We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Congratulations Mr. Brokenshire, you’ve just killed every buy-to-let mortgage. of which there were 1.8 million even back in 2015. It’s a standard clause in every single one of those mortgages that they be rented out on a six or 12-month shorthold assured tenancy. The reason being that in the event of default the bank or building society understandably wants to be able to sell the place without having to deal with an immovable sitting tenant.

No one has any problem with increasing the choices available in terms of types and terms of tenancies. But imposing new terms on all landlords and tenants either means that 1.8 million rental dwellings are off the market, or we’ve got to persuade every bank and building society in the country to alter their existing contracts. For a price, of course.

We might, then, politely suggest that this hasn’t been properly thought through. Although of course we’d never compare James Brokenshire to Tony Blair, I’m not too clear who that would be unfair to.

Tim Worstall

5 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • pete

    The Blairs won’t like this proposal.

    They are big landlords now, buying up property all over the place including in my home town of Manchester.


  • Creating a legal climate in which it is wise to be aware that ‘owning’ something or ‘running’ something may suddenly be redefined under you is a great way of cooling down an economy, ensuring people will be cautious about trying economic opportunities, etc. Mr Brokenshire is part of, and contributing to, a wider evil.

    In this specific case, a few (probably, on average, not so admirable) tenants will benefit while a larger number will suffer from the reduction in properties to rent – as Tim Worstall explains. That is the norm when such idiocies are inflicted.

    society is a complicated thing

    Unlike Mr Brokenshire, who is very simple indeed.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes – making every whim of the ruler or rulers “law” is NOT a good idea.

    However, since the “Blackstone Heresy” (Sir William Blackstone) way back in the 18th century, it has been the establishment view that Parliament can pass anything as “law” – the older view of such people as Sir John Holt (Chief Justice from 1689 to 1710) that law is about protecting the body and goods of people and private associations, is now considered “extremist”.

    Resisting the idea that Parliament (or, rather, the government ministers who control Parliament) can pass any insane whim as “law” was what July 4th 1776 (the American Declaration of Independence) was about – although, sadly, the Americans set up their own “legislatures”.

    Bruno Leoni (“Legislation and the Law”) was correct – “legislation” (either by bureaucrats or politicians) is an terrible idea – legislation should not exist.

  • In the US, month-to-month tenancies are common. Our housing marked hasn’t suffered by it. In fact, the only areas where there are serious difficulties in the rental market are those which have adopted extreme tenant-“protection” rules such as this one (i.e., rent control, extreme restrictions on eviction, etc.). Government interference in the markets always leads to adverse (and sometimes even unintended) consequences.

  • the other rob

    @ Laird – You are quite right to differentiate between adverse consequences and unintended adverse consequences.

    When one’s livelihood comes from ministering to the afflicted, it’s in one’s apparent best interests to ensure that there is a steady supply of the afflicted.

    Happy Independence Day, my friend.