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Robert Brown
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1964  Profile Views

About Me

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my expertise in the industry

20 + years

Robert 's Recent Activity

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 09 April 2021 08:58 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 05 April 2021 22:11 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 31 March 2021 10:55 AM

Robert  Brown
Totally agree! Glasgow Council brought in compulsory HMO licences around 2005 for all properties let to more than 2 unrelated adults, irrespective of size or number of rooms etc. On each flat I had to spend around £2k on a 3 year licence and around £5k on fitting mains operated interlinked smoke and CO alarms, new fire doors, new locks on external doors etc. I also have ongoing annual costs of around £500 for LGSR, boiler servicing, PAT checks and alarm servicing, around £1000 every 3 years for each renewed HMO licence - plus upgrading to meet any changes in regulations, like 6 easily accessible power points per room, intumescent collars on extraction fans etc. However I found I could increase my rents from a bit under £200 per month per bedroom in 2004 to over £250 as soon as the HMO regulations took effect and I had up to 17 groups of four wanting the best located flats. Rents continued to rise steadily to around £375 per room per month in 2017 and since the new loony SNP legislation came into force in December 2017, I can now get £525 per room per month - so £2100 per month for a four bed flat from 2017 onwards that used to get under £800 in 2004! Tenants will always have to pay for the policies of those who claim to be looking after them! PS. When I was a student in Glasgow in the early 70's there were 8 of us sharing a grotty 4 bedroom flat - but we could easily afford the essentials like 8 pints of beer per night and copious quantities of fish and chips from the local chippy. No wonder there's a huge housing shortage when youngsters are banned from doubling up (at least officially!) and thus needing twice as many flats (and paying twice as much rent) compared to earlier generations - who didn't die in their thousands due to house fires, gas explosions, legionella, CO poisoning or electrocution!

From: Robert Brown 29 March 2021 10:34 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 25 March 2021 10:00 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 24 March 2021 08:20 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 23 March 2021 17:18 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 16 March 2021 08:59 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 11 March 2021 11:35 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 08 March 2021 09:21 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 05 March 2021 17:41 PM

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From: Robert Brown 03 March 2021 17:18 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 03 March 2021 17:16 PM

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From: Robert Brown 03 March 2021 09:31 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 01 March 2021 15:22 PM

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From: Robert Brown 01 March 2021 09:03 AM

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From: Robert Brown 26 February 2021 09:19 AM

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From: Robert Brown 25 February 2021 19:24 PM

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From: Robert Brown 25 February 2021 09:33 AM

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From: Robert Brown 24 February 2021 23:05 PM

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From: Robert Brown 24 February 2021 22:47 PM

Robert  Brown
Michael The SNP war against Landlords (and by extension, decent tenants ) has led a real shortage of decent properties. I had 17 groups of 4 students chasing one 4 bed flat in June 2019, and only one out of a dozen flats suffered the early termination by tenants last March (allowed in Scotland) when lockdown started, as the others knew they wouldn't get such nice flats again. I have another really nice holiday house in a lovely seaside village which easily rents from April to September every year. I used to take a 6 month let for the winter, basically to avoid the Council Tax and keep it heated, but it still gave a family a nice home, albeit for only six months. SNP legislation now means I can't set a 6 month limit on a winter let, so I stopped doing a winter let. However I have found that with Christmas and New Year weeks let at peak rates, along with off peak short breaks and weekends, I make more than previously from the six month rental. It also now qualifies for tax advantages and council tax exemption as a furnished holiday let. Net result is I am about £3000 per annum better off, would qualify for only 10% CGT if I sold it, and the local market has lost a fantastic value winter 6 month rental opportunity. Many of the former high quality student flats in Edinburgh are no longer rented to students as the short term summer rentals couldn't be booked up in advance until students deigned to give the minimum 4 weeks notice. Purpose built student ghettos charge £500 plus per room and tend to be in more dodgy further out areas, so that sets expectations for rents for the better situated normal 4 bed properties. In addition, local residents want councils to limit the number of HMO licences issued so limiting availability and creating higher demand from the growing numbers of students and other young flat sharers. I don't see anything interfering with this situation in my lifetime. These are some of the reasons good properties are in short supply and in high demand making very high yields in Scotland for the best properties. Incidentally the flats yielding £25k per annum would sell for between £250k to £350k maximum, so yielding around 8 to 10% gross. I never paid over half this amount, with many of my flats being well under a quarter of that 30 to 40 years ago, so I could cope with a serious step change but really can't see it happening in Scotland.

From: Robert Brown 24 February 2021 22:46 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 23 February 2021 15:01 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 22 February 2021 20:49 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 19 February 2021 09:21 AM

Robert  Brown
Spot on! A key reason for the lack of rental properties is renters being unwilling (or not allowed) to share in the manner they always did in previous generations. I shared a 4 bedroom student flat with 7 other guys (officially) and often also with a few girls (with the "single" guys sofa surfing on a "my turn for the bedroom tomorrow" basis). We had 1. an electrical engineer - who couldn't even by-pass the meter, 2. a mechanical engineer - who couldn't fix anything we broke, 3. a medic - sometimes came in handy, 4. a vet- in case the medic took ill, 5. a law student - useless if we ever needed him - still is! 6. a microbiologist - couldn't even brew decent beer, 7. a chemistry student - nearly blew us up trying to distill home made hooch, 8. an art student - never expected him to be useful anyway. We had thread bare rugs, draughty windows, fire trap sofas, dodgy gas fires and old round pin plugs and frequent rodent visitors - but the biggest risk we had was dying of food or alcohol poisoning or fatal skin diseases through unwashed skin, clothing or bed clothes. The bottom line was we could well afford the rent split 8 ways and higher density sharers only needed half the number of flats than we would need with current day HMO rules, so leaving many more flats available for others to rent. Another case of the "campaigners" shooting themselves in the foot at the expense of other innocent tenants and the homeless who are no longer allowed to share as cheaply like we did ? PS - Never had so much fun (don't tell the wife!)

From: Robert Brown 17 February 2021 14:29 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 17 February 2021 13:13 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 16 February 2021 09:16 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 15 February 2021 09:31 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 11 February 2021 09:26 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 08 February 2021 09:25 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 05 February 2021 10:50 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 01 February 2021 09:24 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 29 January 2021 08:55 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 26 January 2021 10:29 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 25 January 2021 14:12 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 25 January 2021 09:06 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 23 January 2021 11:44 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 22 January 2021 16:51 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 22 January 2021 11:21 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 20 January 2021 13:49 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 20 January 2021 13:44 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 20 January 2021 13:17 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 19 January 2021 12:57 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 18 January 2021 13:55 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 14 January 2021 19:21 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 13 January 2021 11:36 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 13 January 2021 11:33 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 12 January 2021 17:26 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 12 January 2021 10:43 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 11 January 2021 10:25 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 11 January 2021 08:51 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 11 January 2021 08:50 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 09 January 2021 15:01 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 07 January 2021 19:18 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 05 January 2021 09:57 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 30 December 2020 22:38 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 24 December 2020 08:53 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 22 December 2020 09:47 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 22 December 2020 08:59 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 22 December 2020 08:16 AM

Robert  Brown
It looks as if our right of reply to Shelter's claims in the adjoining thread have been curtailed. This is a pity because for once Shelter is right. We can, we do and we WILL discriminate - and we WILL get away with this discrimination - because otherwise how else can we decide who to rent to? Should it be based on any logical selection criteria - which means discrimination - or on a random basis - like always first come, first served.... or by raffle ticket .. or by drawing straws? If it's anything other than a purely random selection then it will always be discrimination - positive discrimination in favour of the fortunate tenants we choose, balanced by negative discrimination to the disadvantage of those we don't choose. Unless we only have two applicants for each empty property then there will, by definition, be more negative discrimination than positive discrimination. That's life! It was ever thus - even if the lefties try to thwart every selection process by removing or hiding or falsifying the information on which we make our selections - like they are doing now with abolishing school exams and letting them mark their own homework! Surely it's better to have a known, quantifiable and visible method of selection - like working tenants only - which time and experience has shown to work well, by and large - than an invisible method subject to hidden or unconscious bias with no scientific or verifiable basis and thus no means of subsequent quantification of its level of success and hence justification?

From: Robert Brown 21 December 2020 14:13 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 19 December 2020 19:39 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 17 December 2020 13:01 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 15 December 2020 22:18 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 07 December 2020 13:58 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 04 December 2020 09:36 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 26 November 2020 14:43 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 25 November 2020 12:15 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 19 November 2020 15:12 PM

Robert  Brown
I wonder if they will abolish the annual £12.5k CGT allowance which stock market investors (I.e. Most MP's and Tory voters) can use every year but landlords can only use once when they crystallise a capital gain (largely inflation) when they sell, usually after a number of years of caring for and improving the property. I foresee two outcomes, neither of which will be what the Government wants. 1. Landlords will dramatically reduce how often they sell or churn their properties, so the amount of CGT raised won't necessarily increase as the Government hoped for. Look at how the Stamp Duty hikes have reduced the amount of activity in the owner occupied sector, with many ugly unsuitable extension being built to avoid moving. This has all reduced the availability of smaller homes for the first time buyers. Any. CGT hike will add to this problem - not the outcome the Government wants! 2. In the 80's and later, rents stayed relatively stable as landlords were happy with modest yields and healthy capital growth. Now that capital growth is stalled, rents have grown substantially in the last 10 to 15 years. A hike in CGT will add to. Landlords' potential costs and thus increase rents in the current market where demand outstrips supply. Again, not what the Government wants. It's notable that they are steering clear of a much fairer strategy - taxing the dead! Whilst I expect my children to pay a modest amount of IHT on my demise, I have taken steps to minimise this by buying much of my portfolio in their names and receiving the after tax rental profits as tax free gifts from them. However I wouldn't object too much if the rules were changed to close IHT loopholes and spread the load amongst all relatively comfortable families. However that would hurt the Tory voter base too much so it's easier to penalise landlords as most voters would support that, not realising that it's actually tenants who would be penalised in most cases. Any landlords who plan to sell up in a few years would be well advised to set up a company and sell to it NOW, so crystallising the current gain under current CGT rates, gaining the current tax advantages of owning properties in a limited company and also gaining the flexibility of selling a proportion of the company later over a number of years to maximise any remaining CGT annual exemptions. In summary, I think only changes to unavoidable taxes like Council Tax, PAYE and VAT will actually make any difference to the amount of tax revenue raised. All other taxes are too easily avoided or mitigated by sensible tax planning and creative thinking.

From: Robert Brown 12 November 2020 09:39 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 05 November 2020 10:27 AM

Robert  Brown
Mark For generations, most working people have been unable to buy their own homes. Keeping families fed and clothed was a daily struggle for many before WW2.This eased up a bit for probably one full generation but it now seems more difficult again in many areas, but by no means everywhere or for every property. Evidently there is no current problem in affording copious amounts of food for the vast "bulk" of people, whether working or not. There are plenty of buying opportunities in auctions throughout the UK for those with the gumption to grasp them. Working people were undeniably poor up until WW2 but given the obesity epidemic, sky dishes, fancy cars, fancy holidays, costalot coffees and expensive mobile phones, the biggest barrier to home ownership for many is the inability or refusal to get their priorities right. For many renters, they don't want to buy and take on the responsibility of mortgages, maintenance, prohibitive stamp duty payments on moving house - compared to no fees at all on renting another property. PRS investors ( NOT speculators!) are providing a valuable and much wanted service and contributing to the mobility of the working population, although not enough of them seem to be prepared to exploit such mobility opportunities and go where the work is and just bemoan lack of local opportunities, ignoring those opportunities further afield. Perhaps if the benefits system, and especially the furlough schemes etc. were less generous then they would have more incentive to chase the opportunities that do exist. However it's easier to moan about those who have grasped opportunities past and present!

From: Robert Brown 04 November 2020 13:38 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 31 October 2020 23:01 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 28 October 2020 10:16 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 27 October 2020 11:12 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 19 October 2020 09:18 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 13 October 2020 16:23 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 09 October 2020 18:30 PM

Robert  Brown
Almost every article comparing alternative investments ignores the multiplying effect of gearing or leverage available on residential btl properties. 20 to 30 years ago I was quite comfortable with a 90% ltv mortgage but now I wouldn't go for more than 75% ltv ( if I were still investing personally which I am not as currently 40% of any gain would eventually go to HMRC and I give them enough already in income tax). Getting back to gearing, with a 25% deposit then a nominal 6% yield on a btl property grows to 24% gross, less about 1.5% interest on the 75% mortgage. That £240 per annum income per £1000 equity is solely on rental income and capital growth should augment that further. A 25% increase in property values represents 100% increase in equity on a 75% ltv property - not an unreasonable assumption over a few years based on past performance. The risks are that the 25% equity is wiped out by a 25% reduction in property values and the rent doesn't get paid. I don't think the former will happen and would guard against the latter with solvent guarantors being required. I therefore believe property investment, using money lent by the more cautious (or timid) building society investors is a much better and safer investment than any other investment opportunity. Government bonds might be safer but NS&I has just reduced its interest rate from 1.16% to 0.01%, so earning 10p per annum on every £1000 "invested". I prefer the £240 per £1000 of equity from a 24% return on equity plus probable capital growth which is why I won't be selling up and would advise anyone with a net worth under the iht threshold to invest in property but do so carefully and cautiously.

From: Robert Brown 02 October 2020 22:23 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 01 October 2020 08:59 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 27 September 2020 15:54 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 27 September 2020 09:14 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 14 September 2020 19:34 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 11 September 2020 18:42 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 26 August 2020 18:25 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 26 August 2020 10:07 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 25 August 2020 10:18 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 24 August 2020 13:20 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 06 August 2020 09:24 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 26 June 2020 15:33 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 09 June 2020 17:34 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 03 June 2020 09:06 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 21 April 2020 15:42 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 11 April 2020 17:55 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 07 April 2020 09:10 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 07 April 2020 09:08 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 26 March 2020 21:49 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 24 March 2020 08:54 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 19 March 2020 12:33 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 18 March 2020 12:32 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 17 March 2020 12:55 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 17 March 2020 12:53 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 17 March 2020 10:14 AM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 21 February 2020 16:50 PM

Robert  Brown

From: Robert Brown 27 January 2020 10:48 AM