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Graham Awards


Broker says Renters Reform Bill not the threat some believe

The head of a specialist buy to let mortgage broker has controversially told landlords that the scrapping of Section 21 eviction powers may not be a bad thing.

Gavin Richardson, the managing director of Mortgages for Business, says speculation in recent days suggested several Conservative Whips had rebelled, causing the Bill to be delayed in the second reading - although the government itself vigorously denies this.

In a statement Richardson says: "I want to reassure the whips that we don’t think the reforms will prove to be that bad for landlords.  First, sensible landlords — even those working in the Conservative whips' office — rarely turf out good tenants who pay their rent as they want them to stick around. 


“So this reform will disproportionately hit the minority of bad landlords who have abused Section 21 notices, rather than the reputable end of the market.

“Second, tenancies can still be ended if there has been a breach of the tenancy by the tenant. And the government has said it will introduce a new Ombudsman to settle disputes between tenants and landlords without the need to go to court. The government has also promised to digitise the courts’ agenda ahead of these reforms to ensure a swift resolution to these cases.  That will speed up processes where possession cases require them.

“Third, the whips will always be able to end a tenancy if they plan to move back in or sell it — that was the real danger of this reform, anything that inadvertently risked landlords’ ability to realise the value of their housing assets through disposal.”

Richardson goes on to says that the loss of full tax relief on mortgage interest payments for individual landlords, and the stamp duty surcharge on additional property property purchases, were far more significant for landlords than the Renters Reform Bill.

He continues: “The fact that the whips are nervous is understandable, given their own government's rhetoric. I don’t think for a moment that Section 21 exacerbated homelessness as one Tory communities secretary has claimed.  

“The government has needlessly spooked landlords — including their own backbenchers — in a bid to curry favour with tenants.”

A total of 87 MPs of all parties declared income from 167 homes providing more than £10,000 in rental earnings in the last year, according to research conducted by campaign group 38 Degrees this year.


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