Here we are with another Newsround on a Friday.
I hardly dare write anything about evictions today in case it is the cue for the Government to announce another set of confusing regulations.
We must all be grateful to Giles of Nearly Legal for explaining it all to us here and even more grateful to him for finding someone who can explain the situation in Wales here. There is another good explanatory post here.
I would echo Giles’ comment in the English post
It didn’t have to be this way…
First, I have to do a disclaimer – this is what I think the regulations mean. But I’m not confident enough to proclaim that this is the case. Do not rely on my view…
Second, I would be astonished if there weren’t challenges to the regulations. If any were successful, that could completely change the playing field.
He then goes on to say that ‘detail is key’. Which has always been the case of course but in the past the detail wasn’t quite so confusing.
In view of which, if you are a landlord and recovering your property is important to you I have two bits of advice for you:
- Use a solicitor, one familiar with evictions work. It will be all too easy to make a mistake which could delay your claim by up to a year or more
- Try mediation. It could be a lot quicker and could give a better solution too. I wrote about this here.
Let’s talk about something else now.
Journeys in the Shadow Private Rented Sector
I watched the launch of this important report on Wednesday which was very interesting. The report is jointly authored by Ben Reeve Lewis (who I am hoping will be able to write something here about it when he gets a moment) along with Julie Rugg of York University, Roz Spencer of Safer Renting and Eusebio Barata.
The main message it seems to me is that, as Ben has explained on this blog in the past, ‘rogue landlords’ are actually criminal landlords and should be treated as such.
The lack of enforcement against these criminals both encourages them and makes life desperately difficult for those unfortunate enough to have to live in their properties.
- Make online renting portals (like OpenRent and Airbnb) responsible for the property listings they publish and introduce property MOTs and unique identification numbers to help achieve this.
- Put a duty on the police to stop illegal evictions.
- Create a fund to help authorities recruit more enforcement teams with the relevant skills – austerity has severely reduced this.
- Force authorities to adopt a multi-agency approach – too many criminal landlords take advantage of councils whose different enforcement arms don’t work together effectively.
- Amend housing legislation to introduce joint and several liability for housing offences to include the property owner and/or letting agent.
- Introduce a right to expert statutory advocacy for private renters faced with criminal behaviour by landlords.
- Ban section 21 evictions
You can read the report here.
I don’t normally discuss property sales here, but this post on Property Industry Eye just makes it clear why so many people can’t afford to buy and so have to rent.
According to Finder.com house prices have increased by 1010% since 1980 – that’s 1010% – which is 24 times the rate at which annual salaries have increased.
No wonder no-one other than billionaires can afford to buy a house in London. Its very, very unfair on young people.
Mind you, if everyone carries on working from home things could change as it will allow people to live and work outside the big cities. Which could breathe life into commuter towns and villages. I hope so.
- London landlords could face significant capital gains tax bills
- Applicants and tenants are becoming more abusive towards agents – what is your view?
- Ben Beadle: Landlords MUST talk to their local MPs about funding for tenants, justice for landlords
- Enfield presses on with selective licensing despite overwhelming landlord opposition
- Now Christopher Harmer leaves Propertymark
- Court threat to housebuilders over leasehold ‘trap’
Newsround will be back next week.