After years of treading softly, pretending to not want to legislate against landlords. Pretending to want to work with us to provide a better private rental sector they have finally shown their true colours. Just like every Labour administration since the war.
They don't like landlords and want to beat us into submission with legislation. Why? Because it's good for us! Because it's good for communities, society, tenants. No! What it's really about is the fact that they can say to the electorate that they are doing something and hope to snatch the odd vote from poorly informed tenants and Labour supporters who love to see landlords get a good kicking!
HMO properties to require planning permission
The latest announcement is that the government have decided to require every landlord that wants to let a property to 3 or more unrelated tenants to apply for planning permission. For a change of use from a single dwelling to a HMO property requiring an application that will cost a minimum of £335, that before adding in the potential fees for employing an agent. This is simply outrageous; a tax on landlords. The legislation in unenforceable and will lead to huge uncertainty to landlords looking to buy property and rent out to multiple tenants. What do you do buy a property and then hope to get planning permission or make the purchase conditional on permission being granted. How many landlords and investors will now be put off buying property and providing much needed rental accommodation?
Extension of HMO licensing powers
Not only is the government bringing in new planning controls on HMO properties but they also want to increase the powers given to local authorities to require landlords to obtain licenses for HMO properties in certain designated areas. So called licensing through the back door.
Finally, the third part of the attack on landlords is the Housing and Planning Minister John Healey's reiteration of the Government's intention to bring in a mandatory licence for all landlords. A useless bit of paper, an attack on a fundamental right of property ownership and a tax on being a landlord and letting property.
Landlord Associations deluding themselves
We have seen and heard from the various landlord associations the NLA and RLA about their work lobbying Ministers 'behind the scenes'. Persuading and influencing. Rubbish! They may be well intentioned but they delude themselves as the latest developments prove. You will never make this leopard change their spots. Labour don't like landlords! Fundamentally they don't understand the concept of the little man, working hard, saving and investing and providing for their future. We should all be part of some big corporate machine, controlled, ordered, beholden to the Government.
In yesterdays announcement, the government drew up the battle lines on it's war on landlords.
Landlords in May you have your chance to fight back!