Sunday, 12 January 2014

Rein In Those Wilsons.

I’m battling with feeling peeved that it took some media outlets years to wake up to the fact that renting is frequently horrific. I’m pleased for the publicity, feeling vindicated, but equally certain that so much of this new outrage stems from publicity surrounding the vile ,self-satisfied, smug, greedy, pompous, self-entitled, self-justified Wilsons and their ‘…but we have to raise the rents.’

I often wonder, why must rents rise. Is it necessity? Is it the expense of running and managing property? No. It’s done because of high demand, which is blatant profiteering. But you can’t get away with it everywhere.

Rents rose fastest on an annual basis in London, where they increased by 4.4%, followed by the south-west (3.4%) and the south-east (3.2%). Rents fell by 5.5%, or an average of £42, in eastern England, 2.8% in the West Midlands, and 2% in the north-east, Yorkshire and the Humber. Most of Scotland is falling in real terms, too – except Edinburgh

They’re not rocketing up where unemployment is high, is the basic fact here. So here’s the issue, the mammoth in the room - rent control.

Rent control is what we need. Labour are against it, as are Shelter. But rent control is essential, to stop rentiers thumbing their noses at reason, and indulging their rapacious acquisitive natures. The odious Wilson’s insist it is their feudal right to charge as much as they see fit, not because of their own costs or any justifiable need, but because they want more money. Rents rise because of a degenerate, over-arching desire for profit, not because of the need to cover necessary prices involved in letting homes – not even interest rates, and rises outstrip inflation.

Before the usual suspects whine that renting was stagnating in the 80’s, that was because of the large amount of owners and the reasonable price of home-owning – more owner-occupiers means less tenants, so lower rents. Buying the first of several homes cost just 2.5 of the average income, and wages were higher with bills much lower in comparison.

But here’s the point. These buildings are homes. Vital, essential, necessary homes for people to live in, not holiday cottages, or your pied-a-terre in the city. It’s a home.

When people can’t afford a home, or worse- nobody will let to them, then where will they live? The streets, that’s where, and homelessness, actual rough sleeping is on the rise.

Certain property ‘professionals’ are delighted by the rise in rents. They forget that increasing rents because of demand is profiteering. When house-building gets under way the likes of the Wilsons will get their richly deserved come-uppance. They lord it over people’s lives, masters of their security, peace and fate. Worse still dubious, flaky wealth-on-paper has made them judgemental. They don’t understand that they benefited from state ‘hand-outs’ – the Wilsons are the scroungers, not their benighted tenants.

Meanwhile note to the odious, rent profiteering Wilsons – local housing allowance is paid one month in arrears, even before Universal Credit/Cockup is introduced.

But then, those Wilsons resemble Edward and Tubbs from The League of Gentleman, which keeps me smiling. I take my fun where I can at times like this.


Anonymous said...

Penny ,once again open questions .

You let us all know where you think people should live ,come on!

I know what I think what do you think

You know we love you lads here at Ooops ! However this blog is as self contradictory as many of the articles prints in the Guardian and independant last week .

At least the mail remained consistent strangely enough.

Simon PLD

RenterGirl said...

Not contradictory. More quality social homes asap - on brownfield/landbanked sites. Then reualte private sector rentiers until they squeal.

RenterGirl said...

Se this, too -

Anonymous said...

Nice link to the ShelterCymru site.

But they've forgot to mention the biggest reason for the failure of licensing;

Fact: Good landlords comply, Rogue landlords don't bother.

Useless beaurocracy that diverts attention from the real problem.

Regards, HB Welcome.

RenterGirl said...

So you don't enact regulation or laws because they are broken by those it is intended to stop? So let's abolish convictions for: murder, fraud, assault...

The real problem is that all too often, bad landlords can act with impunity, keep the property and, well - just keep on.

The Wilson's are notorious for: retaliatory evictions, trying to keep deposits in at least one case I know of, being patronising (telling one tenant they planned to evict - she was in work, but getting help with her rent - that they would 'tell the council she was a good girl.) I must admit, if they weren't so utterly awful in every way, I might not find them so terrible.

Anon Landlord said...

I am a landlord. I don't agree with the Wilson's, but they are right to evict tenants who are in arrears, but not those whose rent it up-to-date.

Incidently, the Wilson' own a brand new housing estate, so they giving new well insulated housing to their tenants.

I have tenants on housing benefit. The rent is below market rent. Yet instead of landlords been thanked in the media; we are been attacked. You hear things like 'taxpayers subsidize the landlord'. So why should landlords take on housing benefit tenants?. People can't have their argument both ways.

Let us remember, the government froze housing benefit in 2012 and then in 2013 increased it by 1%. So what is the point of Rent Control?.

The Wilsons say 50% of their housing benefit are in arrears. That is a serious and valid point.

The Government changed the rules in 2008, the Government introduced the LHA system and started paying house benefit directly into the tenants bank account, rather then to the landlord or letting agency.

The tenants did not pay the rent and instead spent the money on other things.

Here is the thing, if a tenant did not declare income from casual work. They would face fraud charges.

When a HB tenant, keeps the housign benfit money, they don't need to declare this to the housing benefit, nor will they treat this as unauthorised income.

I have a tenant who complained to me the boiler is not working, so I have to find the money for that repair, despite the fact, I am owed £4,500. The hope of recovery is zero.

If I evict the tenant, it will be another £800 in Court fees.

It has taken 5 years, for the LHA policy to catch up, and this is why landlords don't want housing benefit tenants anymore.

Councils and Housing Association get their rent directly. It just shows the games that are been played against landlords.

RenterGirl said...

Whenever rentiers read this blog, then complain it ignores landlords, I say - look at the name. This site is for by and about the needs of... renters. The lowering of housing benefit affects where tenants can live. You say the vile Wilson have bought 'an estate.' They're millionaires. Like all landlords, they call their work 'a business' but don't much like the risk. I have no sympathy. Try posting on landlord blogs if thats what you want.

The lha ravtes were lwoered because of a misguided attempt to control rising rents. It hasn't, and never will work.

space cadet said...

Why should HB go direct to private landlords who will happily throw you out as soon as you tell them?

This point alone just demonstrates how messed up the whole system is. As for court costs, you have insurance for that.

Landlords call it a business and want thanking aswell - you can't have that both ways.

Anonymous said...

Space cadet ...
Insurance will not cover social tenants .
Economics dictate that the best tenants have lower rents .
It seems wrong but but credit worthy people don't need wonga....

Anonymous said...

The Wilson's will prove a very very important point
The dog survives without its fleas the fleas will not survive without the dog

Arnie from Newington said...

From reading the comments section of the Guardian the view from the left is:

If you rent a property to a housing benefit tenant then you are building an empire funded by the taxpayer and so you are an unpleasant person.

If you don't rent your propety to housing benefit tenants then you are discriminating and therefore an unpleasant person. (One person even suggested that housing benefit tenants were a race).

The truth is that the left fundamentally dislike landlords and will seize on any opportunity to paint them as the bad guy.

If rent control was brought in I and other landlords would sell up double quick and the supply of properties available to rent would decrease dramatically.

I suspect that this would make the current housing crisis 10 times worse even Shelter can see that.

RenterGirl said...

Anon? WT actually F do you mean? Tenants will be housed, eventually, when there's a large expansion in social housing. The Wilson's greed will probably never be punished, except when their profiteering is punished when increased supply defeats their greed.
Arnie - you really haven't been missed. No. Landlords probably won't sell up. If they do, it will be caused by insolvency and their property will be bought by people to lives in as homes, not piggy banks.

Anonymous said...


I don't think landlords would sell up, in the very unlikely event of rent control being introduced. They'd just work around it.

Additionally, landlords would become far more discerning about their choice of tenant: Secure well paid job, home owning guarantors, no pets, gold plated pension, traceable landlord references, upstanding member of the community etc, etc.

The Wilsons refusing housing benefit tenants would only be the start of it.

If you were receiving any form of benefits, had an alternative lifestyle, worked freelance, no assets, no guarantor, previous debts, then you could forget the Utopia of a nice rent controlled, well maintained tenancy.

Plenty of mini-Rachmans would spring up to cater for that booming market.

Even Shelter have thought that one through.

Regards, HB Welcome

Barney from Newington said...

The problem with housing benefit tenants is that there are four parties to the contract, the landlord, the tenant, local government and national government.

In this case it is the behaviour of national government that is jeapordising some of the tenants homes.

Universal Credit is a good idea to get people of benefits however the tests have revealed that tenants are not paying over money to landlords (predominately social landlords such as Housing Associations).

It is also a fact that if Universal Credit fails then the problem will be for the landlord to sort out.

The Wilsons quite rightly are saying I don't fancy that (expecting people to fulfil their side of the agreement is not greed).

This is their right however the problem is that housing benefit tenants are a long term committment and policy makers need to be very careful not to spook landlords.

To avoid this any changes to housing benefit should have been brought in for new tenants only and it is therefore wisdom in policy making that is required not rent controls.

Rent controls v Open Market Rent is like East Germany v West Germany, China v Taiwan or North Korea v South Korea. It has been tried before and failed but the intellectuals will always compare the market with an ideal, then find when they get there way that the ideal is unattainable in practice.

RenterGirl said...

Oh please, when you mention North Korea as evidence regarding anything involving regulation, it's the equivalent of Godwin's Law.

The Wilson's are unqualified, untrained, and unrestrained by any regulation. They raise the rents because they want to, not because they must.

Beware - your stupid obsession with Shelter (who I do not always agree with, but who do amazing work protecting people) will be deleted.

Anonymous said...

It's easy to get rid of benefit claimants or criminals give them all a business to run if they make it pay in eighteen months fine if not they get shot.
Maybe this should apply to journo's who haven't a clue how the real world works because they have not got the drive or ambition to do anything other than take a pay packet of someone else who has.

Barney from Newington said...

Typical leftist obsession with regulation and qualifications which are completely irrelevant in this situation.

My understanding is that the Wilsons were school teachers so I am sure that they are fit and proper persons.

At the end of the day they made a logical decision that was theirs to make.

As I said before they can't win whether they accept benefit tenants or not and IMO the fault in this case is with national government rather than the Wilsons.

I would add that I have real sympathy for the tenants who have paid their rent on time and are now having to find somewhere else to live.

RenterGirl said...

Nobody should be allowed to be a rentier without proper training, licensing under theat of forfeiting their property should they try actual criminal behaviour ie wrongful eviction/causing death (amazingly this is not currently the case). Many rentiers are rank amateurs. Being a teacher does not ensure that the vile Wilson's are suitable. Their decision is the latest in a long line of problems they cause, and bad treatment endured by their benighted tenants. Everyone feels for their evicted tenants. But that isn't going to help.