Welcome to another Friday and our roundup of some of the main housing-related news items of the week. Starting with
Concerns over holiday and Airbnb lets
Many of those landlords who are not selling up are either evicting tenants so they can use the property as a holiday let or are waiting to do so after the current tenants leave. The main reasons for this are:
- They can earn more money from holiday lets
- They can claim expenses, including mortgage interest, and
- It avoids problems with antisocial or non-paying tenants (who can take up to a year to evict)
This is having serious problems, particularly in holiday hotspots where there are now very few properties available for locals to rent.
The government is currently consulting on this and asking whether a registration scheme would answer. The consultation will end on 21 September, and you will find details here.
In the meantime, a private members bill has been brought by Rachael Maskell, the York Central Labour MP, aimed at setting up a licencing scheme for short-term and holiday-let accommodation, giving local authorities the power to issue fines and to remove licences, and to introduce bans on such properties in certain areas. However, it is notoriously difficult for private members’ bills to become law so the chances of this one doing so are slight.
If the government wants to stop landlords from converting homes to holiday lets, then one obvious solution is to make holiday letting less attractive to landlords than renting to tenants. Has anyone considered this?
Proposals from politicians
Ben Beadle, CEO of the National Residential Landlords Association, has written an interesting article for LandlordZonr looking at the proposals of Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss as they affect landlords:
- Both have sidestepped the growing supply crisis
- Rishi has
- stressed the importance of supporting people in social housing into home ownership
- Wants a focus on developing brownfield sites, and
- To stop land banking
- He is not calling for immediate tax cuts, and apparently
- Accepts the need to improve energy efficiency of the housing stock and has hinted at prioritising insulation for low income households
- Liz Truss
- Wants to revive proposals to allow rent payments to count against credit ratings – which would help them if they decide to buy
- Says she is concerned about the level of regulation faced by landlords
- Is against rent controls
- Has called for low planning zones with less red tape so developers can get on with building
The NRLA are conducting a landlord and letting agent survey on the current proposals in the White Paper which you can access and complete here.
In the meantime, London Mayer Sadiq Khan has called for landlords to pay tenant’s moving costs when they are being asked to move when they are not at fault and wants Mayors to be allowed to freeze rents in the city for two years until the cost of living crisis subsides.
While charity Joseph Rowntree Foundation wants a ‘right to buy’ to be given to private tenants.
Fall of a guru
Wannabe landlords tempted to pay large sums to attend training by unqualified ‘property guru’s’ should take warning from the fall of property Guru Glen Armstrong who was declared bankrupt in February, owing creditors £4.9 million.
He has now had his property mansion repossessed by bailiffs.
I wrote about the dangers of property investment schemes here. Remember – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
You are far better off joining Landlord Law and the NRLA, (where you will receive free training, once you have joined), and coming along to the Landlord Conference in November.
Smoke and CO alarm regulations
Finally – landlords do not forget that these regulations will be changing in October. So make sure you are compliant. Government guidance is now available here.
Newsround will be back next week.