A new report into the private rented sector in the North of England has panned national and local government efforts to clamp down on ‘rogue landlords’ and called for greater efforts by authorities to ensure the majority of ‘good’ landlords maintain their properties adequately.

“A focus on rogue landlords ignores poor practice and a lack of resilience in the private sector more broadly,” it says.

Many tenants quizzed in the study said their landlords were ‘reasonable and non-exploitative’ and that problems came from a lack of inertia and awareness rather than malice.

Called ‘Lockdown, Rundown, Breakdown’ and backed by a foundation financed by the Nationwide building society and published by the Northern Housing Consortium, it says the problems with housing quality are more acute in the North because of its stock of pre-war, low-value properties.

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Covid problems

Based on tenant interview by Huddersfield University researchers, it says: “Many longstanding repair and quality issues were described as worsening throughout lockdown because social distancing measures prohibited contractors from entering the home.

“It was only in extreme cases, such as the breakdown of heating systems, that contractors typically carried out work.”

But the key issue identified is that tenants are under-reporting repairs and maintenance issues because they feel insecure in their tenancies.

“The research points to a need for policy makers to campaign for the reintroduction of the ban on evictions and the need for all organisations to adopt fair-minded and just debt enforcement and debt recovery practices,” the report says.

“It also further supports calls to provide all renters with security of tenure as a necessary step to ensure that renters have confidence to exercise their tenancy rights around repairs and maintenance – this should be a legislative priority.”

Read the full report.
Read more about rogue landlords.




8 COMMENTS

  1. I think the article should read: “…inertia and a lack of awareness…”

    Anyway, I don’t think pre war (WW1 or 2?) housing stock is necessarily a problem. Yes, it needs maintenance, but this should be reflected in the purchase costs

  2. I am not sure who comes up with these twisted ideas and who these researchers are! Their assumed plan is to force tenancies on landlords for tenants’ securities which, in my opinion, very similar to force marriages for the assumption of families’ securities.

    It is wrong in principle, values and practice and it wouldn’t work.

    Matters should be agreed between landlords and tenants and documented in a tenancy agreement not forced on one party without a choice or freedom to accept or refuse especially during existing tenancies.

    Can someone also explain to me what is the difference between secured tenancies and leaseholds/freehold? Why would someone buy a property and take risks with mortgages, expenses, etc when they can rent properties with secured tenancies with all the biased support they will get from almost everyone. Probably one of the reasons many supports it, is that you can claim many benefits when you are renting but this is not possible when you own your own property.

    What would stop the creation of a black market run by tenants to transfer secured tenancies or to offer possession back to landlords?

    If they insist on implementing those weird plans, they can at least give landlords who don’t like it to move out of the sector. The rest who is happy with it, can remain.

    Also, in my opinion, the ban on eviction is unlawful and breaches the Human Rights Act so to ask for it to be re-implemented is not right. One day, it will reach the Supreme Court.

    It seems that one of the symptoms to COVID-19 that has spread out widely and without notice, is the impact on people’s common sense in addition to the loss of taste and smell.

    I cannot wait for a vaccine.

    • A “secure tenancy” usually means an Assured Tenancy.
      That is the traditional tenancy used in social housing (e.g. council, housing association, etc). Similar tenancies are used with agricultural land. They can usually be passed down to younger relatives.

      It is different to a lease. Mainly in that a lease has a definite time period.
      Assured Tenancies are more defined by the person’s natural lifespan.

      Private landlords are free to buy and sell a property, with a secure tenancy in place. They simply sell to another landlord.

      Another business model, is the “guaranteed rent” model. The private freehold landlord leases to a social landlord, who lets to social tenants. The freehold landlord has no contact with the occupiers.

    • Regarding your “black market” comment:

      I know of cases where an amateur landlord has become stuck with non paying tenants. A relative of the tenants then approaches the amateur landlord, with an offer to buy the property, with the tenants in place.

      The relative buys the property (at a below market price) and inherits the tenants.

      • Robert, you are right. Many other countries have been operating very lucrative similar black market and we should prevent it from moving to the UK. The unlawful eviction ban, the unreasonable reactivation notice requirements, bailiff restrictions will help the black market to flourish.

  3. I just read the contributors to the report and as no surprise. It is Shelter! and a number of Local Authorities (Councils).

    Where is the NRLA to correct misinformation and contribute on behalf of the private residential landlords?

    • Totally agree, Saad. We keep hearing story after story on this page and others by propagandists such as Shelter but comparatively little from NRLA. Those who shout loudest get heard. Come On NRLA – speak up.

  4. Saad Hindosh well said, actually, there are many spot on posts left ???? as I’ve said recently in many a forum, about where are the Landlord Associations when we need them the most?

    Do we not pay hundreds each year, yet, these days they seem more interested in trying to sell us more useless rubbish! & they seem happy enough to cuddled up with the government tho, ho hum…

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