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Tory MP demands rental MOTs and compulsory landlord accreditation

A Conservative MP claims there is a major power imbalance between tenants and landlords and widespread reforms are required to stop renters being ‘left out on a limb’ because of poor property conditions.

Jo Gideon, Tory MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, says in a report by think-tank UK Onward that there are three areas of improvement urgently required. 

“First, we must ensure that adequate housing standards and living conditions are applied to the private rented accommodation, in the same way they currently apply to social housing” she says. 

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Gideon suggests this could take the form of a housing MOT that assesses the quality of private rental sector accommodation and stops poor landlords “shirking their responsibilities.”

Secondly she says landlords should be required to join a local accreditation scheme. 

“Currently, around 500 landlords in Stoke-on-Trent are part of the local accreditation scheme, but this represents a small proportion of the overall sector. The scheme needs teeth to encourage better management, quality and supply of housing in the sector.”

Thirdly, she says the imbalance between renters and landlords in general should be addressed. 

“On the one hand, many renters do not complain of poor living conditions out of fear of eviction. On the other hand, landlords need the power to acquire their property in the event of a bad tenant. The upcoming [Renters’ Reform Bill] must get the balance right for both renters and landlords and not tip too far in favour of one or the other.”

 

In her contribution to a roundtable hosted by the think-tank - alongside campaigning charity Shelter - Gideon says one of the housing issues in her constituency is what she calls ”absentee landlords.”

She adds: “The problem is that some of those landlords do not provide housing that is decent or fit for purpose. Much is old or in poor condition, and problems are often not dealt with quickly, leaving renters out on a limb. The upcoming Renters’ Reform Bill provides an opportunity to make a series of fundamental changes to fix these problems - and give my constituents a secure place to live.”

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    Some interesting points:

    "First, we must ensure that adequate housing standards and living conditions are applied to the private rented accommodation, in the same way they currently apply to social housing” - I think there are plenty of issues in social housing that need to be dealt with!

    "Secondly she says landlords should be required to join a local accreditation scheme" - happy to do this.

    "The upcoming [Renters’ Reform Bill] must get the balance right for both renters and landlords and not tip too far in favour of one or the other.”- absolutely! All the talk is about renters but if LLs are not protected from rogue tenants they will leave and the PRS will continue to shrink.

    Shelter's sledgehammer approach where all LLs are bad and all tenants are good does more harm than good. The focus should be on addressing the problem LLs without putting further burdens on the good LLs which just result in costs being passed on to tenants or LLs leaving the PRS completely. Decent LLs want the rogues pushed out of the sector too but all the time there are tenants prepared to rent substandard accommodation because of the lower cost it is hard to drive them out. This is the area where Shelter should focus is attention, not on the decent LLs who are trying to do a good job, providing decent homes to their tenants.

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    Don’t know what accreditation is all about I am not accredited at the moment just because I am not a Digital Academic capable of uploading CPD points or whatever they call them. I was accredited 3 times at Camden as well as doing the Courses to learn how to be a LL that I was doing certainly before they were born or Computers invented. I was also accredited with a LL Association so I was double accredited and now not accredited?. Virtually everything that’s wrong with housing caused by Technology people just sitting there making rules for rest of us that otherwise wouldn’t be there because they would actually have to do something called work. The location Authority’s gives you a discount on HM0 application if you are accredited but only once, to rope you in, after that no further discount for HM0’s but you are expected keep being re-accredited. Its now becoming a requirement to be a Digital Academic to be a LL or to pay yo tax, how many more eggs do we have to suck.

  • Keith  Johnson

    What ever is thrown at us ultimately the tenants or the taxpayer will pay, the costs will be passed on.....but that's never mentioned

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    Social housing needs to get it's own house in order, it would seem that's where most of the major problems are.

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    Sadly costs are not passed on, not a penny. We have taken hit after hit including expensive Licensing and all associated compliance and still on the back foot, holding our breath around Tenants its ridiculous.

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    Michael

    I think it depends on your market. I have always been able to pass on increased costs of every kind and market rents for the best properties have always soared on the back of new onerous legislation in Scotland. My rents are now between 3 and 4 times what they were in 2004 before the loony lefties in the Scottish "parliament" started to interfere in the prs.

     
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    As Andrew says, social/council housing needs to get it's house in order as well. Maybe one of her constituents could direct her to the recent ITV News reports from Croydon as an example ...

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    A few years back our biggest local HA had over 1000 expired GSIs. All they got was a mild slap on the wrist and told to get the issue sorted.

     
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    Address the problem LL, leave the good ones alone - accreditation will not address this alone and will force greater costs onto tenants. If I have to join an accreditation - and happy to do so the cost will be passed on!
    Sort out social housing standards - all my properties are way better than social housing. Social housing does not even always provide the basics such as carpeting. I can't rent a house without carpets but housing associations can. They also make tenants responsible for fencing and the such like. Remember these are generally the least well off tenants who can't afford to carpet or fence.
    Address the issues of rogue tenants instead of assuming LLs are the problem - give us the means to get rid of rogue tenants.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Property MOTs is something we have been exploring in quite considerable depth at TLIC (The Lettings Industry Council). The likes of Savills, Hunters and several other large agents, as well as small agents like myself, a raft of tech companies and an array of organisations have established what the key criteria would be (fundamentally bringing the key areas of compliance together). Currently this is just a paper form- but this would just create more paperwork. For Property MOTs to work the government needs to mandate that all regulators open their data up via an API- Property licensing, Mortgage consent, EPC rating, Gas Safety, EICR status, Deposit registration status and the such like. Enforcing this, whilst coupling it with legislation that all regulators/facilitators must also apply UPRNs to all property records, would transform the regulatory landscape overnight. Complaince could be instant- removing excuses and the human workload the remains vastly underfunded. This would be great for legitimate landlords and letting agents across the UK as the rogues would have nowhere left to hide!

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    In March I had the obligatory Electrical Certificate done. Even though I had the nly had a new electrical consumer unit/fuse box 3 years before this I had to have another new one installed as new building regs say metal fuse box case is now required. My own home has the older one with strong rigid plastic but btl must have new one. There really was nothing wrong with 3 years old one. This has resulted in me increasing the rent by £30 pcm whereas otherwise I would not. It is time pointless legislation is upgraded to make it fit for purpose. Clearly any electrical box fitted by a qualified electrician in last 5 years should be fine.

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    You don't need a metal box as long as the correct RCD protection is in place. I fell victim to paying for a new fuse box and when it came to using a different firm in a different area I was advised of this! This is a way of making you pay for unnecessary work!

     
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    Sorry Wendy but you have been had, you did not need a new metal consumer unit, all 16 of my properties still have plastic consumer units and all have past the electrical installation inspections, if a new consumer unit is fitted it has to be a fire proof one to satisfy building control, but excising consumer units do not need to be replaced so long as they are not faulty and have RCD protection, many electrical contractors have been ripping landlords here.

     
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    Hi Wendy Geraldine and Andrew are correct. I am a retired Electrician.
    The situation is :
    If you have an 18th Edition one, this will be metal and have two RCDs in it (two MCBs with push to test buttons)
    If you have an17th Edition consumer unit it will be a plastic one and have two RCDs in it (two MCBs with push to test buttons)
    If you have an 16th Edition consumer unit it will be a plastic one and have one RCD in it (one MCB with push to test button)
    All of the above will pass a EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) as long as they are NOT faulty. If any of them ARE FAULTY they must be replaced with a metal 18th Edition one. (it's highly unlikely you can buy a NEW plastic one anyway)
    I actual rent out three buy to lets one has a metal 18th Edition but the other two have plastic 17th Edition they ALL have recently passed the EICR that came in in April 2021.
    My house that I live in has a plastic 17th Edition consumer unit in it which I will NOT be changing unless it becomes dangerous.

     
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    More Landlord bashing from people who don't know what they're talking about. This MP is clearly not a Tory.

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    Yes, I have critiqued Onward reports before. They didn't, for example, understand how Section 24 works and advocated that we should not be able to offset costs of furniture in furnished lets, as 'owner-occupiers can't.'

     
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    There’s no yard stick for measuring rents in London some are getting good rents and many are not even in same roads.
    I understand regarding electric they now want metal consumer boxes but not many years ago they were telling us to use plastic ones. I believe both are safe when the screws are tightened properly, at the same time plastic is an insulator while metal is a conductor. I know which one I would prefer to accidentally touch if there was a problem with the installation.

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    I'm a retired Electrician before the Plastic ones they were PLASTIC & WOOD, before that they were METAL, before that they were WOOD & PORCELAIN.
    GOD I'M OLD

     
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    Stephen, yes mate you are old, I remember all those as well, that makes both of us old.

     
  • John  manley

    Wendy copsey, your consumer unit would have been ok if it was RCD protected which at 3 yrs old it should have been. Some electricians are are using the new rules to make money, a lot of things would pass as an advisory.

  • George Dawes

    Anything for a vote

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    • 11 May 2021 14:43 PM

    Excellent - Well done him.

    I just wonder if he realises that the extra cost of the MOT, and the Accreditation is brilliant for me and painful for the tenant.

    Because, like any business all additional costs are passed on to the consumer (i.e. The Tenant) and in my world too, as per my contracts, any unforeseen increases from any authorities or agents are passed on to the tenant at the next annual review and are back charged from the onset and onwards.
    Additionally, my deal also adds a 15% onto the cost of any of these administration issues.

    So, I make a profit and Jo Gideon punishes tenants. Smart, for me. Thanks Jo.

    Very well done "brain boy" go ahead please do, and make me even richer.

    The more ideas like that the better.

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    TC

    You sound exactly like an old much missed friend who disappeared from this site recently.

     
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    Jo Gideon MP is right there is a big imbalance between Landlord and Tenants right. Tenants have got them all and LL’s no Rights whatsoever, now that’s easy to remedy give us back our Rights, start by scrapping the Deposit Schemes, give us back our 10% wear & tear allowance, scrap Shelters ‘How to Rent nonsense. Scrap 2015 DeRegulation Act. Scrap section 24 interest Business loan ban. Reinstate section 21. Scrap 68 page so called modern Department Tenancy Agreements. Give LL back right of access in reasonable day light hours like we used to have when property was well looked after, no subletting or over crowding at all. Scrap Licensing Schemes. Scrap Article 4. That will do for a start Jo’ Gideon MP.
    Wait until I reflect on what Tenants additional rights have been impinged on during this time. Sorry there isn’t any very strange now that’s what I call an imbalance.

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    “First, we must ensure that adequate housing standards and living conditions are applied to the private rented accommodation, in the same way they currently apply to social housing”

    I take it she hasn't been watching the ITV programmes recently highlighting how abysmal social housing conditions are. At the moment we - the PRS - are the ones who are providing decent (and in some cases way above decent) accommodation while the social/council housing is absolute cr*p and the people living there are at serious risk of health issues and possibly worse.

    Come on love, live in the real world for a while and you'll see that the PRS are not the problem - it's your council run accommodation and the so-called social housing/charities - everyone points the finger at us when we're actually held to a much higher account already.

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    Headlines in my local paper today '' vulnerable tenant forced to move into a hotel due to raw sewage in flat'' oh yes and guess what ? housing association landlord ! get your social housing up to standard first .

     
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