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‘Landlords have had enough’ – Star Letter 21/04/2023

  • 21/04/2023
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‘Landlords have had enough’ – Star Letter 21/04/2023
Each week Mortgage Solutions and its sister title, Specialist Lending Solutions, pick the top comments from our readers.

The first comments come from: Nearly 150,000 landlords retire from the market with more expected

John Emmett said: “Retiring landlords [are] not the real reason they are exiting the sector. As with many areas in the UK, increased regulation and taxation are just a burden now, and landlords have had enough.

“The media, particularly the populist papers, drive the message that all landlords are bad. Many tenants are very aware of their rights, which are being increased all the time, but many have no inclination to accept their responsibilities.”

He added: “A phrase used over the years is ‘dinner party landlords’, a derogatory phrase. Many lenders are not interested in the landlord with one or two properties. Products and lending criteria favour the ‘professional’ landlords with several properties and limited company arrangements. However, even these landlords that require little or no borrowing are selling up.

“The housing sector is as dysfunctional now as it was when I was recruited by a building society all those years ago. There does need to be at least 10-year plans, but governments only look ahead for two to three years.”

Emmett continued: “The position of housing minister is used as a holding position. ‘Take housing for a few months and I’ll appoint you to a cabinet post when a position is available’ and then you end up with people like Grant Shapps who would visit the development of 10 new-build houses for a photo opportunity, but didn’t make any impact when holding the office.

“New build is just land banking by developers to keep share prices up and when potential purchasers agree to buy, high pressure and increased stress levels by site offices to make the whole experience miserable.”


Landlords are ‘more and more powerless’

Michelle Lawson, also commenting on the article, added: “The real reason that landlords are leaving the sector is onerous regulation, too many overheads, some of which are caused by regulation, constant landlord bashing by the media assuming all landlords are rich, a rise in poor quality tenants due to changes to legislation in the tenants’ favour.

“Councils are not helping themselves by paying housing benefit rent to tenants not the landlords and also, when landlord notice is served, tenants are being advised to stay by the councils until they have been evicted by courts/bailiffs otherwise they can’t help house them.”

She continued: “Deposits are often inadequate to cover damages or unpaid rent. There is a further need to then go through the court process to regain funds which can result in a loss of thousands of pounds to landlords in lost rent, damage repair and court fees.

“Tenants are increasingly aware of their rights and a fair number are knowingly breaching tenancy contracts by subletting, moving pets in, creating houses in multiple occupation (HMO) by moving friends or family in. Tenants are also stopping landlords from access to carry out their basic requirements such as energy performance certificates and gas safety certificates.

“Mortgage costs are rising. Landlords are not a charity and most only just break even if they are lucky hence why rent rises are being passed on.”

She continued: “Basically, landlords are getting more and more powerless and having to deal with a whole heap of rubbish due to changes in legislation and regulation. I can totally understand why they are selling up and running to the hills. It’s not an attractive venture unless you totally know what you are doing and do the right things.

“This government, intentionally or not, have caused this housing crisis we are in. We have had a significant number of housing ministers – none of which are in their seats long enough to make a difference and this very important role is treated as a minor department.

“Until this is changed and it is treated more seriously and the government wake up and listen to all the advice they are being given by those in the know, this situation will only get significantly worse sadly.”


Clients pay to be advised based on circumstances

The following comments come from the story: Warning of rise in complaints around two-year fixed rate mortgages

Keith Thompson said: “‘But ultimately the choice is with the client?’ Isn’t this the root of the problem? Surely if a client has approached a mortgage broker, they want to be advised what is best for them?

“This is why we take exams and charge a fee is it not? If they do not wish to take a broker’s advice, they either move on or are put through an insistent client process, which clearly highlights the broker’s advice.”

Anon added: “As brokers it’s down to us to advise the client based on what they’ve told us. That’s what they’re paying us for. Of course, they can ignore our advice, but we should be recommending a specific product and explaining why that aligns with the client’s situation.”


The comments here are from our readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Mortgage Solutions and Specialist Lending Solutions.

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