Posts with tag: Michael Gove

Government called on to clarify if help for private renters will include students

Published On: November 10, 2022 at 11:35 am


Categories: Lettings News,Tenant News

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The Government has been called on to clarify whether students will be included in plans to support renters through the cost of living crisis.

The founder of Very Wise Student points out that the Government has suggested support might be on the way for renters unable to afford rents, which have risen 16% this year, but there is no suggestion so far that this support will extend to struggling students.

Speaking on the BBC recently, Housing Secretary Michael Gove stated: ”We know people in the private rented sector and in the social rented sector are facing tough times. We are looking at a range of options to help them. It could mean targeted support for all sorts of people who are in difficulty. 

“Rent is going to be one of the challenges people will face… There are different ways of supporting people, whether that’s through Universal Credit, the tax system, or direct support.

Last month, the Scottish parliament passed emergency legislation designed to protect tenants hit by the cost of living crisis that freezes rents until at least the end of March 2023.

Rightmove’s Q3 2022 figures report the national average for asking rent has increased 11% year-on-year (excluding Greater London). The average asking rent for Greater London has increased 16.1% year-on-year.

Very Wise Student’s own analysis has indicated that students spend 76% of their income on renting.

Ajay Jagota, founder of Very Wise Student, comments: “The impact of the cost of living crisis on students all-too-often goes under the radar, but they are in exactly the same position as other private renters, facing rising rents with restricted budgets which are already having to stretch further and further with every passing day.

“If the Government is going offer support to renters, that support has to come in a way which applies to those in student accommodation – and if that support comes through Universal Credit or the tax system it must be mindful that students may not benefit from it.

“At Very Wise Student we’re seeing a steep spike in demand for our services – and that will come as no surprise to people who have seen pictures like the ones on national news of students in Durham queuing up overnight to try and find homes. A shortage of student accommodation is likely to force students into the arms of unscrupulous and uncaring landlords and letting agents peddling unsafe and unsanitary homes.

“Very Wise Student helps all student renters get access to legal justice. Whatever the issue is with their rented student housing we will take up the issue directly with their landlord or agent – and if all this extra pressure is really getting on top of them, we can help with emotional support too.”

Gove’s cladding plans are ‘based on lazy and false assumptions’

Published On: February 23, 2022 at 10:01 am


Categories: Landlord News,Property News

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Government plans to end the cladding scandal are based on lazy and false assumptions that individual landlords are property tycoons, says the NRLA.

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has released this warning, following comments made by Housing Secretary Michael Gove to the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee.

Speaking to MPs on the Committee, the Secretary of State reiterated that private landlords who rent out more than one leasehold property will not be covered by the Government’s commitment that no leaseholder should have to pay to address dangerous cladding. He argued that this was because he did not want to support those who already had ‘significant means’ to pay for remedial action themselves. Mr Gove further admitted that the Government’s plans are not perfect.

The NRLA says his comments mean that whilst multi-millionaires owning and living in a single luxury penthouse would be covered by the Government’s plans, landlords renting out more than one property for a pension would not be.

According to the Government’s most recent English Private Landlord Survey, 94% of private landlords rent property as an individual. It also states that 44% became a landlord to contribute to their pension.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, comments: “Michael Gove’s previous comments about ending the scandal of leaseholders paying to remove dangerous cladding now ring hollow.

“This is not about who does and does not have the means to pay. It is about fairness. No leaseholder, irrespective of how many properties they own, should be expected to foot the bill for dangerous and illegal cladding installed by someone else.”

“The Government needs to wake up to an injustice of its own making and make amends now.”

Government cladding removal plans are causing confusion for landlords

Published On: February 2, 2022 at 12:38 pm


Categories: Landlord News,Property News

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Government plans to rectify dangerous cladding are riddled with confusion and risk needless delays to addressing the problem, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) warns.

In January 2022, Housing Secretary Michael Gove announced plans to force developers to pay for remedial action to tackle dangerous cladding on buildings between 11 and 18 metres high.

In the same announcement, he argued that leaseholders should not be expected to foot the bill. However, Ministers have now admitted that they have yet to decide if buy-to-let landlords will be included within the scheme.

In a parliamentary answer, the Housing Minister has confirmed that those who sublet properties because they cannot sell them due to dangerous cladding will be included in the Government’s scheme. But he also stated that a decision about extending it to buy-to-let landlords has yet to be taken.

The NRLA is warning that the Government’s plans are not treating all leaseholders equally. In the process, they also risk delaying remedial work on dangerous cladding as the Government seeks to understand who may be an accidental or buy-to-let landlord.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, comments: “It makes no sense to be treating leaseholders who are landlords so differently to owner-occupiers. Both groups have faced the same problems, and both should be treated equally. We are calling on the Government to rectify this injustice as a matter of urgency.”

The NRLA is campaigning on behalf of landlords such as Ian Davies in Cardiff.

Ian owns one rental property, a flat he purchased on the fifth floor of a six-storey building six years ago to support his pension. Since then, it has been revealed that the building is covered with flammable timber cladding panels and the whole block has compartmentation issues.

As a result, the six-monthly management fee he pays has increased from £700 to £3,000, completely outweighing his rental income.  Ian has expressed serious concerns about the lack of support for residential landlords along with the rising costs of service charges and waking watch expenses.

UK landlords call to Gove as new Housing Minster to treat them fairly

Published On: September 23, 2021 at 8:07 am


Categories: Landlord News

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Following Michael Gove’s appointment as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, a survey from online lettings company reveals reactions from landlords.

Calls for landlords to be treated fairly topped the list of priorities, followed by a desire to see Gove deal with rogue landlords. Many landlords are also keen for the return of mortgage interest relief and to avoid too much legislation.

Just 10% of landlords agreed with the appointment of Gove as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, compared to 23% who disagreed with it and 67% who were ambivalent.

Jonathan Daines, Founder and CEO,, comments: “Clearly, the new Housing Minister has some way to go to convince landlords that he is the right person for the job. There’s an opportunity here to tackle rogue landlords head on and support the private rented sector to flourish through the fair and appropriate treatment of both landlords and tenants. Landlords will be watching and waiting to see how well Michael Gove rises to the challenge.”

Of those surveyed, only 11% felt that he would, while 36% felt that he would not. The remaining 52% were unsure.

The survey highlights the scale of Gove’s need to win over hearts and minds when it comes to establishing himself in the housing sector.

Daines comments: “Many of those providing much-needed rental homes seem to be reserving their judgement, creating both an opportunity and a challenge for Michael Gove.

“The UK continues to be desperately short of homes, while landlords have been on a tumultuous ride in terms of government-induced financial changes over the past few years. Given the impact of those changes, it is perhaps unsurprising that so many landlords are on the fence about whether Gove will be prepared to fight their corner.”