Landlord questions Ed Miliband's PRS knowledge
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Regulation
Standard housing pictureImage: Housing via Shutterstock
A landlord has questioned whether Ed Miliband understands many of the conditions within the private rented sector, after the Labour leader announced plans to shake-up the industry.
In a sarcastic response to Miliband's proposals, David Lawrenson, who has been investing in property for over 25 years, wrote: As we understand it, under this new Labour policy 'buy to let' landlords (as the press likes to call them) would have to issue minimum three-year tenancies and rent increases would be somehow controlled within that period.
"All well and good - and we think it sounds sensible enough.
"Just one question for Ed. Does he realise that most mortgage lenders do not allow landlords to issue tenancies of over 12 months' duration?
"Just thought we would mention that, in case the Labour leader had not realised it.
"Also, we wonder if he knows that there are still lenders who do not allow landlords to let to tenants on housing benefit. Just thought we would mention that too.
"Following our appearance giving evidence in public to the London Assembly's Housing and Regeneration Committee in 2012, a few of the larger lenders were shamed into reversing their policies on this, but some still do it.
"None of the councillors at that meeting were aware of this restriction but they acted on what we told them, forcing Lloyds Banking Group and the Nationwide to reverse their restriction and allow landlords to do this.
"And as a matter of interest, apart from in London, rent increases in the private rented sector over the last five years have consistently undershot overall inflation. Just thought we would mention that too.
"It is not unusual for government - central or local - to lack an understanding of the private rented sector. But we would be happy to advise Ed and his people, if they would like to get in touch. After all, even if one did not like landlords much, it seems rather harsh to force them to do something that puts them in breach of their mortgage terms and conditions.
"Perhaps Ed should have had a word with the Council of Mortgage Lenders first (or kindly advisors like us!)"