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Reality check
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Reality check
A cogent piece, but nothing that hasn’t been said before. The Scottish evidence doesn’t really support the thesis, but Scotland is a different market. The reality is simple. Agents will absorb some of the cost of lost fees, passing some to landlords. That will then be added to rents in one of two ways. Where the market can stand the increase, rents will get lifted. Where the market initially can’t, some landlords will exit; that will reduce supply and then the market WILL rise there too. The thesis is correct then, that rents will rise as the market finds its new stable level. Landlords who remain will ultimately be okay. Then s21 will go. Risk to landlords will increase. Some will exit. Rents will rise again. Obvs. The two key questions are these. At what point in the rent/market rebalancing cycles does a government intervene with rent control, to mask the effect of their (all of them) total failure to address the housing supply crisis? At which point, the market structure will break down with possibly catastrophic consequences for supply. And, every time supply constricts and rents rise, some tenants at the bottom end of the affordability curve drop off. Where do they go, the marginal, ‘just about managing’, struggling to cope tenants? The ones with families who can’t sofa surf to mask the homelessness figures? What happens to that family, those children? Maybe government (all of them) will get building social housing at scale. But I doubt it and so ‘the weak suffer what they must’. Did I mention homelessness figures today..?

From: Reality check 11 May 2019 09:38 AM

Reality check
Tabloid positioning doesn’t make for good policy. Leasehold as it stands is wide open to abuse by those landlords/agents that bring the system into disrepute. But really... Conveyancer blaming agents for non-compliance with CPRs, provision of material leasehold information? Quite right; leasehold info IS material information. Selling agents need to start reading leases. So do the conveyancers, who are supposed to advise their clients.Why didn’t they advise their clients of consequences of the lease terms? Of all the professionals who should protect a client on contract terms, it should be the lawyers. Then note, 70% of leasehold buyers were using conveyancers recommended by the builder. You decide; conflict of interest with consumer harm the result? Next, can any of the experts above explain to me why commonhold is better than a leasehold structure where the leaseholders own and control their own freehold, choosing their own managing agent, deciding their own enfranchisement terms? Because commonhold has fewer protections for the individual than leasehold. Lastly, Scotland has a problem of buildings falling into disrepair because residents can’t agree how a building should be managed. Explain how to resolve that. So, can we have an informed and balanced debate, with evidence instead of opinion, on how both leasehold and commonhold should be reformed to create a robust and just system that protects the consumers. Also an examination of the roles of agents and conveyancers on the sales process?

From: Reality check 18 April 2019 10:41 AM

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