Thursday, Feb 24, 2011

Game over for buy to let

Dailymail: New European human rights ruling could lead to thousands of tenants refusing to pay

Evicting a woman from her council home for failing to pay rent would breach her human rights, judges ruled yesterday.

Posted by mark @ 10:06 AM (1560 views)
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1. timmy t said...

The world's gone mad. As one of the comments says, it's not just BTL that will be affected - this would just about make repossession illegal, otherwise they'd be treating tenants and homeowners differently and there is no doubt some Equal Rights law which prevents that.

Thursday, February 24, 2011 10:16AM Report Comment

2. mark wadsworth said...

All I can say is that the benefits system is stupid - because of all the to-ing and fro-ing and separate benefits and paying and clawing back by different departments - and encourages this sort of behaviour.

What's wrong with rolling all cash benefits into one payment (e.g. Citizen's Income or Universal Credit) and then deducting the council rent and council tax from that amount before paying over the net balance? That way it would be impossible for welfare claimants to run up arrears.

Anecdotal: I was tidying up a flat after the tenants had left and there were two envelopes from the council. One was a cheque from the Housing Benefit department for the rent; the other was a red reminder for unpaid Council Tax. The cheque and the demand were for similar amounts and we can safely assume that the tenants banked the former and ignored the latter.

Thursday, February 24, 2011 10:28AM Report Comment

3. mark said...


yeh sounds like a good idea, then we could reduce staff in those depts too

Thursday, February 24, 2011 10:31AM Report Comment

4. inbreda said...

there's something about the way you say it mark... just seems too sensible to be true ;-)

Thursday, February 24, 2011 10:34AM Report Comment

5. the number cruncher said...

The beguiling Mr Wadsworth - "I have a simple solution" to a complex problem he has only theoretical knowledge or experience of, now where have I heard that before...

Do not get me wrong, I think a universal benefit is a good idea, and there is a lot of sense in what Mark tells us, underpinned by sound reasoning. But as a pragmatist, with a little knowledge of Government workings and history I know it will be hugely complex to implement and face many barriers and problems on its way to implementation. Mark's simplistic tones sound very plausible and if a Government powerful enough to implement them was in power, I fear that the cattle trucks are waiting when the solutions do not materialise the way they where envisioned. I am sure I am wrong about Mark, but I fear some of the powerful in his political party of choice, there is a few in that party who would quite happily put me and my family in a cattle truck.

Thursday, February 24, 2011 11:34AM Report Comment

6. Lloyd said...

If every tenant were to default then maybe all the BTL brigade would finally go bust, n house prices could come back to normality! Yipeeee. Great call by the European Union.

Thursday, February 24, 2011 11:48AM Report Comment

7. mark wadsworth said...

TNC: "as a pragmatist, with a little knowledge of Government workings and history I know it will be hugely complex to implement and face many barriers and problems on its way to implementation"

I do have knowledge (largely gleaned by battling with bureaucracies and other observations) and I know it would be dirt cheap to implement - it's the civil servants who say it will be complicated and then make it complicated to enable them to do empire building.

Take for example Child Benefit, the processing costs were about 0.5% and fraud and overpayments netted off with people who simply do not claim, despite being entitled. Cheap, simple, effective. Does it make it more or less expensive to means-test it? Half the notional saving from taking it away from higher earners is lost in extra administration and form filling and hassle.And unlike Child Tax Credits (where you can claim over £100 a week), Child Benefit is fairly low level £40 a week for two kids, I think) and therefore does not distort people's decision making (i.e. does not "encourage the feckless to breed", to use Mr G/Daily Mail terminology), it just takes the edge off things

Or for that matter, the basic state pension which costs 0.5% for record keeping and 0.5% to pay out and has nigh 100% take up - as against about 5% admit cost for Pensions Credit (which for half of pensioners is more than their BSP/S2P entitlement, so why bother with BSP/S2P?) and has only 70% or 80% take up and massive fraud/error rates?

And if you are referring to UKIP, the new policy guru is an even bigger Citizen's Income enthusiast than I am.

And as for Land Value Tax, there are infinite examples of that from history or around the world and quite simply, it works. The best example is Business Rates in the UK - collection rates are about 98% of the assessed amounts, as against 80% - 90% with VAT or income tax, and it has little or no dead weight costs on the economy (the Tories mucked about with BR free zones and they had precisely NO positive effect).

Thursday, February 24, 2011 12:18PM Report Comment

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