NRLA calls on local authorities to work with private landlords to close the adapted properties gap

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has issued a call for greater co-operation between private landlords and local authorities to resolve the urgent need for more adapted private rented accommodation.

According to recent research conducted by the Social Market Foundation, the number of private rented sector (PRS) households headed by a person 65 years or older is set to double by 2046.

With this in mind the NRLA believes that now is the time for local authorities and landlords to work together to address this ongoing issue.

Taking this important step will help expand the number of adapted homes for UK disabled and older renters, ensuring an inclusive PRS which works for all.

Key to addressing these issues is clearer communication from local authorities to landlords concerning the availability of the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG), available through local authorities.

NRLA research suggests 79 percent of landlords had no knowledge of the grants. After finding out more, 68 percent of landlords were more willing to adapt their properties.

The NRLA feels this is a chance for local government to take a lead on an increasingly important issue by taking practical action now, before the UK’s adaptation challenges become even more acute.

Alongside today’s call to action the organisation is launching, along with several housing, access and adaptation specialists, guidance setting out how private landlords can consider requests for adaptations to make their properties more inclusive and accessible.

Meera Chindooroy, Deputy Director, Campaigns, Public Affairs & Policy said:

“Many tenants report they are unable to access adapted properties in the private rented sector, but at the same time, our research suggests that there has been a lack of engagement with landlords on this issue.

“The acute problems facing those with accessibility needs requires urgent attention, and it is imperative that steps are taken now to ensure that a challenge doesn’t become a crisis for the sector.

“With data from a range of sources showing the extent to which the housing market needs to respond to the UK’s ageing population, now is the time for local authorities to work with private landlords to encourage the provision of more adapted rented properties.”

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21 Comments

  1. Will2

    Local authorities have alienated a very high proportion of landlords with their manipulation such as inciting tenants to remain in possession of property until the bailiff can evict – or not at present!  We have seen years of landlord bashing. We see on the news last night how Croydon are ROGUE landlords failing to maintain the properties whilst administering and charging borough wide licensing for the money grab from the PRS.   Wholly two faced. They cannot be regarded as a suitable organisation to enforce housing regulations if they do not maintain their own stock.  Yet social housing providers do not have to comply with the same regulations. To conclude the alienation of the PRS  has left many landlords unable to trust councils and avoid them like the plague. This not working with the PRS who are the suppliers of a high percentage of housing stock in the uk.

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    1. The_Maluka

      I never take any tenants from the council, they only send the dodgy ones to the PRS.

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  2. PossessionFriendUK39

    ….   what incentive is there for a landlord to incur expense ( or even if that was funded by L.A )  to cause adaptations that would only be of use to a small minority of potential tenants, most of whom would be on UC and paid a Housing allowance element that is beneath market rent.   !

    Such an adapted property would not then be attractive to the next tenant would wouldn’t require ( or want )  those adaptations.

    Why is a Landlord representative body ‘ sucking up ‘ to the government who’ve thrown landlords under the bus with alarming frequency  ?

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    1. singlelayer

      I have had numerous adapted properties with stair lifts and actual elevators that I always offer to the LA upon their vacancy and they never come up with anyone. I end up removing these adaptations. Every single Council is so b1oody slack!
       
      Speaking of Croydon…there’s a distinct lack of coverage on industry-focussed outlets I note.

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    2. RosBeck73

      Yes, it’s quite funny when councils ask/beg us for help – and as you say, such adaptations can devalue the property/rental attractiveness, so why would most landlords agree to them?

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      1. PossessionFriendUK39

        Quite,  and my point, therefore – why would a supposed landlords membership organisation campaign for them. not in touch with Landlord sentiment or reality.

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        1. RosBeck73

          Hi PossessionFriend.
          Do you remember this was mentioned at the Wales Housing Conference (about 18 months ago) or whatever it was called? They spent the whole time harping on about tenants and their rights with no-one mentioning that private landlords might be an important part of the equation and then started on about how we should adapt our properties to those who are disabled and/or elderly?  The ‘academics’ in housing are so biased and out of touch. They don’t realise that they can’t force us to fit their agendas and fill the gaps in housing provision left by councils if they spend most of their time treating us like sh*t.

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          1. PossessionFriendUK39

            I do remember approaching CaCHE  who put on the conference and telling them straight to their  face  that they were biased against Landlords. Also, in a talk by Tom Simcock who was previously with the RLA, – he too has done a full 180 and is a real Turncoat since he’s ‘got into bed’  with the academics –  who have had Govt grants to run CaCHE.

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  3. AcornsRNuts

    A bit like the BBC have forgotten that the first B stands for British, the NRLA seem to have forgotten that the L stands for Landlords.

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  4. paulgbar666

    It may have escaped the attention of Councils that Govt is by it’s ridiculous policies seeking to force small LL out of business thereby leaving fewer rental properties available. There is also more than enough demand from able-bodied tenants. The demand from those requiring adaptions is mostly unviable as it can’t meet market rents. The remaining demand which can afford market rents won’t be in the situation of requiring adaptions. LL will not be bothered with such adaptions when they don’t need to.   Of course for many LL like me they would refuse to engage with Councils for anything I’d rather leave my property empty than have anything to do with Councils. LL are in fact selling up as and when they can. They will hardly be interested in adapting properties and receive less than market rent.   These Councils must realise they are on a hiding to nothing. Few LL will engage with them. Perhaps if Councils offered to buy LL properties at full market price they can then put in as many adaptions as they like to what will be new Social Housing. They will find lots of LL only too willing to sell their rental properties to Councils at FULL market price. When they sell off Council houses under RTB they can afford to buy homes on the open market from LL willing to sell. At least then the Council will be able to house the tenant evicted from the property most recently purchased  from the LL!!

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    1. Will2

      Oh Paulgbar666 I can hear the screams of “discrimination” made by councils and those who do not put their money where their rather large mouths are, including some so called housing charities. Whilst most business people would argue they risk assess and meet market demand with their investment.  I fully appreciate where you are coming from, as will most residential property investors.

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      1. paulgbar666

        Discrimination!!!??

         

        I call my decision making process a BUSINESS DECISION!!

        I decide not to have adaptions at my property especially if the potential occupant has

         

        LETWA

         

         

        Limited Entitlement To Welfare Assistance.

         

         

        This is the phrase HA use when declining those in receipt of HB.

        If that means that I never have any tenant who would need adaptions then so be it.

         

        It is also the case that few tenants could afford my market rents.

        Plus my Council requires a valid tenancy agreement BEFORE they will assess for HB qualification!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        If they would fail I would have a tenant with no means to pay.

        The Council would then advise the tenant to remain until evicted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

         

        And Councils wonder why LL refuse to engage with them!!!!!!!!!!!????

         

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        1. Will2

          Thanks for the LETWA explanation – nice one! I always seem to find tenants who can afford the rent and are readily insurable so thanks for the education on LETWA. Interesting and Appreciated. KRegards

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          1. paulgbar666

            You must be extremely competent in managing your tenant types.

             

            In 12 years I have only ever sourced 1 tenant that qualified for RGI.

            Cost the RGI company £10000 when she defaulted on rent.

             

            After the claim I discovered she was in receipt of a small amount of HB.

             

            Had I known that I wouldn’t have taken her on!-

            Wish I could be as successful as you in sourcing tenants who qualify for RGI.

             

            Perhaps I’m not a very competent LL!!!?

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            1. Will2

              The reason to I find tenants who usually afford to pay is I work on the basis of NO RGI NO TENANCY. Discrimination or business decision – think you know the answer!  Since the fees ban I have changed approach and ask applicants to complete a very detailed and searching application form (about 10 pages long!).  If they do not tell the truth I have grounds to take action against them/keep their holding deposit.  I only use full professional referencing (essential). Sure sometimes the referencing company are tricked or conned but the RGI takes the hit – I do of course get the grief to deal with. I then approach that as a challenge – a fight to win! Thorough paperwork and compliance is essential.  I am sure you are no less competent than I as there is a lot of luck involved and care at tenant selection stage. During the last year getting RGI has been difficult but No RGI no letting. My last letting I marketed the property for about 14-20 days over 120 applicants most of whom would not qualify for RGI. If they had any poor history/ccj’s, IVA’s etc  or did not confirm suitable earnings – no viewing. As legislation gets tougher the bar to qualify to rent my property rises with it. The properties are well maintained to attract decent tenants ( and a lot of dross) and priced accordingly.  The abolition of S21 will be the killer as it will leave landlords hamstrung not that I have used it much in my last 25 years. Our clowns in Government and many academics have their head where the sun does not shine and are NOT helping tenants – there actions increase rent, reduce supply and hit the poorest tenants hardest – I do feel sorry for many of them but business is business. So called housing charities & Goverment cause more problems than they solve but the criminal LL’s have caused that.  I no longer feel I can vote for conservatives, labour or lib dems. I believe everyone should vote so I do and spoil my voting paper as my only option! As will be no surprise to many we now have the likes of Croydon (who do compulsory licensing to ALL PRS poperties) coming out as a ROGUE LANDLORD. These same people who enforce against the PRS – I think they have a credability problem!!!

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              1. paulgbar666

                Yep I totally agree with your rigorous approach. It is because I am unable to adopt what I consider is a totally appropriate business strategy as yours is that I have determined to leave the AST sector. If I was able to source tenants who qualified for RGI then I would stay. But I have discovered I can’t and therefore am not prepared to stay risking exposure to all the issues you have highlighted. Very few tenants are able to qualify for RGI which essentially means that most LL are bottom feeders. We are forced by circumstance to be exposed to the dross tenants. Many will say well if you are not prepared to deal with dross tenants then stop letting on AST. Reluctantly I’d have to agree they were correct. Indeed because of my acceptance of such is why I DO intend get out of AST lettings. In my case that can only be achieved by selling up which I intend to do at the first feasible opportunity. I aspire to operate as you do but despite having decent properties it is an impossibility for me to source the quality tenants that you have been able to source. This situation is effectively forcing me out of AST lettings. Even attempting to diversify away from AST lettings is seemingly being prevented by Govt moving the goalposts. The FHL situation being the latest. I am left with just the lodger option. So I will have a house and take in two lodgers. That seems about the most effective way for me to achieve a little bit of extra income without the business risk of long repossession periods which would bankrupt me. Lodgers easy to get rid of if they default on rent.   Obviously having lodgers isn’t for everyone but I can’t risk AST lettings anymore so lodgers it will have to be!! But I would say that you are a rare breed amongst most LL that is able to conduct business as you do. Your way of operating is I consider the ideal way to operate a lettings business.   That ideal I have accepted is simply not attainable by me and so I have determined I have little alternative than to get out of AST lettings.   It is a great shame that RGI isn’t available to all tenants no matter their status. But with LL suffering rent default losses of about £9 billion per year I guess you can’t blame RGI insurers NOT wishing to underwrite those sorts of losses. Of course these losses only occur due to the completely dysfunctional eviction and civil recovery processes. But we are where we are. There is no way that Govt will facilitate speedy eviction in cases of rent defaulting which ultimately means I have to give up on AST lettings. But good to see your success adopting my idealised business model. For me just so frustrating that I am unable to achieve it. But hey that’s life!!  

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              2. PossessionFriendUK39

                Wow,   120  Applicants  !  –  that beats my record of 74.

                It does speak to the shortage of rental accommodation ( or shortage of Tenants private landlords are prepared to risk granting a tenancy to )   Might help if  L.A’s or Tenant support groups  stood as Unlimited  Guarantor for them  !

                There again,  they don’t want to take the risk and put their money  where their mouth is.

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                1. paulgbar666

                  Guarantee rents………………….NO chance!   They expect mug LL to take on such risks and do!   For me such business risks no longer make any sense. But that is just me. Other LL might be made of sterner stuff than me and are prepared to suffer those business risks. Just NOT for me anymore I’m afraid!

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                2. paulgbar666

                  Yep no shortage of rental accommodation but definitely a shortage of suitable tenants.   The demand far exceeds available properties. Demand isn’t the issue for tenants wanting fo rent. It is just LL are NOT prepared to accommodate this demand. This because of the tenant demand status and their inability to pay the required rents.   This situation will get even worse as more LL leave the AST lettings sector. Eventually when Govt stops forcing LL to be free rental accommodation when the eviction ban is ended there will be a surge of LL selling up when they have achieved vacant possession.   That could take 3 years or longer but make no mistake there many LL determined to sell up come what may.   Rents can only but increase as fewer rental properties remain.   If tenants are finding things difficult now they must be prepared for things to become even worse.
                  The PRS is shrinking and nothing can stop it UNLESS Govt reverses its bonkers ridiculous anti-LL policies which it shows no sign of doing. This process has now been fast tracked due to the CV19 pandemic. 
                  The UK PRS will be very soon in the same situation as Ireland which NO tenant would want.          

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                3. The_Maluka

                  Yes organisations such as Shelter could stand as unlimited guarantor but won’t, yet they expect the landlord to effectively stand as unlimited guarantor.

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                  1. paulgbar666

                    Not that I am any defender of Shelter as far as their anti-LL rhetoric is concerned but even I would suggest that Shelter shouldn’t stand as guarantors for the £9 billion per year that feckless rent defaulting tenants cost LL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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