REVEALED: What new housing secretary Michael Gove thinks about landlords

New Housing Secretary Michael Gove could have landlords’ and letting agents’ backs judging by his previous form ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - REVEALED: What new housing secretary Michael Gove thinks about landlords | LandlordZONE.

REVEALED: What new housing secretary Michael Gove thinks about landlords

New Housing Secretary Michael Gove could have landlords’ and letting agents’ backs judging by his previous form during Commons debates.

The Whitehall big-hitter has previously voted to phase out secure tenancies for life and not to ban letting agents charging tenants, or prospective tenants, fees in recent years, and has also voted to reduce the basic rate of capital gains tax.

During a debate on the, Gove defended landlords, saying: “The Minister could not offer us any evidence because there is no robust evidence that landlords are wilfully depressing their balance sheets and turning away eager tenants simply out of perversity or idleness.”

And in a debate about overcrowding in the housing sector he said: “We also need to recognise that private landlords can play a significant part in meeting housing need.”

During his failed bid to lead the Conservative party in 2016, the former Cabinet Secretary and key Brexiteer pledged to build a swathe of social rented housing.

Housebuilding

Gove called for a “national ambition” to build hundreds of thousands of homes a year, both private and socially rented.

Back in 2007 – while Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government, Housing and Planning – he had promised that a Conservative government would massively push up the housebuilding target from the 200,000 homes a year pledged by the then Labour administration.

However, this enthusiasm for house-building doesn’t seem to translate to his own constituency of Surrey Heath where he has a record of objecting to new developments.

In 2019, he declared he was “deeply concerned” about plans to build a 1,500-home garden village on the site of Fairoaks airport, while in October 2020 he spoke out against a scheme in Bagshot for 44 homes, almost half of which were to be affordable, complaining it would “alter the character of the village for the worse”. Both schemes got the go-ahead.

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - REVEALED: What new housing secretary Michael Gove thinks about landlords | LandlordZONE.

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EXCLUSIVE: Landlords and agents ‘wrongly rejecting’ Hong Kong visa holders

London Assembly members have raised concerns that landlords and letting agents in the capital are wrongly rejecting ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - EXCLUSIVE: Landlords and agents ‘wrongly rejecting’ Hong Kong visa holders | LandlordZONE.

EXCLUSIVE: Landlords and agents ‘wrongly rejecting’ Hong Kong visa holders

London Assembly members have raised concerns that landlords and letting agents in the capital are wrongly rejecting British National Overseas (BNO) visa holders – who at the moment are largely those arriving from Hong Kong.

Hackney councillor Seb Moema (pictured) says there is anecdotal evidence that landlords and agents aren’t aware of the BNO visa and are denying people permission to rent – despite Hong Kong citizens having the right to live, work and study in the UK.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says he shares concerns that the Home Office’s hostile environment creates barriers for Londoners to access their rights and entitlements.

He told members he has raised the issue with the National Residential Landlord Association (NRLA) and the Mayor’s Private Rented Sector Partnership, which brings together officers responsible for enforcing against rogue landlords and letting agents.

Khan added: “My officers are continuing to seek opportunities to publicise the rights of BNO visa holders and others impacted by Right to Rent checks.”

An NRLA spokesman says it has long held concerns about the.

He says: “Above all, landlords should not have to cover for the failures caused by those responsible for policing the country’s borders. However, whilst it remains in force, landlords must carry out checks fairly and understand the various documents, including BNO visas for those from Hong Kong, that entitle a holder to rent property in the UK.” 

Right to rent

Earlier this year, former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told landlords that both BNO status holders and their eligible family members with a BNO visa, or those granted Leave Outside the Rules (LOTR) at the border, have the right to rent in the UK.

“A landlord can offer a 12-month assured shorthold tenancy to someone who has been granted LOTR for six months. Right to Rent ensures that those with time-limited leave are not prevented from accessing the private rented sector, by having an ‘eligibility period’ which provides a landlord with a defence against a civil penalty.”

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - EXCLUSIVE: Landlords and agents ‘wrongly rejecting’ Hong Kong visa holders | LandlordZONE.

Source : Landlord Zone More   

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