29 04 2015

Nationwide property lettings specialist, Belvoir, attacks ‘flawed’ policies

Labour’s pledge to introduce Draconian new policies in the private residential property sector could result in up to one million tenants losing their homes.

That’s the hard-hitting message issued today by Belvoir, one of the country’s largest and most respected property lettings and management companies.

“In a series of measures designed to appeal to housing tenant voters, Ed Miliband claims to be on their side by curbing rent increases, capping rents and abolishing letting agent fees,” says Belvoir’s Commercial Director, Dorian Gonsalves.

“But these, alongside several other extremely flawed policies such as making landlords commit to three-year tenancies, will prove catastrophic since they will force many landlords out of the private rented sector – sparking a housing crisis.”

There are currently 11 million people renting homes in the UK. This equates to 20 per cent of the population and includes 1.5 million families with children.

“We know that many decent and ethical landlords are starting to tire of being branded ‘rip off’ operators,” he added. “In our experience, this could not be further from the truth. Whilst they do expect a reasonable return on their investment, professional landlords also play a crucial part in the nation’s economy and wellbeing by providing quality housing for people who either want to rent, or need to rent, a home on a long term basis.

“Labour’s proposals are being promoted and positioned as ‘anti-landlord’ when in fact, they will prove to be ‘anti-tenant’ should they be adopted.
“Faced with increasing costs, including the possibility of future mortgage rises, increased legislation and the possibility of not even meeting their total overheads, many thousands of landlords will decide to sell up.

“If just 10 to 15 per cent of all professional landlords leave the private rented sector it will throw the sector into chaos. Up to a million tenants could lose their homes. Instead of raising housing standards and providing increased tenant security, the exact opposite will happen.

“At a time when there is already a severe housing shortage in Britain, the Labour Party does not appear to have shown a thorough understanding of the private rented sector, or considered the wider issues.”

Alejandra Garcia who owns the Hanley office in Stoke-on-Trent, adds: “As independent lettings agents we strive to uphold the very highest of standards and do not set out to promote any one particular political party. Our sole concern is to ensure that both landlord and tenants’ interests are fully safeguarded and protected.

“We feel we have a duty to speak out when we believe that such flawed policies could cause long lasting damage to people’s lives. Rather than be confrontational, we want to work with any future Government to bring about on-going positive reform and regulation of the entire private rented housing sector.

“The only way to provide true tenant security is to treat them with honesty and respect and provide a quality service at a fair and reasonable price.

“If these policies and plans are allowed to go through they will cause irreparable damage and unnecessary misery for tenants and their families who are quite happy to regard a rented house as their home.”




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