for rent

18 Mar 24

A Conservative commentator says that the Renters (Reform) Bill can best be described as a ‘wholesale and fundamental invasion’ into the principle of private property.

Tim Briggs goes on to say that the Bill ‘will demonise landlords – and bankrupt councils’.

Writing on Conservative Woman, he says that the Bill ‘insinuates that all tenants are victims, and all landlords are villains’.

He adds: “It forces the cold, dead hand of the State into the mostly harmonious mutual dependency of landlords and their 4.6 million tenants, infantilising the parties into dumb, bad-faith spectators in their own private relationship.”

‘Oppressor landlords and oppressed tenants’

He goes on to praise a group of Tory MPs as a ‘white knights’ who are trying rebalance ‘the relationship between oppressor landlords and oppressed tenants’.

Mr Briggs adds: “Astonishing that only one landlord representative was asked to give evidence to the Bill’s scrutiny committee, while handfuls of left-wing tenant groups were invited.

“In National Residential Landlord Association (NRLA) webinars and podcasts before Christmas, I criticised the Bill as one of the worst pieces of housing legislation, with no redeeming features.

“Landlords seeking to increase rent will require government involvement. Landlords must accept tenants with pets in any property.”

‘Landlords cannot get back their properties’

Mr Briggs points out that the abolition of Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions will hurt the supply of rented homes since ‘landlords cannot get back their properties without the tenant agreeing to leave’.

He says: “What is difficult to understand is that the Government must know that this Renters (Reform) Bill is the disease of which it purports to be the cure because, like all bad law, it makes a bad situation for tenants worse.

“The Government hints that it knows this, yet it still wants to proceed, apparently having abandoned making good law that benefits everyone for the appearance of helping different interest groups.”

A landlord’s property belongs to a tenant

He also raises issues with the government believing that a landlord’s property belongs to a tenant – and ignoring the rule of law when doing so.

Mr Briggs says the Bill should be scrapped and writes: “Landlords are leaving the private rented sector in droves.

“If Section 21 notices are abolished, I do not think it is controversial for me to suggest that more landlords will sell up, increasing rents for the rented properties left behind. “Meanwhile left-wing politicians tout the idea of rent levels controlled by politicians, which has never worked anywhere in the world, would make a bad situation worse, and always has to be abandoned.

“This is why abolishing Section 21 Notices will also bankrupt local authorities.

“For the last decade, there are a number of exponential costs that local authorities have been struggling to get under control.

“If Section 21 Notices are abolished, landlords have another option – to lease a property to a company that allows the property to be used for temporary accommodation by the council.”

And that, he says, will see councils having to rent properties at a higher cost to house homeless families because there are no homes to rent – leading to a huge bill for taxpayers.

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