‘Government policies reducing stock and driving up costs for tenants’ says landlord

mick roberts nottingham

Landlords can effectively now charge what they like as the government’s draconian policies are stifling competition, says Nottingham benefits landlord Mick Roberts.

He reckons fewer properties and tenants who are afraid to speak out are also the unintended consequences of increasing red tape.

“My long-standing tenants are often only paying 70% of the market rent, but when I get a new tenant, I’m charging what I can get, as I need to factor in all these extra costs like licensing and EPCs,” Roberts tells LandlordZONE.

“I’ll be forced to charge tenants more if I’m having to pay out £10,000 for energy efficient improvements.

“That, and the fact there are so few houses to rent around, means tenants are too scared to ask for things anymore, they’re just grateful to have a house – and I don’t just go around offering to update kitchens.”

Salutory lesson

The situation in Scotland, where rent controls are pushing up rents faster than anywhere else in the UK, is a salutary lesson, says Roberts.

“This is not down to landlords; it’s the lack of supply and I think the government is just realising that. I used to take anyone as a tenant because I knew I could get rid of them if things went wrong – a landlord needs to know they can get their house back.

“Without Section 21, that won’t happen, and you won’t get as many landlords buying houses.”

New eviction laws could be some way off though, as the Renters Reform Bill is not expected to get a second reading until the next Parliamentary session.

There are also rumours circulating that five senior Tories accused of “blocking” the new law are landlords, including chief whip Simon Hart and two senior government whips, Jo Churchill and Steve Double, according to The Mirror. However, the whips office denied the suggestion as “absurd”.

Read more: What landlords need to know about energy efficiency laws.


  1. The entire PRS was performing perfectly well until govt decided to listen to the likes of Shelter and Gen rent/social media trolls.

    We (The PRS) managed to accommodate the huge influx of Tony Blairs European citizens (Millions) whilst councils and housing associations built just a handful of properties.

    Private money can move fast and meet the changing needs of the marketplace. Govts are never that agile or motivated and charities stand on the sidelines throwing insults while housing no one.

    But private money can also move OUT of a sector at speed. Something govts simply fail to take on board.

    • You would gave thought that the Tories would consider what they did to expand the PRS to make it a stunning success which has housed millions of migrants.

      Since 2015 Govt has effectively undone all that success.

      So logically if they want that success to be repeated return to how it was prior to 2015.

      Stop bothering about what the left-wing Shelter and GR say. Just ignore them.

      BTL mortgages

      That was all that was needed for the Tory policies to create a dynamic PRS.

      The Tory policies mobilised private capital to create an industry that housed 11.9 million tenants.

      Social Housing and private housing hasn’t accommodated anywhere near that amount since 1988.

      If Govt wanted to they could restrict LTV to 50%.

      Had they done that back in 2008 I would have bought 2 rather than 4 flats.

      No big deal for me and a bit more resilience wouldn’t have been any problem for me; the opposite actually.

      Govt normally fouls everything up but you have to say with the Thatcher changes to the private rental market they have presided over a stunning success.

      So why keep digging a hole which results in the PRS collapsing!?

      Why kill an industry which does so much for the UK economy!?

      The whole point of a dynamic PRS is it gives flexibility to tenants.

      Very few tenants want to buy in their early years.

      They want the flexibility to move to different jobs in different areas.

      The PRS gives them that.

      They only need to give 1 month’s NTQ once the 6 month AST has expired.

      That is pretty flexible as far as the tenant is concerned.

      I only ever issued NTQ for feckless rent defaulting tenants.

      All the others vacated of their own accord after the 1 month NTQ.

      It seemed to work very well for the rent paying tenants!!

      Unless Govt returns to how things were prior to 2016 there will be mass tenant homelessness as LL continue to leave the sector.

      The EPC suspension won’t prevent LL from still selling up.

      It just means that they should receive good sales values as EPC’s will be off most people’s radar.

      So plenty of time to sell off to the mugs.

      • That’s it Paul, return it to how it was. Let Landlords do what they like, then we will have competition & we will have to reduce our rents & natural improvements will happen or the tenant will move up the road to next Landlord begging her.

    • U say it perfect Dave, we can move fast & buy houses quick for people too. I bought loads in 2008 when LHA actually paid decent money so the numbers added up & we housed lots of homeless. Council’s can’t do it this quick.

      And Landlords are moving out at speed now.

  2. Yes, that’s it. None of the Govt ever come & ask the tenant what they would like?
    Ooh we didn’t realise u only paying £600pm & market rent is £900pm. We thought all tenants were paying top whack after listening to @shelter & Generation rent.
    Oh I see, if we insist the Landlord spends £30,000 on heat pump, insulation etc. on a house he don’t want anyway & only keeping for u, he’s gonna’ sell isn’t he? Or put your rent up to normal levels when he is in fact looking after u cause u lived here 20 years & u din’t sign up for any of this when u moved in.
    So u will save £20pm Gas bill, but your rent will increase by £300pm. That’s if he doesn’t sell & you end up homeless & it costs the Govt & Council’s even more money. Aah we’ve not thought about this have we.

    I used to fit 6 kitchens a year, 6 bathrooms a year etc. Tenants daren’t ask for anything any more as they’ve seen all their mates come homeless cause of Landlords selling cause of all these Govt & Council attacks.

    We set dangerous precedents when someone can’t have something back that is theirs.
    So a UK citizen car hire Rental firm, plant rental, property Landlord can’t have his/her car/property back when he wants?
    They hire the car out & the person says I’m not giving it u back & the Court says the hire firm can’t have it back either, do you really think there will be any more car hire firms left? Or will the hire firm rent it out to anyone that has a License or be really picky who they hire cars out to?

    If u stop someone having their own property back, then the providers of that property will stop providing. I too disagree when it’s someone’s home for 20 years. But let’s not forget, the Landlord is human too. He gets older. When can he retire? If u made things easy, tenant could easily move to an affordable house up the road. But that Landlord is selling too & in’t taking risky tenants any more either.

    Shelter & Generation Rent, u r making it so, that tenants have nowhere to live, having the opposite effect of what u & us Landlords want.

  3. The article implies that landlord MPs shouldn’t carry any weight in their views on this sort of thing because they have a vested interest. In fact, as long as they properly declare they are landlords, they are better placed than non landlord MPs to exercise the right judgements, because they have first hand experience of the issues.

    • Yes exactly.
      They make it out as though it’s a crime for MP’s to have a rented out house. When as u say these MP’s should be shouting
      Look if u do this, Shelter and Gen rent may celebrate, but u do indeed make it more expensive for the tenant


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