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BTL landlords thinking of selling now urged to “think again”

A number of buy-to-let landlords are currently thinking about exiting the private rented sector due to recent policy changes, including the existing phasing out of mortgage tax relief, but many potential sellers should think again, according to a leading PropTech platform.  

With the latest data from Rightmove revealing that the average time to sell a property across Britain as a whole has increased from 72 days a year ago to 77 days now, RentalStep is advising landlords looking to sell up to make the most of their rental properties while the sales ‘market is tricky’.

Although there are significant regional variations, the general trend at the moment is for properties to take a longer time to sell than a year ago.


“The data suggests that it’s currently more difficult, and is taking people longer to sell a home,” said Mike Georgeson, founder and chief executive of RentalStep. “As a result, those landlords considering selling their properties to make money or cut costs might want to think again when market conditions are difficult.”

Georgeson is not surprised at the sluggish trend in the property market, given the current economic and political uncertainty and affordability issues, and believes that many purchasers will remain reluctant to commit to buying until after the ramifications of Brexit become clearer.

He added: “The ongoing question marks over Brexit are weighing down the sales market. However, it’s affecting rentals less because the private rented sector is a far more urgent market.

“In other words, tenants still need to find or move homes – often at very short notice for work or family reasons – and are less likely to have the option to delay a move like buyers and sellers. This urgency is helping to keep rental demand high.”

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Poll: Do you agree that it is currently a bad time to sell a property?


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    For landlords looking to sell, it is not so much finding a buyer that is taking longer in the property sale process, it is the conveyancing process that is taking longer - 3-6 months is typical for the simplest transactions, and generally getting worse.


    Not when you buy and sell through auction, certainly my preferred way, too many dreamers and time wasters out there.

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    Private landlords may be pursuaded to continue provide much needed accommodation and maybe even consider DSS tenants and not to sell if DSS rents were paid direct to them, rather than to tenants - who in all fairness may fall upon hard times and feel preference at some stage to warmth and food than paying the landlord.


    '' preference to warmth and food'' ? alcohol, fags and drugs more like. Paying the housing benefit direct to landlords is not the total answer, 1) because of claw back, 2) because HB is not enough to cover the rent, 3) because it is paid in arrears, and 4) because payment is often stopped without warning or notice to the landlord, sorry but most of us will still be saying no to DSS, leave these people to the council to home, landlords do not operate as a charity to drop outs .

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    • 16 March 2019 11:38 AM

    Are you off your rocker!!!!???
    Have you NEVER heard of 'clawback''
    That is what you risk if you ever accept any form of direct payment of HB.
    All councils and the DWP operate 'clawback' strategies.
    Private LL DON'T enter the PRS to be a social support system
    A business strategy based on the risk of 'clawback' is for the barking mad!!
    Private LL mostly are in the game to make as much profit as they can.
    DSS tenants simply aren't profitable enough.
    Tenants are simply a commodity to extract as much income from as possible out of them.
    Of course to achieve this a LL should provide a decent standard of accommodation and be compliant with all relevant regulations.
    This is what I do.
    But make NO mistake I am currently in the PRS to make as much profit as I can.
    DSS tenants do not figure in my tenant demographic and never will.

    They simply aren't profitable enough for me.
    PROFIT is the only reason I am a LL.
    I deploy my capital as best as I see fit to make as much profit as I can.
    However due to S24 I will leave the PRS as I cannot make sufficient profit with the bonkers S24 policy.
    So I can't wait to leave.
    It will cause me to make about 12 tenants homeless.
    I will take my capital and deploy it elsewhere.
    Possibly a FHL or a maximum 4 bed house to then let to lodgers.
    This will enable me to make more net income than from the existing rental properties.
    Of course it means that I will only be able to let to single lodgers who can't be in receipt of HB as lodger HB is derisory.
    When I start to sell I DON'T care how long it takes.
    My tenants will vacate near to completion date as they are good tenants and won't exploit the eviction process.
    Frankly I can't wait to sell up and get out of AST lettings.
    The things that are going to come to affect the PRS are just too negative to stay in.
    Add the threat of a Labour Govt and that is the end of the PRS.
    LL need to bail extracting as much wealth as they can before a possible Labour Govt arises.
    Few LL will be prepared to lose all they have achieved in the past 17 years due to a Labour Govt.
    The risk is just too high.
    The sensible strategy is to sell up!


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