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Landlords lose out as buy to let may be changed forever

Two thirds of landlords have suffered financially during the pandemic and four out of 10 fear their investments will be impacted by the recession.

On top of that, a mortgage expert is predicting a fundamental change across the entire buy to let landscape thanks to Coronavirus.

The research, conducted for The Mortgage Lender by OnePoll among a panel of landlords, found that of those investors who have already suffered financially, 28 per cent reported rent arrears and 18 per cent had tenants who left their rented home.


Some 31 per cent fear an increase in taxation will impact on their portfolios over the next two years while 21 per cent believe population movement from cities to areas that have outside space and space to work from home could adversely affect their inner city properties.

Landlords in the survey also predict a fall in student numbers from home and abroad affecting buy to let properties in student areas that have historically offered superior returns in comparison to more expensive properties in the South.

The Mortgage Lender sales director Steve Griffiths says: “There is some evidence that the pandemic could change the structure of the buy to let market in a more fundamental way than any of us could have anticipated at the beginning of this year.

“With the City of London currently deserted and many larger employers considering work from home policies as a more permanent solution there could well be a longer-term change in the types of properties tenants will find attractive.

“Despite the uncertainty landlords understand that property investment is a long term strategy – indeed half of the ones we surveyed said the pandemic hadn’t changed their investment plans at all and that is borne out by the number of applications we have seen for our buy to let products over the last four months.”

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  • Mark Wilson

    Is it fair to say, as in most things the easy money has been made?


    It has NOT been easy money for the vast majority of landlords! Long hours spent redecorating frequently, cleaning up after tenants, passing up on luxuries - even some necessities trying to plan for the future.

    The easy money is what the rent dodgers get, especially when they don't pay rents with tax payers money already handed to them.


    Sure just like most jobs...real easy..I bet whaterver you do is a a stroll in the park. Easy money sat on your arse being bone idle most of the day watching the cash roll in. Life so easy and simple isent it.


    What makes you say such a thing! Do you think landlords just sit back and do nothing. I would say you’re just a jealous individual.

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    As with Robert and many other landlords I was the guy in the auction room which bought the properties than no one else wanted then rolled up my sleeves, got very dirty, and renovated them, I'm the one that clears up after tenants leave, carry out repairs, up grades, and re decorates, don't get me wrong here I'm not having a whinge , I love what I do and have never been afraid of hard work, it's all to easy for people on the outside to think that other people's job is easy.

  • George Dawes

    Nobody ever seems to upvote any of Mark Wilson's comments

    Can't think why ... 'rolleyes'


    I feel really sorry for Mark'

    • 08 October 2020 09:48 AM

    No idea!
    He is obviously an educated, kind, caring, thoughtful, sharing and generous idiot.

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    • 08 October 2020 09:52 AM

    Sorry!!! Why?

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    Well I'm in agreement with Mark 100%. Having been in this business since 1990 I can say yes the easy money has been made. It was comparatively easy back then after the Housing Act 1988. Virtually no aggrivation, grateful tenants who had respect, the rent was always paid, my proprties being trashed was unheard of for ten years until my first incident. House prices rose, we had taper relief on CGT and no extrernal grief from the government or the other anti landlord bodies and media that have created an 'adversarial' landlord/tenant relationship that didnt exist intil they waided in.

    Easy money- relatvely speaking and I look back fondly to those long gone days and wished id exited the business in 2007 at the top of the market and prior to our demonisation.

    Now- regularly trashed properties that cost well over 10k to put right when arrears taken into account, ars*hole attitude tenants and we all know the rest.

    Yes comparatively easy money was made. Now its just bloody hard work, daily stress and grief in my experience.


    On reflection I think the real easy money has yet to come - when those without the deepest pockets or thickest hides are eventually sickened enough by feckless rent dodgers and misguided do-gooders to give up. Their properties, probably in poor repair when their tenants eventually vacate, will be picked up cheaply at auctions. However the resulting shortage will push rents through the roof!


    Politics. Of. Envy.


    25 years in and it’s gone from being a civilised and straight forward way to plan for a pension to a bureaucratic nightmare. People didn’t stay they moved on usually to there own property and we’re all paid up and little damage. Now they stay for years some are great and some just leave weeks of work. Bring back the 90s it worked and we weren’t judged as an enemy of the people

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    When I started in 1993, we bought a slightly shabby house and (in our innocence) did very little to it. Replaced a couple of carpets and a bit of painting. A local agent took it on and found a tenant very quickly. We could not let out a house in that condition today and I don't think any tenant would accept it. And of course we didn't have gas safety certs, EPC's, electrical checks, How to Rent booklets, deposit protection etc. I'm not saying they are a bad thing - but the easy-money days are indeed long gone.

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    With all the legislation and tx incentives gone, we cannot even sell our property to reinvest without incurring capital gains. What other business do you know of where a business asset is sold and reinvested in the business, every other one except property.
    We take all the risk, and very little reward.

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    All wrong... 97% of LLs have agreed ongoing payments, with arrears at the usual rate of 2% only rising to 3%...

    but, saying 'the truth will out', is rather ironic because, as we all know, LLs are only interested in their 'pint of blood'.



    You make a valid point but then destroy it with vitriolic unfounded comment.

    Given rent arrears only affects around 3% of tenants then surely that small minority should be helped out short term until they can assess their longer term strategy?

    A tax payer funded loan for rent arrears and ongoing rent payments would have an immediate partial repayment of 20 to 60%, depending on the individual landlord's marginal rate of income tax, plus a significant chance of full repayment ( plus interest?) from the tenant debtors.

    Where is the downside of such a scheme, other than the loss of pleasure to some in not seeing landlords bear the brunt yet again? However landlords' attempts to support methods that would allow tenants to remain in situ are dismissed by you as only after their pint of blood!

    No other business is compelled to continue to provide a service no longer being paid for, so landlords can hardly be criticised for supporting measures that help their tenants and them!


    Is this guy a landlord or is he press officer for generation rent?

    • 09 October 2020 11:09 AM

    I do not want a pint of blood. All I ask is honesty and decency from both sides of the front door.

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    The easy money is when you have evicted all the defaulting rent shirking tenants & are using intelligent street wise agents. Im not losing out. The only real losers in all of this are the innocent tenants that pay their rent and it still has to go up because of interference by Local licencing, Sect 24, EPC, EICR, DPS rules, Legionella checks (FFS), Shelter GR etc & of course a non functioning eviction process. The reality is it was never really easy money putting your family and credit facility on the line when you are up against this


    Well said!

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    • 08 October 2020 15:58 PM

    It is my understanding that every business wants a pint of blood from their customers.

    Indeed they would very much like to drain a customer of all of their blood if the the customer allows it!!

    That is the whole point of being in business.
    To ideally have the customer spend all their money with that business.

    That is why there is a massive advertising industry.

    All designed to get as many pints of blood out of a customer as possible.

    LL are no different attempting to achieve the same with market rents.

    It isn't anything personal it is simply business!!

    So Seb you are wrong....................again!!

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    My god, he's such a Tw@t isn't he ?

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    I wouldn't be surprised if some of the folks here are working for Shelter & Co, some certainly look like the fat cats who earn an average salary of 125K and get half of their annual 60 M budget a year funded by the government. Who mentioned "easy money" again!


    Shelter. The charity (business) that houses no one.



    Any intelligent plant from Shelter etc. would make wild anti tenant posts to paint landlords in a bad light. Only a stupid plant would so obviously have a go at landlords - so I think you are right. There are a couple of stupid plants posting on this site!


    I would like to know what Shelter & Co. are planning to do once all the responsible landlords went bust and the PRS is in the hands of Mutual and Hedge Funds (Build to Rent schemes) who already have a reputation for not giving a bleeping heck about their tenants. What do they think the living conditions of their tenants will be in 15-20 years!? The world is heading towards a financial and economic collapse. Everybody needs to strap in and if tenants finds one of the 97% reliable and fair landlords, yes, who are trying to run a profitable business, then stop moaning and work together with their landlord to get over the pain that is heading our way.

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    • 09 October 2020 09:03 AM

    Never thought of BTL as easy money.
    Always considered it as stable money.
    Never going to make me a millionaire in net income but sufficient to give a stable income for a normal lifestyle.

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    I've been in this business for seven years and its never been "easy money". It takes time to renovate a property and tenants rightly expect high standards. I'm on 24 hour callout and properties need a lot of maintenance. I do it because I enjoy being my own boss and get pleasure out of providing decent homes to young families. The government offers no support, only increasing amounts of legislation aimed at driving more conscientious landlords out of the business. Where their tenants are supposed to go, who knows? The latest proposal to raise minimum EPC to C will probably drive me out of business, which is distressing as most of my tenants are long term or have been passed the property by family members.

    • 09 October 2020 09:40 AM

    It would seem Govt considers that LL would be able to afford C status with the Green grant.

    Perhaps this grant isn't sufficient for these properties.

    There does seem to be a perception that LL in conjunction with the Green grant can easily afford the costs of C status.

    I'm far from convinced that this is the case and still contend that for many LL it isn't worth retaining properties that need to achieve C status.

    Of course I readily accept I may be incorrect about EPC C status viability.

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    • 09 October 2020 09:16 AM

    7? I have been at it since 1995.
    Since then, every penny has been hard earned........

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    Last October, one of my tenants said to me "We won't be able to pay you any rent until next March." Needless to say the Gas Safety check was due shortly after that, and over Christmas there was an expensive plumber's bill for a blocked toilet (guess whose fault that was). I issued a S21 notice which got caught in the Covid lockdown but fortunately they moved out in May. Owed £5,000 rent.
    Can you imagine staying in a hotel and saying to the Manager "I won't be able to pay for my accommodation ..." At the very least, your suitcases would be waiting for you at the front door .
    Now - what was that about easy money?

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    • 09 October 2020 21:41 PM

    You are so right.

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    • 09 October 2020 22:40 PM

    Yep the usual idiots contending being a LL is easy money.
    We ALL know they are wrong but the propaganda works well.

    I doubt very much that most LL would wish to declare all the losses they have suffered.

    If they did then many would consider LL absolute idiots for putting up with all the hassle they do caused by tenants.

    They are probably correct.
    I think we LL just keep buggering on as Churchill was wont to say.

    We just tend to get on with things accepting the losses that we incur.

    Of course the LL haters don't want to know about the losses that feckless tenants cause LL.

    But it is a fact that annually feckless tenants cause LL over £9 billion in losses.

    This is scheduled to be about £20 billion this year and will be many more billions in the next few years while LL attempt to evict rent defaulting tenants.

    If LL were able to evict feckless rent defaulting tenants 14 days after rent default then LL losses would reduce to millions and Govt would receive far more in LL tax who will inevitably have been able to relet.



    These idiots don't seem to realise that for every eviction of a feckless rent dodger, a home is made available for a more deserving tenant from the 97% who will honour their obligations.

    I've never understood why Shelter etc protect the rent dodgers - kindred spirits perhaps - taking not producing?


    Yes Paul & Yes Robert Every Rent shirker evicted quickly helps a paying tenant family get housed OR that house goes to owner occupier and poorer tenants that cannot buy will suffer. This must be publicised

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    The courts and bailiffs will be very busy come March next year, it will likely take them a year to get through the back log, but it will happen, those that don't pay will be out, we'll know who they are so who will be housing them ?

    • 12 October 2020 21:00 PM

    I could easily see Govt introducing a restriction on evicting if the tenants don't have another rental property to go to.
    It would prevent Councils having to find TA for homeless tenants.

    When Govt is faced with millions being evicted it will take additional measures to prevent LL from evicting.
    Govt care not one jot if LL continue to be victims of feckless rent defaulting tenants.
    Indeed it sees LL being put out of business as an ideal!


    @ Paul, yes you could be right, most of us so far obey the rules, but we are all only human, push anyone too far and what happens ? well I don't need to spell that one out do I ?

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    It is indeed very depressing to hear all these comments.
    I have sold one of my more valuable properties and will sell the other one I have when that comes available.
    I find that the rents in these areas are not that much more than I can get in areas where the properties are less than half the price.
    As they are older properties and with pretty much everything done to make them future proof, there is no doubt I will struggle with the ratings.

    I have some flats that were built to a high spec with regards to insulation etc and they have struggled to make a 'C'

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    There are "real Landlords" and there are portfolio snobs, the bank own the properties, all they are is a a property maintiner and a rent collector.
    The banks really dont care about how many properties that they repossess, after all the bank has been the new council for many years. The next big financial kick is going to be when the furlough ends, a lot of people really beleive that it will not be extended, this will result in literally thousands more job losses. lets face it if your mortgage is not being paid on the properties that are rented out then it goes.
    The other thing very concerning that letting agents only accept tennants who can proove affordability, if you are redundant / unemployed then you struggle to get any private property to rent. this has a knock on effect to us landlords are where are the agents going to get our future clients with the ability to prove affordability??? i know that an empty house is better than a bad tennant but it still sucks. some how i think the the whole rental system with affordablity will have to change.


    Agreed, it will be survival of the fittest, I purchased my first investment property in the 80s when I purchased my car repair workshop from my then landlord, a rented shop and flat over came with it, I have slowly purchased more over the years, always for cash, 16 in total, had I borrowed I would have many times that number now, but I'm glad I didn't do so, I have a very comfortable income from them with few problems, many of my properties are today worth 10x what I paid for them, I'm not selling though, just think of all that CGT going to the tax man, not likely.


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