Labour’s Pledge Is Wrong

Labour’s Pledge Is Wrong.

Yesterday in a blaze of publicity Ed Miliband announced Labour’s latest campaign, four weeks before the polls open on 22nd May. Labour admit that if they they did get into power that they would introduce an annual rent-increase cap. This would have an ‘upper limit’ on rises, to be based on average market rents.

Furthermore they want to introduce a six month probation period on tenancy agreements. This agreement would then run automatically for a further 29 months. The landlord could only exercise their right to possession if ;  The tenant defaults with the rent, the landlord needs to sell the property or if they need to move back in to their property. It also appears that the landlord will not be able to raise the rent during this time, so in effect the rent would remain the same for  the entire three year period. In my opinion this is a big mistake. This will undoubtably lead to more landlords exiting the market and have a reverse effect to the one intended. A cap will simply not be appealing to many investors. The last time we had rent controls in the 1960’s they simply didn’t work.

I do have some sympathy with the tenants perspective that constantly having to move due to a Section 21 notice is very unsettling and frustrating for a family. Generally however it is in the landlords best interest to have a good long standing relationship with a reliable tenant. Landlords would always prefer these tenants stay as long as possible. The only exception to this would be if the Landlord had a genuine reason to sell or move back into the property. Many I am sure would be happy to provide longer tenancies, which the current government is trying to promote under ‘The Tenants Charter’.  Most landlords are prepared to be flexible and even take a lesser rent, if they have have a good tenant and would be delighted to promote longer tenancies. This is simply a good business relationship, if it works well why alter it if you don’t have to? I am concerned though that having the above proposals thrust on the PRS will ultimately do more harm than good.

In addition Labour’s proposal that letting agents would no longer be able to charge letting fees upfront is muddled and disingenuous at a time when the industry is doing a lot to improve its standards. There needs to be transparency. There are a minority of agents that do ‘over charge’ instead of offering clear pricing and standard fixed admin fees. For years there has been a call for improved regulation within the sector. I remember speaking with a well known journalist in 2001 where we floated the idea of a redress scheme which would focus on improving standards and practice for letting agents. This is only coming into effect this year and can only be good for the industry as a whole.

Finally we are undoubtably in ‘Generation Rent’  Nine million people rent in this country and we are increasingly becoming more in line with the like of France and Germany,where most people rent. If however we don’t keep up with the demand of 200,000 new properties, which will be needed each year, we will still be having the same conversations years down the line. We will definitely be unable to keep up with the demands of an ever growing population. Maybe if the Labour Party had built more properties when they were in power we might not be in such a mess now with regards to housing shortages,

Precise Treatment Reduces Pain

Detail needs experts. Expert time is worth it when it saves you a costly mistake. Main objective: Get the property back. Best action: Very precise treatment.

Serving a notice is actually the most important part of the possession process.

It isn’t complicated but one tiny error can cause dreadful problems.

That’s why we say, don’t DIY and don’t use internet amateurs. It’s not worth it.

1. Compliance Errors
If the tenant doesn’t leave at Step1, the notice had better be valid. Because then it has to go to court. Any little error can get a case thrown out. And you have to start all over again.

2. Attempting Short-Cuts.
In an effort to be quick, some internet services aimed at landlords are using short-cuts around the process. But if the tenant doesn’t leave (50%) these practices can backfire at court and the case thrown out.

3. Trying to Save Pennies.
Internet services have mushroomed and landlords can expect to get what they pay for. To get the process done PROPERLY it takes a certain amount of time for an expert to look over a file and be accurate. Our fees cover that expert time.

Chasing courts for dates, arranging advocates and preparing court papers is time consuming. Especially if you’ve never done it before.

Some landlord and agents have served notices themselves. They believed they were saving a few pounds but it often ended up costing them more.

If you lose a claim, the court can order you to pay the tenant’s defence cost, which can run to hundreds or thousands of pounds.

Our in-house Solicitors are there to get your property back as fast as they can. And we protect landlords and agents from themselves.

As experts, we know that in the rush to get things done, errors can happen. And those errors can can come back later to mess up your case – and the whole process has to start again.

You can speed things up – give us accurate information quickly. Help us to help you.

There are services on the web who will prepare papers BUT they get you to pay the court-fee separately and get you to sign the court papers – so in fact they don’t represent you!

If your notice (at Step1) wasn’t drafted or served correctly you risk wasting your court fees and losing a whole lot of time because of a small error.

We won’t let your case anywhere near a court until we have checked every little detail. To make sure you don’t waste time or money, at Step-2 we first only charge part of the fee.

If your notice is fine, then you just pay the balance of the fee and we issue the claim. If there is a problem with your notice or paperwork, we will advise you what to do next.

Courts take the view that possession proceedings can make someone homeless. So they are very careful. If there’s any error in the notice, they throw the case out. It’s the process. Get it right or lose.

If the notice is invalid, you have to start all over again. The weeks or months you’ve waited are wasted. If there were rent arrears, there are now more.

If there weren’t rent arrears, they might now start. More fees. More lost rent. And still no possession. Tenants can be alerted to making a counter-claim.

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