Mr Osborne has quit being a landlord because:
“It’s not nice to profit from someone else’s need to sleep somewhere. I think it’s wrong some landlords have strings of properties. It restricts supply, and tenants have very few rights, or aren’t aware of rights they do have.”
Unlike many landlords and their representatives, Mr Osborne is honest about:
- The conditions some tenants face :
“You hear all kinds of horror stories, such as three months’ rent in advance, or houses let out that aren’t safe but if tenants say anything they’re evicted.”
- The favourable tax treatment he received:
“I was quite surprised by how much I could set against tax and that was without hiring a flashy accountant, so I probably could’ve claimed more. The tax rules were, believe me, very generous.”
He took his responsibilities seriously and when he asked his tenants to move on gave them six months notice, when two would have done.
It’s a shame he’s quit being a landlord. Who knows who lets out the home he once owned and on what terms.
Most renters have had a range of experiences with landlords – many have had dreadful experiences; unsafe homes, nicked deposits, last minute evictions. Most have had good experiences with trustworthy landlords.
The problem is that you just don’t know what you’ll get when you sign the tenancy, and that’s why we need better regulation and better enforcement of the rules we have.
Such regulation wouldn’t impose any extra costs and duties on landlords like Patrick Osborne, who provide a safe and secure home for the longer term anyway. It would force the others out of the market or get them to up their game.
Even The Economist agrees that:
When demand outstrips supply against a background of profound housing need, tough action is required.
If that bastion of the free-market thinks state action is needed, then Grant Shapps’ charge that regulation is red tape can hardly stick. His views on the situation for private renters are increasingly divorced from reality:
“I am satisfied that the current system strikes the right balance between the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords … the Government has no plans to create any burdensome red tape and bureaucracy.”