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Monday, March 30, 2015

Would subletting changes be fair to landlords?

One of the little known items for discussion about the private rental sector coming out of the Budget was hidden away on page 51 under para 1.193 relating proposals for the "Sharing Economy".  Sounds wonderful in the abstract:

1.193. The government wants to ensure that Britain is the global centre for the sharing
economy, enabling individuals and businesses to make the most of their assets, resources,
time and skills through a range of online platforms. This Budget therefore announces a
comprehensive package of measures that will break down barriers, create opportunities
for sharing, and unlock the potential of this dynamic and growing area. Building on the
recommendations of the independent review of the sharing economy, the government will:
However, the specific proposal for the buy-to-let sector and landords is far more sinister.  The Government proposal wants to:
make it easier for individuals to sub-let a room through its intention to legislate
to prevent the use of clauses in private fixed-term residential tenancy agreements
that expressly rule out sub-letting or otherwise sharing space on a short-term
basis, and consider extending this prohibition to statutory periodic tenancies
This proposal undermines the primacy of the landlord as owner of their property and the one who controls occupation of their buy-to-let.  The reality is that as a landlord you do not want to let your property to X and then get tenant Y.  It disregards the whole basis of a tenancy agreement where a landlord goes through a careful process of vetting and selecting a tenant to ensure that the tenancy will work for both tenant and landlord. 

The reality is that this bit of hair brain thinking from civil servants makes interesting reading in the context of a budget document but would never stand up to the riggers of examination by legislators as it stands in complete opposition to the basic rule of law on property ownership.

Not even the Labour Party could come up with a more unworkable piece of legislation.

The worrying thing for landlords is if having let the 'genie out of the lamp' Ed & Ed adopt it as their own.

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1 comment:

Georgina said...

When I heard about this I emailed my MP, who is tory and in spite of Parliament now being dissolved he has given me his assurance that if he is elected he will vote against any legislation that disadvantaged landlords this way.

I would suggest that landlords should do as I have done and contact their MP, regardless of party and urge them not to support such legislation.

They may lie to get your vote, but if you don't speak up you may regret it.