Rent Controls

We see Ed Miliband has announced a policy on residential landlords and rent controls.

As we understand it, under this new Labour policy, “buy to let” landlords (as the press likes to call them) would have to issue minimum three year tenancies and rent increases would be somehow controlled within that period.

All well and good.

Any one of my existing tenants can certainly come to me and ask for a 3 year tenancy. However, I would never want to issue one longer than 6 months to a tenant who had no track record with me, certainly not until such time as the courts are able to more quickly evict for non payment of rent and / or antisocial behaviour.

But just one question for Mr. Miliband. Does he realise that most mortgage lenders do not allow landlords to issue tenancies of over 12 months’ duration?

Just thought we would mention that, as the Labour leader’s policy people seem to have missed this rather crucial point in their press release.

Also, we wonder if he knows that there are still lenders who do not allow landlords to let to tenants on housing benefit. Just thought we would mention that too.

(Following our appearance giving evidence in public to the London Assembly’s Housing and Regeneration Committee in Dec. 2012, a few of the larger lenders were shamed into reversing their policies on this, but some still do it. None of the Councillors at that meeting were aware of this restriction but they acted on what we told them, forcing Lloyds Banking Group and the Nationwide to reverse their restriction and allow landlords to do this.).

And as a matter of interest, apart from in London, rent increases in the private rented sector over the last five years have consistently undershot inflation. Just thought we should mention that too. Hardly seems like rent control is needed.

It is not unusual for government – central or local – to lack an understanding of the private rented sector.

But we would be happy to advise Mr. Miliband and his team, if they would like to get in touch.

After all, even if one did not like landlords much, it seems rather harsh to force them to do something that puts them in breach of their mortgage terms and conditions. Perhaps Mr. Miliband should have had a word viagra online medical consultation with the Council of Mortgage Lenders first (or kindly advisors like us!)

Footnote: For readers interested in finding out more about why lenders do not like housing benefit tenants and why they have concerns about longer term tenancies, read click here to see my blogs tagged: “Receivers of Rent”:

 

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