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SE10

Zac Goldsmith's Housing Manifesto

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I've just read Zac Goldsmith's housing manifesto. One bit particularly struck me (my emphasis):

I will strengthen the Standard so that all landlords have to offer three to five year tenancies, with any rent increases after each year agreed upon at the start of the contract, to provide certainty for tenants – unless the landlord wishes to move in, sell the property or has a bad experience with the tenant. The landlord will be able to ask for any rent they wish, and any stepped rent increases they wish, but they must be agreed at the start of the contract in order to give tenants certainty.

Would a three to five year tenancy be considered an AST? From my (probably poor) understanding, no it won't.

Don't BTL mortgages generally insist on ASTs? I believe so.

This would seem to be another nail in the coffin for debt powered BTL in London, if Zac won of course...

Edited by SE10

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It's surprisingly similar to Labour's housing policies at the last election ie superficially an increase in security of tenure but in reality a significant degradation of security as they both allow the landlord to turf people out with impunity, inside the supposed term of the tenancy. The extended terms mean feck all in the circumstances.

Labour policy exerpt from April 2014 (when they launched their housing policy)

Policy Detail

Introduce long term three-year tenancies:

Tenancies would start with a 6 month probation period at the end of which the landlord would be able to terminate the contract if tenant failed the probation (e.g. if there are rent arrears or anti-social behaviour). After the 6 months, the tenancy would automatically run for a further 2.5 years

Tenants would be able to terminate contracts after the first 6 months with one month notice as they can now.

But landlords would be able to terminate contracts with 2 months’ notice only if they can have good reason:

· The tenant falls into rent arrears, is guilty of anti-social behaviour or breaches their tenancy agreement
· The landlord wants to sell the property, needs the property for their own or family use
· The landlord plans to refurbish or change the use of the property.

http://press.labour.org.uk/post/84352297129/ed-miliband-launches-election-campaign-with-rents

Goldsmith's policy detail:

Zac_Housing.jpg

P17/20

https://issuu.com/conservativeparty/docs/zac_housing_manifesto

Spot the difference..?

Edited by The Knimbies who say No

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There is almost no question this is a substantial erosion of rental rights dressed up to look like an improvement. The devil is always in the details but if I can see the holes in the propaganda announcement you can absolutely guarantee it will only get worse if you look at the details. Some obvious points:

I will strengthen the Standard so that all landlords have to offer three to five year tenancies

Why would you want a three to five year tenancy? the only rights you have as a tenant in this country is to pay your rent till the end of your contract and then leave. Given the desperately substandard rental housing in this country a three to five year tenancy would be mana from heaven for a landlord and their debt provider - especially if rents were falling. Sod all those stupid up-keep costs as the tenant is stuck there for x years after which you can refurb and repeat. The exception to this only occurs if the tenant has any rights at all to break the contract or massively improved rights to leave if the house is any sort of danger to health e.g. mold or damp you may not notice at a summer viewing

three to five years .....unless the landlord wishes to move in, sell the property or has a bad experience with the tenant. The landlord will be able to ask for any rent they wish

So lets run that by ourselves again. The landlord can charge any rent .. the tenant is likely captive and the landlord has a choice of three easily manufactured excuses if they wish to remove the tenant (e.g. because of increases in rent).

and any stepped rent increases they wish, but they must be agreed at the start of the contract in order to give tenants certainty

Certainty of what exactly? that they still won't be able to afford their rent in 10 years time but could be out on their **** next month?

Nice work Zach .. now **** off.

Edited by Kinky John

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Have tweeted him with screengrabs.

I went through all this before the election- contacted a PPS for the Labour shadow housing minister, email exchange, etc etc. Nothing happened.

Surprised by Goldsmith though- if you are going to copy someone else's homework, you might as well make sure it definitely isn't wrong. Which Labour's most definitely is, and was roundly panned at the time.

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There is almost no question this is a substantial erosion of rental rights dressed up to look like an improvement. The devil is always in the details but if I can see the holes in the propaganda announcement you can absolutely guarantee it will only get worse if you look at the details. Some obvious points:

Why would you want a three to five year tenancy? the only rights you have as a tenant in this country is to pay your rent till the end of your contract and then leave. Given the desperately substandard rental housing in this country a three to five year tenancy would be mana from heaven for a landlord and their debt provider - especially if rents were falling. Sod all those stupid up-keep costs as the tenant is stuck there for x years after which you can refurb and repeat. The exception to this only occurs if the tenant has any rights at all to break the contract or massively improved rights to leave if the house is any sort of danger to health e.g. mold or damp you may not notice at a summer viewing

So lets run that by ourselves again. The landlord can charge any rent .. the tenant is likely captive and the landlord has a choice of three easily manufactured excuses if they wish to remove the tenant (e.g. because of increases in rent).

Certainty of what exactly? that they still won't be able to afford their rent in 10 years time but could be out on their **** next month?

Nice work Zach .. now **** off.

Bingo! in bold.

As with Labour's policy, the laxity in eviction means these extended contracts are meaningless. Who'd check? no-one. It's not meant to be checked though, just any old shit to avoid taking a bit of responsibility/commitment for housing provision. BTL is all about speculation, and as such inconveniences like long-term relationships are unhelpful to that activity. Plenty of LL types want tenants removable on a 1 month basis too, no reason required, so this is a means of getting this in, under the guise of greater security. It's completely shameless .

Edited by The Knimbies who say No

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Who the fvck does he think he is anyway? He's never had to work for a living thanks to the Banking Dynasty of which he belongs so decides to try his hand at Politics to make him feel like he has some worth and power whilst allowing him to posture to his inbred Public School friends. Has he ever had to rent somewhere to live? I don't think so, so what makes him think that he's in the least bit qualified to decide what's best for the "Average Joe?" As if his family's grip on the World isn't tight enough already without him wanting to put his mark on the planet.

Stamp on him and his ilk...

Tw@t...

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Exactly - the contract needs to be asymmetrical because the consequences are.

In Australia (which doesn't have perfect tenant rights either), you do at least have a fairly well defined way of breaking a tenancy as a tenant (we had to go through it once). Basically you have to foot any re-marketing costs, the LL cannot ask for more than you are paying now and needs to be able to demonstrate that they are putting reasonable effort into finding a new tenant. You pay until a new tenant is found (and indeed, you can find your own replacement). As far as I am aware, in this country you are simply on the hook for the duration of the agreement and the LL need make no effort whatsoever to remarket during that time.

What we need is a simple change that means tenants can't (ever) be evicted so long as they are up to date with the rent, with right to renew. Tenant has right to leave with 2 months notice (more than enough) and rent increases limited during tenure. No rent controls per se - LL can charge what they like to get a tenant in. No excuse for kicking a tenant out short of moving back in or selling - either of which prohibit you from renting the place out again for at least a year. Simple.

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T@$$er.

He's so far detached from the average citizen. Unbelievable amount of cr@p he's spouting at the moment to get his hands on power.

Why doesn't he offer up to 7 years? With the LL not able to toss you out on a whim. "If LL wants to move back in" !?!?!?

It's a business , they tell us. How about I have to give back my lease car if the salesman suddenly finds himself carless , due to an accident in life.

Goldsmith is also championing the removal of Tube workers perk of a free Travel card for a family member. I read this morning it's to divert approx. £25M to another "good cause".

Look, all the billions spent/wasted in London - including a garden bridge - and he wants to remove a perk that's been enjoyed by the ordinary working Londoner for decades. Why not reduce London Council reps. expenses and other perks instead? Or refuse to subsidise big business projects.

This guy is a shill for the City.

Edited by Agentimmo

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You know what get's my goat the most about this and to be fair many other pronouncements on housing policy. It's the one indefensible clause for tenant removal

to provide certainty for tenants – unless the landlord wishes to move in

So .. after signing a fixed contract the tenant occupies the house and lives there because presumably it is their home .. the place where they feel safe and independent. This is of course enforced by law unless the landlord (presumably randomly) decides they want to live there. This means the tenant is de-facto a second class citizen as their right to a fixed abode factors below the landlord's right despite a free and legal contract having been drawn up to the opposite effect.

Now forgive me, but this is completely counter to a moral system where all are treated equally (I presume most politicians would profess to a belief in such a system - if they don't then this policy is fine of course .. but we might need to have some words about other things).

People like Zac .. clearly believe they are not Nationalistic minority abusing leaders but given the sort of unequal treatment you see in these statements they are undoubtedly taking the first steps towards creating a legally supported multi-class system which enforces division, resentement and dissent. The great failing of democracy is that the majority bullies the minority .. and anybody who professes a desire for significant power must be able to at least understand the trade offs and accept responsibility for them before they blindly give people what they want. That or we can just replace politicians with a machine that say "yes."

Frankly .. I'm far more impressed by Hitler. He had a country crushed by reparations enforced after the first world war and he used nationalistic sentiments and the oppression of minorities to draw together and unify people. Some pretty horrid things happened afterwards but they aren't simply Hitler's fault (or even more childlishly ... "evil's" fault) as everybody is human (like Hitler) and therefore responsible for the consequences of their actions. That includes Zac ... even if he didn't go to Eaton or the other place.

Edit: Worth adding that it is extremely unfair to target just Zac with this rant as most politicians seem incapable of understanding the morality in christopher reeve's superman films let alone a real world situation.

Edited by Kinky John

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Agreed. The good thing about having a five year tenancy is that (apart from the obvious school stuff etc) I can decorate, do up the garden, plant a few vegetables, sign longer term utility contracts, join the village tennis club etc (I have even bred some new Koi in the pond which was a major cleanup job after years of neglect)

After I had been where I am now for a year the letting agent came round. He actually said he didn't understand why I took the place at the time but seeing it now fully understood what could be done with it.

Without security of tenure I am sure he would have told the LL that it was now worth loads more and they should either up my rent or kick me out. They don't have that option which is why I have been able and wanted to do what I have done..

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I thought it was the lenders that forced AST, part of the terms of a BTL mortgage......in other words debt payable on demand or good as dammit. ;)

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I thought it was the lenders that forced AST, part of the terms of a BTL mortgage......in other words debt payable on demand or good as dammit. ;)

Correct. But I would assume the BofE could order them to change that if it wanted to.

However, it would up the risk level and therefore the interest rate.

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The London Rental Standard that Goldsmith is talking about is purely voluntary so it's basically worthless. Uptake has been something like 0.2%:

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/jul/20/boris-johnson-good-landlord-scheme-flop

It's all empty rhetoric, the Conservatives really couldn't care less about making private renting more bearable.

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He's a Goldsmith married to a Rothschild - I wouldn't listen to, or trust, anything he says. It's slim like this that needs to be removed from the system. Let us all stop giving credence to the scum that have hijacked the system and are running it for their own tyrannical power trip. Divest now and find new and exciting ways of being your own master outside of their control.

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It's surprisingly similar to Labour's housing policies at the last election ie superficially an increase in security of tenure but in reality a significant degradation of security as they both allow the landlord to turf people out with impunity, inside the supposed term of the tenancy. The extended terms mean feck all in the circumstances.

Labour policy exerpt from April 2014 (when they launched their housing policy)

http://press.labour.org.uk/post/84352297129/ed-miliband-launches-election-campaign-with-rents

Goldsmith's policy detail:

Zac_Housing.jpg

P17/20

https://issuu.com/conservativeparty/docs/zac_housing_manifesto

Spot the difference..?

sounds like the exact same conditions we already have.

you can stay unless the landlord wants it back..

some security.

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sounds like the exact same conditions we already have.

you can stay unless the landlord wants it back..

some security.

It's actually likely much worse than present, if* run along similar lines to Labour's election manifesto, as it completely undermines the fixed term aspect of an AST while simultaneously creating lots of new ways of getting someone out. Currently, as we know, if you sign/renew for a 12 month AST, then in the case where you do not breach your contract, you can only be removed by a court order inside the contract duration. Labour (and AFAICT Goldsmith) would change that so that you are always on some sort of rolling arrangement, and in the case of Labour's proposals they allowed a 'no fault eviction' after 6 months in any case.

Why on earth Labour/Cons seem to think that a desire of a LL to move back to a property they are letting out is any sort of reasonable justification for eviction is not really clear. No parallels exist for other goods, Mr Hertz taking the car back halfway through your holiday while his gets serviced would hardly be tolerated.

*caveat: I've not seen the details relating to the LL evicting a tenant due to moving back in for Goldsmith's policy.

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It's actually likely much worse than present, if* run along similar lines to Labour's election manifesto, as it completely undermines the fixed term aspect of an AST while simultaneously creating lots of new ways of getting someone out. Currently, as we know, if you sign/renew for a 12 month AST, then in the case where you do not breach your contract, you can only be removed by a court order inside the contract duration. Labour (and AFAICT Goldsmith) would change that so that you are always on some sort of rolling arrangement, and in the case of Labour's proposals they allowed a 'no fault eviction' after 6 months in any case.

Why on earth Labour/Cons seem to think that a desire of a LL to move back to a property they are letting out is any sort of reasonable justification for eviction is not really clear. No parallels exist for other goods, Mr Hertz taking the car back halfway through your holiday while his gets serviced would hardly be tolerated.

*caveat: I've not seen the details relating to the LL evicting a tenant due to moving back in for Goldsmith's policy.

indeed, a Let is supposed to be a business....you claim tax relief on it at the moment like a business, ( they are changing some laws as we all know).

Currently im on a rolling tenancy, have been for years...suits me, and while the LL is alive, suits him. Wont suit the inheritor though, he wants to build 4 houses here.

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The only time I've had to move out of a place before I wanted to was when the landlord wanted to move a family member in so this would definitely make me feel less secure. Goldsmith has obviously never rented in his life.

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