It seems as though – for our sins – we’ve all been burdened with the horrifying task of choosing between a bunch of undesirable bandits and hollow promises to pave the way for our future. Great!
I KNOW, I KNOW! I shouldn’t be discussing politics, it’s so uncouth. Hell, why don’t I just drag up the hairy boil on Aunt Fanny’s back over dinner while I’m at it, right?
Normally I wouldn’t do this, but drastic times call for drastic measures. Apparently the upcoming general election in December is striking real fear into us money-grabbing landlords, because the outcome could result in new legislation to reign in our greed, such as the introduction of rent caps and the obliteration of the landlord’s favourite accessory, the beloved ‘no fault’ Section 21 notice.
But to be honest, neither of those are reasons for why I’ve decided to breach my own flimsy rules and talk politics, but rather because blogging material for this month is bone dry, and I’ve found myself in one of those increasingly rare moments when blogging feels like it wouldn’t be the worst way to spend my next hour or so. So screw it, let’s be tacky and do politics…
Don’t worry, I wouldn’t dare advise you on who you should vote for or even if you should vote at all, but I will cover the pledges the three main political parties have published in their manifestos that directly relate to the private housing sector (landlords), because the result will most likely impact your bizz. Maybe the pledges will sway your decision on voting day. Maybe they won’t.
If you expect the manifestos to be bloated with the usual idealistic bullshit, undeliverable promises, and absurd ideas – across the board, on every issue – then you won’t be disappointed. There’s heaps of it. Ironically, maybe it’s not totally uninspiring that manifestos aren’t worth the paper their written on since most pledges are only designed to win votes, and rarely ever materialise into reality *first swipe at politics*
So, here are what the three major parties have said about the private housing sector in their worthless manifestos…
Source: Labour’s Manifesto
More than 11 million people rent from a private landlord and many of them are at the sharp end of the housing crisis. We will take urgent action to protect private renters through rent controls, open-ended tenancies, and new, binding minimum standards.
Labour will stop runaway rents by capping them with inflation, and give cities powers to cap rents further.
We will give renters the security they need to make their rented housing a home, with new open-ended tenancies to stop unfair, ‘no fault’ evictions. We will make sure every property is up to scratch with new minimum standards, enforced through nationwide licensing and tougher sanctions for landlords who flout the rules. We will fund new renters’ unions in every part of the country – to allow renters to organise and defend their rights.
We will get rid of the discriminatory rules that require landlords to check people’s immigration status or that allow them to exclude people on housing benefit. We will give councils new powers to regulate short-term lets through companies such as Airbnb.
… we will give councils the powers and funding to buy back homes from private landlords.
- Introduce rent controls / caps
- Introduce new open-ended tenancies and abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions
- Introduce minimum standards through nationwide licensing and tougher sanctions for landlords who flout the rules
- Fund renters’ unions
- Reform the Right-to-Rent legislation so landlords no longer need to check the tenant’s immigration status
- Stop landlords from discriminating against tenant’s that are receiving housing benefits
- Councils will be given the power to buy back homes from private landlords (I’m not entirely sure what this means!)
Source: Conservatives Manifesto
We will bring in a Better Deal for Renters, including abolishing ‘no fault’ evictions and only requiring one ‘lifetime’ deposit which moves with the tenant. This will create a fairer rental market: if you’re a tenant, you will be protected from revenge evictions and rogue landlords, and if you’re one of the many good landlords, we will strengthen your rights of possession.
- Abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions
- Introduce one lifetime deposit, which moves with the tenant
- Extra protection for tenants against revenge evictions and rogue landlords
- Good landlords will gain strengthened rights of possession
Liberal Democrats Manifesto
Source: Liberal Democrats Manifesto
People are struggling to afford good homes in in the right location: house prices are too high and the possibility of owning a home seems remote for many people; the private rental market is expensive and insecure; and there are not enough homes for social rent to meet demand.
To reform the private rental sector, we will:
- Help young people into the rental market by establishing a new Help to Rent scheme to provide government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30.
- Promote longer tenancies of three years or more with an inflation-linked annual rent increase built in, to give tenants security and limit rent hikes.
- Improve protections against rogue landlords through mandatory licensing.
- Introduce a scheme that will pay the tenancy deposit for renters under 30
- “Promote” 3+ year tenancies
- Cap rent increases at the same rate of inflation
- Introduce mandatory licencing for all landlords
So there you have it. What are your thoughts?
I personally won’t waste my time picking holes in individual pledges, mostly because, as said, I don’t think they carry much weight. All they really do is provide a vague idea of what each party’s vision is and how they would handle specific issues in an ideal situation, other than that, it’s all marketing guff, completely lacking clarity; half of the ‘promises’ will never see the light of day. But why would they? It’s not like anyone is held accountable when stuff doesn’t get done. Infuriating.
So while scrutinising the specifics of a potentially large pile of bullshit is off the table, I’ll happily share my more general thoughts on the state of politics today. Bear with, kindly.
Politicians are the jack of all trades and the master of none!
Whenever I hear the latest revolutionary ideas that politicians are pitching to reform the private housing sector, I’m usually filled with utter despair and have this raging urge to shake the imbecile in charge, while screaming are you a fucking moron? Moron!
Because, more often than not, it’s obvious that the [well-intended] proposals haven’t been processed by minds’ with real and practical experience with in the sector, but rather, idealistic muppets, observing from the sidelines, and prodding around for quick fixes. Apparently they know best about something they have virtually zero hands-on experience with.
Are you an experienced landlord? No? Then why on God’s green earth are you meddling with shit you don’t understand, dick-face?
Some of the policies that have been introduced over the years have been impractical steaming piles of turd at best, and some of the new pledges seem to be sticking to a similar pattern, in my opinion.
The private rental sector is being gagged and suffocated, I just can’t work out if it’s intentional, or down to oblivious incompetence.
Why Politicians make it impossible for me (and probably everyone else, too)!
I’ve heard people say that politics has recently taken a butt-ugly turn for the worst, particularly since Brexit (the issue I believe most people will be basing their vote on). Apparently it’s never been so “vicious”
I don’t know how accurate that is, but I’m sure there’s always been elements of back-stabbing, deceit, corruption, and blow-jobs in exchange for promotions. Maybe it has gotten worse over recent times.
All I can say is that RIGHT NOW, in this moment, I’m wholly uninspired by politics.
I’ve been sitting here for the last 20mins or so, being distracted by the remarkable deterioration of a poor sod working in Costa Coffee, whose clearly been left in the lurch by his colleagues, probably to have a fag break out back, to deal with more customers than he’s equipped to manage, while also trying to string together the right words to explain why exactly I find politics excruciatingly painful.
Then, perhaps by fate, as I was driving to my next destination – grateful not to be swamped by caffeine vampires – I heard a sound-byte from LBC playing in the background, highlighting exactly what I’ve been miserably failing to articulate on my own.
The clip was of Sajid Javid, physically unable to answer whether or not he would use the same language as Boris Johnson when he described veil-wearing Muslim women looking like “letter-boxes” and “bank robbers”.
Javid, of course, was patting himself on the back, because he was under the ridiculous impression that he actually answered the question and passed with flying colours.
He wasn’t even close.
In fact, I wonder if he even heard the question properly based on his psychotic response.
Sadly, I managed to find a video of the debacle. It’s a tough listen.
“I-I- I think I’ve answered the question”
No, you fucking didn’t, you blubbering dip-shit. What planet are you on? Grab your balls out of your wife’s Michael Kors purse and answer the binary question! ALL I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU IS EITHER A “YES” OR “NO”, OTHERWISE GET YOUR SHINY MUG OUT OF MY FACE!!!
But that’s politics summed up, isn’t it? Asshole A protects Asshole B, because Asshole A is only interested in serving his/her own best interest by climbing the ladder.
Actually, scratch what I said earlier: my poor ears being subjected to this garbage wasn’t “fate”, it was down to favourable odds.
This isn’t a direct attack against Sajid Javid, BoJo, the Tory party, or the actual subject matter he was discussing, it’s just a perfect symbol of why I struggle with politics in general. All the parties do it; they either blatantly lie, or they tap dance and side-step around issues, effectively treating us like WE’RE the morons.
The most sadistic aspect about this entire pantomime is the part where politicians pretend to empathise with the public’s obvious lack of trust in them, but then continue pulling the same shit. Over and over again!
It’s insanity, and it’s making it rather difficult to pick a side.
To clarify, I don’t think EVERY individual involved in politics is insufferable. On a human level, outside of politics, I’m sure I could partake in clay pigeon shooting, discuss tax evasion loopholes, and drink fine brandy with most politicians and experience a very profitable and pleasant day.
Who am I going to vote for?
I genuinely don’t know yet. I don’t find any of the options particularly appealing for various reasons (not just from a Landlord’s perspective), and I think many people feel the same.
What I will say is this, though: I’m not loyal to any one party, and I never vote on a single issue. For example, just because I’m a landlord that will be heavily impacted by any reform to the private housing sector – more so than any other reform, probably – I won’t gift my vote to the party with the most landlord-friendly manifesto.
I usually vote for the party that is most in line with my personal morals at the time, and the party that I believe will help the many, not the few (even if the ‘few’ includes myself). Generally speaking, I am left-leaning, but I’m not scared to bend in other directions if doing so reflects my morals.
I’ve read through several dozen landlord forums over the previous few months, where fearful landlords have made it clear that they won’t be voting for a particular party because their pledges could negatively impact their rental business.
I understand the fear; self-preservation is important. No judgement from me.
But personally, I’ve always believed that a rising tide lifts all boats.
Whatever happens, we’re in this together, and that makes me feel sexy! Love & Peace xoxo
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.