as having made themselves INTENTIONALLY HOMELESS. A tenant complying is doing so with a legal contract. Councils should NOT be accusing tenants of making themselves intentionally homeless when they comply with a S21 notice. In a market shirtage situation it is very difficult to maintain the condition of rental properties. Desperate peopke wilm rent anything. Beats a cardboard box!! Of course Govt isn't assisting with its ridiculous S24 policy which is causing a continuing reduction in rental supply.

From: Paul Barrett 01 April 2019 22:15 PM

Paul Barrett
@Anngus Shield Yep I fully concur with you that you are scrupulous with how you manage your business. Yes I fully understand all the compliance issues etc that LA face and how it is increasingly difficult to remain viable with all the regulations that are being imposed across the PRS. I consider the situation from a very parochial perspective. That is I want my liability and my monies with me to reduce the temptation for LA to do a runner with my monies which ultimately I am liable for. There really is NO need for LL to allow LA to have anything to do with rent or deposits. Quite frankly from the LA perspective it would be far more beneficial if they indeed had nothing to with rent or deposits. The LL will be totally responsible as the law states. A LA should be able to operate viably without deposit or rent receipt responsibility. Invoicing should be a totally effective strategy. Personally I would have no issue with having a DD set up to pay for monthly management fees along with any other additional costs that may be chargeable as a consequence of works a LA has to do. Of course there will always be LL that prefer LA manage everything for them. But it should be the case that for those LL that do NOT wish the LA to control rent and deposits that they offer an invoicing methodology. Offering such a process will enable LA to obtain 2 parts of a business. Reluctant LL like me that DON'T want LA having anything to do with rents or deposits and those LL that want the full service Perhaps a reduction in management fees if the LL takes FULL responsibility for deposits and rents with a lower normal monthly managenent fee as a consequence. I have no idea how much management time a LA has to devote to rent payments. But I would suggest that a lot of time is spent just on rent management. LA have better things to do than chase tenants who refuse to pay rent. Let the LL decide what they want to do when the rent isn't received directly from the tenant. I check my rent receipts every month and if rent isn't there I call them. Now if I had 100 properties I might use a LA for FULL management but as I am a very little LL I can check myself without any problems. LA will have to become far less prescriptive with their terms of business if they expect to hang onto LL who recoil with horror at the prospect of an UNREGULATED LA doing a runner with their rent and deposit monies. CMP simply DOESN'T provide instant liquidity that having the resources controlled by the LL does. Liiquidity is vital if mortgage payments are to be made. Personally I would not have the luxury of time while a CMP claim was progressed.

From: Paul Barrett 28 March 2019 17:25 PM

Paul Barrett
Yep the fee ban will have many consequences intended or otherwise. The major one being rent increases in excess off what would have been the case. So as a tenant would I prefer to have my rent increased by £50 to cover the charges which of course continue after 6 months if I choose to stay? So if I stay for a year I will have paid £600 in tenant fees rather than paying just £300 up front!!!!! Do politicians really believe that the LL is going to take the hit for the fees that tenants used to pay!!?? Silly old politicians thinking their politicking is going to reduce costs for tenants. The TENANT must and will ALWAYS pay these costs. A tenant fee cap might have been more appropriate. The ban is plain silly. But after the fee ban occurs rents will start to increase more than they would have done without the fee ban. This has been the Scottish experience after their fee ban. My response to this tenant fee ban is that I will state that NO tenant will be considered unless they have their own TRP sourced from one of the reputable TRP providers like LRS. If the tenant applicant refuses to obtain their TRP and a LL CAN'T force the tenant to do so it just means that the LL will NOT consider that particular tenant applicant. NO tenant can force a LA or LL to pay for referencing because they express an interest in a particular rental property. Of course there is an extreme advantage for tenants who do have an up to date TRP with potential RGI qualification. Such applicant tenants will be considered way before any other tenant who has not bothered to obtain their TRP. A TRP is a far cheaper and more effective referencing methodology for tenants. It costs LL and LA NOTHING!! A Tenant only needs ONE TRP which can be touted round to as many LL or LA as the tenant desires. The market will by default give first choice to those tenants who present a valid TRP with possible RGI available and all for a one off cost of about £120. So the Tenant fee ban WON'T effectively ban fees. What it will do for those LA and LL that are content to use the efficacy of a TRP will make things a lot cheaper for tenants who will no longer need referencing with every LA and LL they visit. The TRP should enable far faster letting of properties as the TRP has carried out all relevant referencing before the tenant walks through the door. The TRP could well enhance the speed of lettings which can be no bad thing. Those tenant applicants that believe they WON'T need to pay fees anymore couldn't be more wrong!. But one TRP valid for 3 months for about £120 per person able to be used with multiple LA and LL is an absolute bargain!!!

From: Paul Barrett 27 March 2019 17:53 PM

Paul Barrett
It is NOT often appreciated by certain idiot LL that they are ultimately TOTALLY responsible for deposits IRRESPECTIVE of what their appointed LA does with the deposit. Now all these CMP schemes are all very well but a LL simply cannot beat having the deposit monies he is liable for sitting in his bank account. CMP is all very well but claims take time to process. Mortgage payments CANNOT wait for CMP claims processes. Which is why with the click of a mouse or a swipe of a finger I can control all my tenant deposits. NO LL should EVER permit a LA to hold deposit monies. It is bad enough that LL allow rents to be paid to LA who then transmit a remaining amount once their monthly deductions have been made. LA should invoice. There is no need for most LL not to receive rents directly into their account. With email invoices now possible it should be very easy for LA to send out monthly invoices and for the LL to pay upon receipt. Indeed the LL could set up a DD to pay the relevant monthly fees from the LL bank account. There is NO need for LA to receive rents. Even the dummy LL are capable of checking their bank accounts to see whether rents have been received. If not then they can contact the LA to sort out how to manage the alleged rent default. There is simply no need for rents to be paid to the LA. Removing the temptation of stealing rent and deposits makes for a far more effective LA. Those LA that are functional would have no concerns about NEVER receiving or having anything to do with rent or deposits. Invoicing is the way to go. I strongly suspect that a majority of LA use deposits and rents as part of their free operating capital. If LL stopped allowing rents and deposits to be managed by LA I reckon about 50% of LA businesses would fail. This would be very good news as it would leave those LA that are operating properly with their own capital as far more effective operations. Personally I would NEVER allow any LA I might choose to control rent or deposits. If that wasn't acceptable to the LA then I simply wouldn't use that LA. LL need to protect thenselves and it remains the case that it is better they receive rents and deposits rather than allow LA to have anything to do with them.

From: Paul Barrett 27 March 2019 14:25 PM

Paul Barrett
Whilst it is NOT a legal requirement I believe it would be worthwhile for a LL issuing a S21 to write a letter to the tenant explaining why S21 is being served. Have the tenant sign the 2 copies of the letter. One for tenant retention and one for the LL. Then when idiotic GR and Shelter state incorrectly that S21 has been a revenge eviction they can be shown the letter signed by the tenant. Invariably the reasons for S21 will be things like Rent default. Refusal to live in the property properly. LL wishes to sell most likely because of S24. LL retiring and wishing to liquidate property assets. ASB of tenants. The other major issue which is NEVER mentioned by GR and Shelter is that NO evictions should EVER be necessary. If tenants complied with the S21 notice which rquires the tenant to vacate at the expiry of 2 month S21 notice then enforcement by eviction would NOT be required. But of course ALL the tenants game the system knowing that until they are evicted there is nothing the LL can do about it. During this period until ultimate eviction the tenant can steal; trash and not pay rent at the property. ALL of which have happened to me!!! It is the fact that tenants can game the system that makes being a LL a very risky prospect. I have narrowly avoided bankruptcy caused by a rent defaulting tenant. Thank god for credit cards cos that is the only way I avoided bankruptcy. We now have the possibility that a tenant can very quickly manufacture a mould situation to prevent eviction. It means that many LL will just sell these properties prone to mould if tenants do not occupy these properties properly. The risk to a LL of these mould prone prooerties makes retaining such properties a waste of time and effort. Far better to offliad to a FTB

From: Paul Barrett 23 March 2019 16:26 PM

Paul Barrett
Nah not fair at all. Just give LL the right to evict after 14 days of rent default with police assistance if required. Retain same AST terms etc. No good LL wants to evict unless the property is to be sold or tenant refuses to pay rent Very rarely will a LL choose to evict ASB tenants and as most of them would rent default they could be booted out 14 days after first rent default if they DON'T pay arrears. You DON'T need any of this CSJ rubbish Just a few simple changes to the eviction process would solve most issues. Of course no Govt will do this as it would them that have to suffer the £9 billion a year losses that private LL incur. CSJ is talking rubbish. Any attempt to impose such conditions will just see the PRS shrink even further. The CSJ should address the eviction problem and payment of rents etc. Currently they are just pussyfooting around not addressing the reasons why LL DON'T want longer AST etc Forgot to mention the simple fact that most mortgage lenders will only allow a maximum 1 year AST. Of course some lenders don't have this restriction; Nationwide being one of them I think, but lenders do have these restrictions.If the eviction laws were changed as I have suggested and lenders lifted restrictions I would have no problem with longer term tenancies. But for this I would obviously require tenant liability for the AST they sign. I know of no normal tenant that would wish to do this. The only ones who do are the DSS mob who I don't touch with a bargepole. If I insisted on 3 year tenancies I wouldn't have any tenants!!!!!!!!

From: Paul Barrett 21 March 2019 10:29 AM

Paul Barrett
Regards licensing. Personally I would have NO objection to paying a NATIONAL licence fee of NO more than £100 per property for 5 years Perhaps every 5 years the licence fee would be adjusted to account for RPI. I would ensure via appropriate regulation that EVERY private LL would only be allowed to let if it had a checkable licence no. That would mean that any LL letting with a resi mortgage in place without CTL would be unable to let as it would be a breach of licence conditions to use incorrect loan products to facilitate letting. Then it would also be checked that the lender mortgage product allowed letting to HB tenants. Any LL that did not have such permisdion would need to evict those on any amount of HB even £1 as that is what the stupid mortgage conditions state. Also the CORRECT insurance product would be required as lenders require the property to be insured. That means if DSS tenants are allowed by the lender that specific DSS tenant insurance is required. It will be a requirement that a LA checks all these things are in place before a LL may allow a property to be advertised not forgetting an EPC of minimum E status unless exemption has been achieved. All mortgage lenders of whatever type for a property being let to have lender confirmation that the letting is in complete conformity with mortgage conditions. Now if such a thorough National LL licensing scheme was introduced there would be about 3 million homeless tenants. Mass mortgage defaults Mass bankruptcies A run on the banks as BTL was unviable based on the vast numbers of LL accidental or otherwise breaching such lender conditions. Of course it would be great news for all compliant LL. But as we all know millions of tenants are being let to illegally and in breach of lender and insurance conditions not forgetting the 2 million illegal immigrants who are renting but WON'T have passed R2R regulations. So as you can see from these licensing circumstances there is simply no way that the Goct could EVER countenance a thorough National LL licensing system much as I would like one to occur The current licensing is just playing at it. We all know it is just an income garnering process for Councils. There is simply no way that the Govt could ever have a thorough licensing scheme when so much letting is ILLEGAL or breaching relevant conditions. It would cause a UK depression and liquidity would dry up far worse than the CC!!

From: Paul Barrett 20 March 2019 20:37 PM

Paul Barrett
It is perfectly possible to have multiple residential properties let to lodgers. Obviously only one RFR allowance is allowed. There is no law that prevents anyone having as many resi oroperties as they wish. If you need a mortgage and your income can support 5 resi mortgages then you may do so. As a live-in LL you can live at each one of these properties for as many days in a month as you wish. You may have lodgers at each of these properties. S24 DOESN'T apply to the mortgage interest as the lodgers are NOT tenants. A honeowner with 5 resi properties would need to spend a minimum of 1 day per month at each of the 5 properties to comply with resi insurance conditions. As such these properties will only have one lodger staying at an alleged low rent. Tax on such low levels of lodger rent will be rather small. There is simply no way that Big Brother Connect Computer can detect the numbers of lodgers at a resi property or how much lodger income is being received. LL are naturally migrating away from the conventional taxable business models and are using lodgers as a methodology to beat HMRC perfectly legally. It now rarely makes sense to use an AST as the letting model. Lodgers are the way to go. This lodger model is great for single lodgers but a nightmare for those tenants who need to rent a whole property. Rarely will a live-in LL allow lodger couples. Providing a live-in LL has no more than 3 single lodgers in a 4 bed property then that avoids Mandatory HMO licensing. The LL always has his own room at each of the resi properties. Many LL could adopt this lodger strategy by selling off or converting to resi mortgages using lodgers as occupants. Any tax bill would substantially reduce. Most LL though only have 1 extra property. They will adopt the lodger strategy even though it is more hassle sourcing lodgers than tenants. Lodgers are far more tax efficient and will result in far fewer tax receipts for Govt.

From: Paul Barrett 19 March 2019 20:12 PM

Paul Barrett
TRP Tenant Referencing Passport LRS is landlordreferencing.co.uk No LL or LA need pay for any referencing. All aspirant tenants should be advised that they will NOT be considered unless they obtain their TRP. They then facilitate full access to the TRP for LL and LA. The TRP is valid for 3 months and only costs about £60 Therefore NO LL or LA need ever again pay for referencing. Tenants will just be told that for them to even be considered they will need their TRP. This is NOT the same as a LA or LL requiring a tenant to have referencing. If they DON'T wish to be considered then all a tenant has to do is NOT obtain their TRP. Then they won't even be considered. Every tenant has the choice not to be considered! A tenant cannot force a LA or LL to pay to reference them. My advert for tenants will be something like this Subject to status All tenant applicants if they wish to be considered will need to present a LRS TRP to the LL. If they refuse to do so then such tenant applicants will NOT be considered. This LL requires referencing but is not prepared to pay for it. Therefore it is a choice to be made by the applicant as to whether they wish to be considered. £60 is the only cost for a tenant for their TRP. A TRP will be a one off cost for the tenant who can then tout it round to any LL ir LA they like. Having an excellkent TRP which might be so good that RGI is possible will facilitate that tenant being given fist chouce over other tenants who DON'T have such a good TRP. A good tenant will be motivated to always be good as possible to have a blemish free TRP. Plus their details will be registered with LRS so that previous LL may be contacted to confirm TRP status if deemed appropriate. The TRP is the way ALL referencing should be managed. It is up to the LL if they wish to carry out further enquiries. But the TRP should change tenant behaviour as it will be recorded on any TRP. Gone will be the days of mugging off another LL because the previous LL can't becontacted etc.

From: Paul Barrett 16 March 2019 15:19 PM

Paul Barrett
Yep perhaps I should have stated 2 LA are all that is needed. As I indicated which you confirm not all LA are the same. Clearly to remain viable without the cushion of Tenant Fees will be a bridge too far for many LA. Clearly you aren't one of these LA. But I suggest that savvy LA like you are in a minority. As you were aware of the impending Tenant Fee ban I'm sure you have devized other methodologies to maintain profitability. This makes being a professional LA a lot harder work but is perhaps no bad thing. Rather than being dependent on tenant fee income I believe it is useful for LA and LL alike that the LA isn't a one trick pony. Multiple income streams is where its at. Few LA have developed sophisticated business models and it is they who will come a cropper. For LA who do manage to retain LL with increased management costs to cover for loss of tenant fee income inevitably this will result in higher rents and this will translate to the whole of the lettings market. This actually will mean more profit for those LL who DON'T use LA. Essentially self-managing LL will be riding on the backs of LL that choose for whatever reason to use a LA. Such self-managing LL might choose to slightly undercut those LL using LA which really sticks it to them. They would be doing all of the heavy lifting in increased management charges and may not attain the tenants via that particular LA. We only have to look at the Scottish experience to see the effects of their tenant fee ban. Rents increased substantially. This will now be addition to LL increasing rent to pay for S24 My rents are increasing by 7% just to pay for a RTI and S24. If I was paying a LA my rent would need to increase by about 10% per year at least until the maximum S24 period. Rents can only increase and if not possible then LL will need to sell. Somehow I doubt there will be any shortage of tenants willing to pay whatever the LL requires. With an ever shrinking PRS tenants will be desperate. Gone are the days of picking and choosing a rental property. To be successful a tenant has to move fast to obtain a tenancy and that will only happen if they can qualify for one. Many LL like me are very picky who we take on for obvious reasons!!! But the life for a LA is going to be very difficult. For LA such as yourself you seem well placed and fully aware of what you need to do to stay in business. I suggest LA like you are a rarity. We shall see after June 1st what happens!!! I very much doubt that there will be 16 LA for long where you are. The problem for you LA is you will have to pay for Multiple referencing from chancers who now can apply for as many properties as they like with no cost to themselves This is not viable. I'm surprised that LA aren't adopting the TRP methodology. This so that essentially the LA NEVER pays for any tenant referencing again. The tenant is told to go away and apply for their TRP from LRS and then return allowing FULL access to it by the LA. This will mean that one TRP can be touted around as many LA and LL as the tenant desires. No other referencing would be required. Those with the best TRP will get first choice and even more so if a TRP qualifies them for RGI. These would be the Gold Standard tenants.

From: Paul Barrett 16 March 2019 12:28 PM

Paul Barrett
Unfortunately like it or NOT Councils and Govt DOES use the PRS as a FREE housing provider. Just add up all the months that LL don't receive contractual rent. This is billions. Now transfer those losses to the Govt balance sheet and it it obvious that such regular losses would be noted by Parliament. But because it is private LL that are effectively privatising these losses with their resources then Govt and Councils aren't bothered. Using the LL as free housing facility makes sound business sense as far as they are concerned. They know the general public will not be the slightest bit interested in LL suffering these losses. Of course when LL react by stating No DSS tenants the Govt gets on its high horse stating that the PRS is discriminating. Too bloody right we discriminate agsinst DSS tenants who cause billions of £ of rent arrears along with damages to our properties. Govt wants to have its own way all the time. Well it is suffering now because many more LL are saying no more to DSS tenants. LL are fed up with being used as a free resource before a tenant is evicted. It is in the best interests of Councils to ensure that eviction takes a long time to occur. During that period Coincils can avoid their housing duty. So like it or NOT LL are actively used as a FREE housing facility. Even more annoying is that even with no rent coming in LL are still expected to pay S24 taxes.......................with what!!!!!??? LL need to factor into their business model that every so often they will be used as a free housing facility. The only way to reduce the level of this free service is to obtain RGI. Very few tenants qualify for RGI so LL face a massive risk to their income without RGI qualifiable tenants. Tenants will still stay until evicted but at least RGI should minimise some of the losses.

From: Paul Barrett 14 March 2019 15:09 PM

Paul Barrett
It is very easy to game the system if needed to ensure that a property is not technically empty. Just make up any old name you like. Ensure the Council knows that a single person is occupying so as to benefit from SPD on Council Tax. A tenancy agreement can be for £0 if the LL wants. There is no law that requires a LL to charge rent. Choose an East European name. This means they won't have the right to vote. No LL should ever need to disclose to the council that a property is unoccupied. Obviously from the outside the property has to look like it is plausibly habitable. If the Council asks for RTR documentation you've lost them. Never known ever to be asked. I have had numerous East Europeans staying at my various properties usually for very short periods. Of course I will never know whether the Council has ever been successful in recovering C Tax arrears because the Council is not allowed to discuss with me any aspects of the C Tax account especially as I never obtained permission to discuss from the tenant. If Councils wish to gouge LL for C Tax when empty then LL can simply game the system to reduce the C Tax liability even though it isn't that much. But of course the Council then has the task of tracking down the East European tenant for C Tax arrears. I doubt whether the Council has ever recovered C Tax arrears from my East European tenants!! I have never been given a forwarding address by any of my former short term East European tenants. I have NEVER paid the C Tax liability for any of my former East European tenants who by the way also defaulted on their rent! Foolishly I never took a deposit from any of these tenants. So I was ripped off by these East European tenants and so was the Council for Council Tax. It really isn't easy being a LL. Of course in the old days when C Tax wasn't paid on unoccupied properties there wasn't any problem in notifying a council of occupancy status. Well now with Councils removing the zero C Tax for vacant properties LL need to have a property occupied at all times even if for only a few weeks before another tenant is sourced. All my previous East European tenants sign a surrender letter and return the keys................very good tenants those E European tenants. Saves me having to evict the rent defaulting and C Tax defaulting so and so's!!!

From: Paul Barrett 14 March 2019 11:28 AM

Zero Deposit Zero Deposit Zero Deposit