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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2007

Ravi Bhandari

The purpose of this paper is to gain a better understanding of the role of culture in general, and social distance in particular, in influencing the choice and efficiency…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to gain a better understanding of the role of culture in general, and social distance in particular, in influencing the choice and efficiency of various contractual modes in developing country agriculture. It aims to focus on sharecropping, but the model of social distance can be applied to any contract, mainly those in close‐knit village societies.

Design/methodology/approach

Principal components analysis (PCA) is used in the study to develop a social distance index for all sharecroppers, which is included as an independent variable in land productivity ordinary least squares (OLS) regressions.

Findings

Findings indicate social distance is a key determinant in sharecropping efficiency for marginal tenant farmers in rural Nepal. Specifically, social distance is found to be a significant factor in explaining land productivity differentials between owned land and sharecropped land.

Research limitations/implications

Future research hopes to see whether social distance is also a significant factor in the efficiency and choice of bonded labor contracts. It intends to use simple OLS regressions for sharecroppers and bonded laborers separately in which: input use and land productivity are separate dependent variables, and the various factors or proxies of social distance are independent variables to test for their particular impact; each type of contract is the dependent variable to see the extent to which social distance affects the choice of tenancy; and social distance is the dependent variable so one can see the specific impact of different proxies. Given the small sample (although representative), the strong results in this paper are limited.

Practical implications

From a policy standpoint, the results suggest that a relatively egalitarian agrarian structure, insofar as it results in lower social distances among parties to land and labor contracts, would have a positive impact on productivity. Therefore, the object of agrarian reforms should not be to alter or constrain the form of contracts (for example by banning sharecropping) but rather to improve the social relations among contracting parties.

Originality/value

This paper is original and provides value in three ways: a conceptually and theoretically innovative model that explains sharecropping efficiency independent of standard explanations of market imperfections, transaction costs, and risk; in developing a new measure of social distance that allows the data to determine the weights of the independent variables in constructing social distance; and to see the need to more importantly study the changing social relations on which contracts are based and are often only one element of.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

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Article
Publication date: 20 August 2018

Tola Amodu

This paper considers the evolution of government policies regarding the provision of housing in the private rented sector and the regulation of landlord behaviour by…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper considers the evolution of government policies regarding the provision of housing in the private rented sector and the regulation of landlord behaviour by mapping this onto known regulatory theory. It argues that the current regulatory trajectory is highly problematic both from the perspective of land law (by further attenuating the conception of property rights) and indeed regulatory compliance.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach maps successive governments’ policy stance, what is known of the configuration of the sector and the current demand for housing against evolving regulatory theory (in particular compliance). The piece draws on both property theory and economic analysis.

Findings

Enrolling private sector landlords to enforce policies, other than those relating to the landlord and tenant relation (as indicated by the “right to rent” provisions), and attempts at professionalizing the sector may be highly problematic. Furthermore, the growth of regulation may impose an increasing regulatory burden on a significant proportion of the sector, namely, the smaller landlord especially those owning who own only one property.

Research limitations/implications

The hypothesis has not been tested aside in a generalized manner by making reference to the evidence obtained by other researchers and landlord associations. It is for other researchers who may wish to test the hypothesis empirically.

Practical implications

This paper includes a view that has not (to the author’s knowledge) been expressly articulated by Government or through its policies and is one which it may wish to reflect upon.

Originality/value

This paper adopts a novel stance by deploying regulatory theory with understandings of property to highlight potential adverse effects.

Details

Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-1450

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2019

Danielle Claire Sanderson

The purpose of this paper is to help landlords and property managers to understand what they can do to increase tenants’ satisfaction and propensity to renew their lease…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to help landlords and property managers to understand what they can do to increase tenants’ satisfaction and propensity to renew their lease, and their willingness to recommend their landlord to other people.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper analyses almost 5,000 interviews with private rented sector (PRS) tenants in the UK, conducted over a four-year period, to investigate determinants of resident satisfaction, loyalty (lease renewal) and willingness to recommend their landlord. Statistical analysis is performed using respondents’ ratings of satisfaction with many aspects of their occupancy as explanatory variables. Comparisons are made between interviewees who renew their lease and those who do not renew.

Findings

The research finds that “ease of doing business” with their landlord is a strong predictor of residents’ satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. Other key indicators for lease renewal include relationship management, rent collection and residents’ perception of receiving value for money. Tenants’ willingness to recommend their landlord depends mainly on their relationship with their landlord, how the landlord compares with tenants’ previous landlords and the property management service they receive.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations to this research include the fact that the residents have a single landlord and live on a single estate, one with particular cultural significance, therefore potentially restricting the general applicability of the findings. Although the sample size is large, the number of residents who have reached the end of their lease is relatively small, because the estate has only been occupied by PRS tenants since 2014.

Practical implications

Over the past five years, the PRS has become a significant asset class for institutional investors in the UK. This research should help to improve the landlordtenant relationship in the PRS, and to increase occupancy rates without compromising rents.

Originality/value

The large sample size in this research, and the use of repeat interviews at various stages of a resident’s occupancy, highlight early signs of discontent that a landlord can act upon to reduce the risk of a tenant moving elsewhere.

Details

Property Management, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1987

Michael Tennant

In February 1984 Mr Ian Gow, the then Minister of Housing and Construction, established a Committee of Inquiry on the management of privately owned blocks of flats, under…

Abstract

In February 1984 Mr Ian Gow, the then Minister of Housing and Construction, established a Committee of Inquiry on the management of privately owned blocks of flats, under the chairmanship of the distinguished barrister Edward Nugee QC. The committee's report was published in the summer of 1985 and many of its recommendations are now set to become law. The proposed legislative changes will have major implications for both landlords and tenants of blocks of flats. The Nugee Report was the culmination of a series of papers in the past few years reflecting an increasing concern over the state of many blocks of flats. Recent publications on the subject include the James Report, produced by a working party established by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and a paper emanating from the Building Societies Association entitled ‘Leasehold — Time for Change’ which urged the adoption of a system of strata title for properties in multiple occupation. No one should underestimate the difficulties which the Committee of Inquiry faced. ‘Bad flat management’ covers a multitude of different situations which can be viewed from numerous different perspectives. Disputes are not just confined to those between landlord and tenant. There are conflicts between the tenants themselves, particularly in older blocks built to be rented but broken up by the grant of long leases. Add to this the further complication that many blocks are now run by managing agents who may themselves be involved in battles with either the landlord or his tenants, and it will rapidly become clear that there were no simple solutions to be found. Each recommendation had to take account of all the potential problems and not simply tackle one at the expense of exacerbating another.

Details

Property Management, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

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Article
Publication date: 28 August 2019

Benjamin Bridgman

The purpose of this paper is to explore the emic theme of “unqualified social work” as part of the process of property management in a self-described “letting agency with…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the emic theme of “unqualified social work” as part of the process of property management in a self-described “letting agency with a difference” in Edinburgh, set in the context of the rapid expansion of the private rented sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based upon ethnographic data from participant observation in a letting agency and unstructured interviews with their employees.

Findings

The paper suggests that the shift in Scotland in terms of the provision of housing and housing-related services from the public sector to the private rented sector in recent decades has engendered new social and economic relations in which property managers become “unqualified social workers”.

Practical implications

The paper aims to exemplify how anthropology and ethnographic research may contribute to the understanding of the private rented sector and of property management.

Originality/value

The paper aims to contribute to the wider literature on the private rented sector by foregrounding the role of the property manager. The paper also brings an analysis derived from the anthropology of ethics to an ethnographic understanding of property management and the private rented sector.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2019

Tola Amodu

The Immigration Act (2014) at Part 3 established a new regime with private landlords incurring penalties (and potentially criminal liability from 1 November 2016) if they…

Abstract

Purpose

The Immigration Act (2014) at Part 3 established a new regime with private landlords incurring penalties (and potentially criminal liability from 1 November 2016) if they allow a person disqualified, by reason of migration status, to reside in a property as their only or main home. Known colloquially as the “right to rent”, the provisions restrict access to accommodation and impose onerous duties on landlords to check tenants’ migration status. The purpose of this paper is to consider how a change in the emphasis of regulation introduced by the provisions, resulted in the coalescence of opposition by landlords and renters in a way that historically would have been unthinkable.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the lens of Foucault’s governmentality, it is possible to see how Government sought to shift the locus of control from itself to the landlord, which through its legislative and policy stance resulted in such fierce opposition as evidenced by the first instance challenge to the provisions in R (Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants) v SS for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 452 (Admin).

Findings

The focus of regulation introduced by the provisions resulted in the coalescence of opposition by landlords and renters in a way that historically would have been unthinkable. Landlords and renters are usually thought of as being in opposition, but not so here. This may offer hope for more productive regulatory outcomes where both parties work together. It may also suggest that encroaching on the notion of private rights and interests in law could result in counterproductive consequences.

Research limitations/implications

Unlike Foucault’s notion of surveillance and control, governmentality shifts the emphasis from a hierarchical conception of government to practices including self (imposed) governance – with here, the landlord being required to act as a proxy for border agents. This suggests that there may exist boundaries beyond which, in a given context, it might be unwise for Government to step without adverse consequences. Foucault’s ideas provide a starting point, but do not give us all of the answers.

Practical implications

The coalescence of opposing actors can be a significant force to challenge government given the extent of their knowledge of the given context. It may also suggest a route to a more collaborative form of regulation.

Originality/value

A novel theoretical take on an issue of concern raised by practitioners and interest groups alike.

Details

Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9407

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1986

Cedric Pugh

It was not until the late 1960s that housing attracted much attention from academic social scientists. Since that time the literature has expanded widely and diversified…

Abstract

It was not until the late 1960s that housing attracted much attention from academic social scientists. Since that time the literature has expanded widely and diversified, establishing housing with a specialised status in economics, sociology, politics, and in related subjects. As we would expect, the new literature covers a technical, statistical, theoretical, ideological, and historical range. Housing studies have not been conceived and interpreted in a monolithic way, with generally accepted concepts and principles, or with uniformly fixed and precise methodological approaches. Instead, some studies have been derived selectively from diverse bases in conventional theories in economics or sociology, or politics. Others have their origins in less conventional social theory, including neo‐Marxist theory which has had a wider intellectual following in the modern democracies since the mid‐1970s. With all this diversity, and in a context where ideological positions compete, housing studies have consequently left in their wake some significant controversies and some gaps in evaluative perspective. In short, the new housing intellectuals have written from personal commitments to particular cognitive, theoretical, ideological, and national positions and experiences. This present piece of writing takes up the two main themes which have emerged in the recent literature. These themes are first, questions relating to building and developing housing theory, and, second, the issue of how we are to conceptualise housing and relate it to policy studies. We shall be arguing that the two themes are closely related: in order to create a useful housing theory we must have awareness and understanding of housing practice and the nature of housing.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 13 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2012

Cathy Hughes and Neil Crosby

UK Government policy to address perceived market failure in commercial property leasing has largely been pursued through industry self‐regulation. Yet, it is proving…

Abstract

Purpose

UK Government policy to address perceived market failure in commercial property leasing has largely been pursued through industry self‐regulation. Yet, it is proving difficult to assess whether self‐regulation on leasing has been a “success”, or even to determine how to evaluate this. The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework for this and a clearer understanding of self‐regulation in commercial leasing.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review suggests key criteria to explain the (in)effectiveness of self‐regulation. UK lease codes are analysed in the light of this literature, drawing on previous research carried out by the authors on the operation of these codes.

Findings

Lease codes appear to be failing as an effective system of self‐regulation. While there are influential market actors championing them, the fragmentation of the leasing process lessens this influence. The structures are not there to ensure implementation, monitor compliance and record views of affected stakeholders.

Research limitations/implications

This work adds to the literature on self‐regulation in general, and provides an insight into its operation in a previously unexplored industry. Research is needed into the experience of other countries in regulating the property industry by voluntary means.

Social implications

There are institutional limitations to self‐regulation within the property industry. This has implications for policy makers in considering the advantages and limitation of using a voluntary solution to achieve policy aims within the commercial leasing market.

Originality/value

This paper provides a first step in considering the lease codes in the wider context of industry self‐regulation and is relevant to policy makers and industry bodies.

Details

International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-1450

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Article
Publication date: 2 April 2021

Richmond Juvenile Ehwi, Lewis Abedi Asante and Emmanuel Kofi Gavu

In Ghana, the practice of landlords demanding that renters pay rent advance (RA) of between six months and five years is well noted. Surprisingly, renters appear divided…

Abstract

Purpose

In Ghana, the practice of landlords demanding that renters pay rent advance (RA) of between six months and five years is well noted. Surprisingly, renters appear divided into the benefits and drawbacks of the rent advance payment. Ahead of the 2020 general elections, the two leading political parties in Ghana promised to establish a rent assistance scheme to help renters working in the formal and informal sectors and earning regular incomes to pay their RA. This paper aims to scrutinize the differences in the demographic, employment and housing characteristics between the critics and non-critics of the RA payment in Ghana and the factors that predict the likelihood of being a critic of the RA system.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is exploratory and draws empirical data from surveys administered to 327 graduate renters from 13 regions in Ghana. It uses non-parametric and parametric tests, namely, Chi-square goodness-of-fit and T-test to explore these differences between both critics and non-critics of the RA.

Findings

There are statistically significant differences between critics and non-critics in terms of the association between their educational attainment on the one hand and their marital status, employment status and employment sector on the other hand. The research also reveals that monthly expenditures, number of bedrooms and RA period significantly predict the likelihood of being a critic of the RA payment or otherwise.

Practical implications

The study provides evidence which policymakers can draw upon to inform housing policy.

Originality/value

The study is the first to study the housing characteristics of graduate renters and to quantitatively distinguish between critics and non-critics of RA payment in Ghana.

Details

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8270

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Book part
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Aidan Mosselson

This chapter provides a critical examination of the urban renewal process currently taking place in inner-city Johannesburg. It evaluates the effects of an approach to…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter provides a critical examination of the urban renewal process currently taking place in inner-city Johannesburg. It evaluates the effects of an approach to providing social housing which blends commercial, market-based practices with state intervention and regulation and discusses the implications these competing imperatives have for the area and academic understandings of urban renewal.

Methodology/approach

Findings are based on a qualitative research process, carried out over 9 months in inner-city Johannesburg. Research involved interviews with property developers, housing providers, government officials, and tenants living in renovated social and affordable housing developments.

Findings

The process is contradictory and overburdened, and attempts to fulfill competing goals and agendas. Some developmental ambitions are being realized as the supply of social and affordable housing is expanding. However, the benefits are limited, as poor communities are being displaced and, in many cases, commercial concerns trump social and developmental considerations.

Social implications

Findings highlight the ways in which a range of political circumstances, policy decisions, and spatial conditions combine to create an approach to renewal which is neither entirely neoliberal nor developmental. The case study complicates narratives which stress the global dominance of neoliberal approaches to urban renewal and demonstrates that alternative developmental ambitions exist alongside commercial practices.

Originality/value

The chapter highlights the ambiguity and hybridity of localized approaches to housing provision. In doing so it adds nuance to debates about urban processes around the globe and draws attention back to the uncertainty, agency, and diversity which are continuously shaping urban societies.

Details

Social Housing and Urban Renewal
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-124-7

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