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Mortgage Crisis: thousands of landlords in arrears, hundreds of homes repo'd

Data from lenders trade body UK Finance show an 18 per cent leap in buy to let arrears in the past quarter compared to the three months previously.

BTL mortgage arrears of 2.5 per cent or more of the outstanding balance increased to 13,570. Some 500 buy to let mortgaged properties were taken into possession in Q4, which is 11 per cent greater than the previous quarter.

The percentage rise in home ownership mortgage arrears was a more modest 7.0 per cent.


UK Finance also warns that there are 230,000 BTL mortgage holders whose fixed rate deals are due to end this year.

The body insists that lender stress tests have helped ensure that borrowers are able to keep up with their mortgage payments, even when their interest rate rises above those in place when they first took out their loans. However it adds: “We know that other factors outside the control of lenders can also impact customers’ ability to manage their mortgage payments, so we would encourage anyone worried about their finances to reach out to their mortgage lender at the earliest opportunity to discuss the options available for their circumstances.”

It says the total number of possessions remains very low by long term standards. 

The body says: “Possession is only ever a last resort and after other options have been explored. Across BTL and homeowner mortgaged properties, a total of 1,040 were repossessed in Q4 2023. This compares with nearly 2,000 in Q4 2019 before the pandemic.”

Eric Leenders of UK Finance adds: “The number of mortgage holders in arrears, whilst still low, is continuing to rise as the cost of living and high interest rates take their toll on households. Importantly, help is available to anyone worried about their finances – please reach out to your lender as soon as possible to discuss the support options available. Lenders have teams of trained experts ready to help. Contacting your lender to find out what support is available won’t affect your credit score.”

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    No data on the causes of mortgage arrears? 🤔

    Is it interest rate rises, rent arrears or what? It is all very well saying they have increased, but it would be helpful to have more information.

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    I doubt the shambolic court system will be helping the situation if your tenant is in arrears. 😱

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    No mention of higher interest payments means more losses for landlords as S24 80% can’t be claimed back. Losses are also not carried forward. The unfair way of SA landlord calculations are adding to landlords insolvencies.
    Imagine not being able to carry forward losses as they don’t show up on SA.
    So for example a landlord paying £1k mortgage hasn’t received any rent because tenant not paying can only claim £200 loss instead of £1k. Or a landlord paying £1k mortgage and collecting £900 rent. Can only claim £200 will pay tax on £700 when they actually made a £100 loss.
    How is that sustainable? Many of those landlords are being forced to sell up or get repossessed.


    My thoughts were along those lines. It would be interesting, and helpful, to know how many of the landlords would have been able to keep up payments if not caught in the section 24 trap.

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    • A JR
    • 09 February 2024 07:39 AM

    Another poorly constructed survey with no context.


    Seems to be of them!

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    There missing the Biggest Problem The Governments Anti Landlord Policies.

    If you want to read a bit of Anti-Landlord Biased Journalism. With little Research into Root causes . Read the Observer article today . Rental Housing Stock Plummets, No Fault Evictions rose 39% in 2023. A further 30233 Landlords start no Fault evections . Poly Neate things RRB is the answer to the problem.

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    I would think most landlords would sell before it got to this stage. Unless they can't sell because there is a tenant unwilling to move. I wonder how many of these still had a tenant and the lender had to process the eviction.

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    Its obvious why the reasons are not mentioned, the article wishes to blame the landlords for not running their properties more professionally. Ergo, they are bad evil landlords. It's the same old rhetoric, same old message. Landlords are bad, large housing companies are good for tennants, when the exact opposite is true.
    When you think about it, it's clear that a more personal service is better. There is little bureaucracy for one thing, the rents are often cheaper, and the quality is much better on the whole. The tennants deal with a person, a human being, rather than a faceless corporation with "policies" they have to follow. Try phoning up the accounts dept. Of a housing association company, and see how hard it is to talk to someone who has any power to resolve your complaint. Speaking directly to the PRS Landlord will often get the problem sorted in a day or so, and if not it will be given to a fixer that day to put on his schedule at least.
    I look after my tennants. They are my priority! I action any issue the same day and make sure they are happy with the fix too! I do this because I want my tennants to be very happy in their home. A happy Tennant is a rent paying Tennant. A happy LL is a conscientious LL.
    Now the uniparty govenment want to kill off the PRS, to make room for their mates in business and banks to become the nations landlords. Think how standards will fall when that happens. Who suffers when this happens? Ultimately the tennants of course!
    Everything is being dismantled and either moved abroad where labour is much cheaper, or taken over by big businesses corporations. The uber rich are buying up land and property, so you can't. It's a new business model they are following, as described by WEF in Davros, and the EU and UK are following this agenda for 2030. The uber rich are getting richer, and the rest are getting poorer. Every crisis the UK faces this has happened, and it's not stopping, it's getting harder with higher prices, higher taxes and lower take home pay, in real terms. Inflation masks this trend, but it's there. The government are out to get all of us, one way or another, it's a slow process, but slice by slice we are robbed of our assets so that , as the WEF have put it..." You will have nothing, and be happy". Its their hope to create a globalised economy. A political, and centralized system of government much like the EU, but across the world. They hope that this will stop wars and end poverty across the globe. We will see the introduction of CBDC's and the process will be accelerated. They wish to reduce the global population, and stop farms producing so much food.
    Have you noticed how house prices have tripled in the last 25 years, and yet wages haven't even kept up with inflation?
    It's only going to get worse, much much worse!


    And there lies the bigger picture. Well said sir!
    It's the reason I will be resisting all temptation to reduce my portfolio. I am fighting for my grandchildren's future and will not be bullied out of the sector.

    George Dawes

    It's no longer a conspiracy theory , it's a fact

    The last 'medical intervention' shenanigans should've woken up the sheep

    I'm glad I'm not young , their future looks bleak

  • Bob wellamd

    "I don't care. As long as the treasury gets their CGT slice from distressed sales I'm convinced the treatment of private landlords is fair."
    M. Gove

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    For the die hard landlords, it's clear what the govenment will do to take your property from you. Remember its using salami tactics, so they will raise taxes for the PRS. The RRB will force many LL out of business, as the non paying tennants get to stay in their homes, protected by the courts and the county councils, the LL will be forced to sell or hand over to the banks, to pay the extortionate court fines, and/or the mortgage arrears, and/or the house repair Bill's and pay the govenment the very large CGT Bill's etc. Etc.
    Then the banks will not want to lend to B2L LL's and so they will make the rules harder and just greatly increase the interest rates for B2L PRS LL's and when the PRS is effectively gone, then the govenment will introduce taxes on house and home owners, starting with a mere 5% tax, but after a year or two that will become a 10% and then a 20% tax on the "calculated" equity on your home. This will stall the housing markets as people will slowly be forced to sell or hand over their homes to the banks. The banks will offer their homes under rental agreements, as a "solution" to the housing crisis "caused by greedy landlords and greedy home owners". Remember the govenment make the rules, and they want to do what big businesses ask of them.
    The uber rich clean up the property market and the rest will be us as renters in a housing monopoly, and just like the board game, the winner takes all.
    Let's hope the people of the UK see this and vote the uniparty out of office, before my predictions come true.

    George Dawes

    Keir and Rishi are both members of the you know who

    So much for democracy

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    To add to Frank's comments, Musk aims to replace significant chunk of human workforce with AI-thinking robots (business sense can be argued: no sick pay, lateness, working day hours restrictions, holiday pay, NI, pension costs, etc). Sounds sci-fi and futuristic but the technology is here and being refined daily (check out Boston Dynamics and that is 'old tech' based on programming compared to Musk's approach based on AI-thinking robots). Millions invested (shareholders demand speedy return) and aim is to have more robots than people in workforce. Musk sees a need for this due to overall population decline. It reminded me of when Henry Ford rolled out of the model T. Where does this leave landlords and their tenants (and society) as we transition to a global society where humans have to redefine their purpose (if it's not work, what will they do with their time) as they live off/get paid a 'universal basic income' (a salary becomes old school) through government digital currency.

    George Dawes

    You'll have to comply or face the consequences ...

    1984 is almost here !!!

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    Cost of Living , and Higher Interest Rates are only Part of the Problem.
    The Main Problems are Government Anti -Landlord Policies .

    Also Why has Gove and his his department not been questioned by a select Committee concerning Rubber stamping of Mass Selective Licence Areas.

    If you want to read a piece of Biased Reporting against Private Landlords rea

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    @Stephen Arnold which piece of biased reporting are you referring to?

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    I think Mr Gove & Liz Truss would make perfect partners ideal for wrecking the economy.


    The money men wrcked the economy. None of her policies took effect and Slippery Sunak and Jeremy Khunt have been in charge since.

    Gove could wreck a BYOB party.

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    Well I think Shelter been invited into the Parliamentary Select Committee to advise on Housing Policy is as biased as you can get.
    The fact is they don’t supply any Housing but continuously attack Private Landlords who House 11’000’000 renter’s off their own backs with their own private and personal finance. Yet they say is taken over our heads with Charity Status indeed. We don’t have Charity Status but instead we have c/gains tax, inheritance tax, double SDLT, licensing Scheme,
    A Malarkey Deposit Scheme by Shelter since 2007 when they alleged landlords kept up to 45% of Deposits it later turned out it was less than 2%. That’s fine then base your laws on that ?. They were behind the failed Sarah Tether private members Bill, not a problem for them they were ready for pushing the 2015 De-Regulation Act claiming property damage to prevent the use of S.21, not content with that kept on braying like donkeys to get rid of S.21, now they are getting that too.
    Still House no one and they are not elected representative so why bother with Elections, there’s certainly a lot of bias unjustly against landlords.


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