Saturday, Oct 17, 2015

Lets all live in a hole in the ground

Independent: Tory MP says law requiring fit for habitatio a burden

It must be nearly Christmas and old Scrooge is about to get his annual visit. Just don't wrap the present in red tape.

Posted by chrisch @ 09:58 AM (4449 views)
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1. libertas said...

We lived in a flat with black mould. Complained to the Local Authority. Their "enforcement" powers gave the Landlord 1yr to comply, but the Landlord stated he would evict us if we complained. We just left, but some poor soul moved in and will have had to endure this also. The same Landlord, when we arrived, piled his furniture in the living room, so we had only half the flat. After a couple weeks of him ignoring us saying "I am on holiday" I simply stated "You don't have to move the stuff, but if it is not gone by the weekend, we will pile it neatly in the front garden on a pallet with a tarp over it". Needless to say, his Father and a friend turned up the next day with a van.

Presently, the relationship between landlords and tenants is not balanced. Whilst I am not for rent controls, because it can reduce supply, this approach could release many of the worst properties through forced sales for first time buyers who will renovate.

It will be interesting to see how fit for habitation is defined, but this is a wonderfully simple term that could be sensibly applied by Local Authorities. Frankly, we have Environmental Health having no jurisdiction now over private flats that would be shut down if they were selling food, and that is not right. People on housing benefit are most vulnerable, because if they leave a place, they loose their benefit, so they can only go if evicted or if Environmental Health shut it down. If your place is full of Cockroaches, you can have it shut down (i have seen this at work), but if your place is in that in-between area of intolerable but not quite deathly, you are in no-mans land presently.

Saturday, October 17, 2015 09:35AM Report Comment

2. libertas said...

In reality, they should simply remove the threshold rather than raise it, because rents will always rise.

Saturday, October 17, 2015 09:37AM Report Comment

3. icarus said...

Silly argument. He's talking about landlords' being forced to know about every nit-picking bit of small type, the other side of the argument is about the most egregious flouting of basic standards by landlords.

"Landlords wading through legislation"? Aren't there websites and estate agents for that?

Saturday, October 17, 2015 10:26AM Report Comment

4. britishblue said...

Speak to any German who has rented in Germany then rented here. they are shocked. Should be fairly easy to take best practice from abroad.

Saturday, October 17, 2015 11:19PM Report Comment

5. icarus said...

"Should be fairly easy to take best practice from abroad." Except for the elephant in the room - rent levels. Munich rents, the highest in Germany, are about a third of London rents.

In Germany, once you're in it's difficult for the LL to increase your rent except in line with an agreed formula. Plus longer leases, tenants' associations with teeth and no evictions without good reason.

The downside is that the only way the LL can increase rent in line with the rise in property values is to get you out and install a new tenant at a higher rent, so he may try to get you out by failing to do repairs or just paying you to leave. But no Rachman / van Hoogstraten tactics.

Sunday, October 18, 2015 01:59PM Report Comment

6. sibley's b'stard child said...

BTL landlord in 'regulation is bad for BTL' shocker.

Sunday, October 18, 2015 10:19PM Report Comment

7. britishblue said...

I@5 the difference in Germany is that Buy to Let is considered a proper business rather than a one way lottery win with capital gains.

Sunday, October 18, 2015 11:03PM Report Comment

8. mombers said...

A very simple enforcement action is to say that no rent payable until the place is fixed, and an automatic 6 month extension of the lease so no revenge evictions. Absolutely disgraceful that the highest rents in the world are not for the highest quality rentals but hey, it's not a proper, free, competitive market at the best of times.

Monday, October 19, 2015 01:17PM Report Comment

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