In my op-ed article I have articulated the changes which the PRS has experienced in 2015 and the likely consequences these will have for landlords going forward. In the 21st century changes come thick and fast, in all walks of life, so anyone in business – and being a landlord is a business – must learn to adapt.
Two main strands: taxation and regulation, both represent real challenges for landlords. The accountants are burning the midnight oil to come up with the best advice for buy-to-let landlords in the future, so watch this space.
Ben Gosling of Commercial Trust puts a rather positive slant to counter the doomsayers on buy-to-let in his article “The buy to let naysayers are missing the point” – “The fundamentals have not changed. Ultimately, buy to let is successful because demand from tenants for decent homes is huge, and always rising. Homes in the UK are unaffordable for millions, and this is not set to change. Rental property offers strong asset growth at a time when interest rates are flat. It offers relative stability at a time of turbulence for global stock markets. It offers decent potential income thanks to supply and demand. Changing tax laws, increasing legislation and the threat of market intervention merely represent the game changing – not becoming unplayable.”
The best strategy for the more stringent regulatory regime is “get yourself organised”. If you are a landlord managing your own properties you need to do your homework. Familiarise yourself with the new rules and regulations, make sure your property and paperwork are up-to-date, and use a checklist to make sure you miss absolutely nothing. We have produced a set of really important checklists here: www.landlordzone.co.uk/documents
This issue contains a summary of the feedback we received from a Webinar presented by UPad’s James Davis, accompanied by myself on Thursday evening the 26th of November entitled “The New Landlord Checklist: Know Your Legal Obligations”. We received some amazing feed-back, almost all positive from over 100 landlord participants. I thought it might be a good idea if I answered some of these questions and posted them on our website here
We also feature here “The Rent Check Report” which is a regular publication produced in collaboration and with the expertise of BDRC Continental – the UK’s largest independent market research consultancy – and Allsop LLP – one of the leading property consultancy firms and advisors on the residential property market. Their research tracks the experience of a large sample (2,689 in the six months to September 2015) of members of the National Landlord Association (NLA), providing a statistically robust overview of the rental market – covering 20,485 properties. It is a unique measure of the rents being agreed by landlords for Private Rented Sector tenancies across England and Wales. Read the full report here
For those interested in commercial property, regular contributor and rent review specialist Michael Lever reviews the current state of retailing on the British high street. “The changing character of town centres is an on-going story. In the shallow end, market shift is an opportunity for landlords to increase rents across the board. In the deep end, whether a retailer is able to keep pace depends upon how psychologically-equipped the particular retailer is at appreciating the difference between market momentum and individual achievement.” Read the full article “Thinking inside the Box” here
In this issue are included the show dates for all the planned major landlord shows throughout the UK for next year to keep yourself up-to-date with all the latest information and suppliers – there will be some really important seminars to attend.
The story about the house sale scam which hit Max Hasting, the prolific author and ex Daily Telegraph editor, is when Sir Max became the victim of property crime. This is something every landlord and letting agent should read. He explains how his wife nearly lost her investment property to the ruse when clever and scheming crooks used a sophisticated scam to steal the property, while an unsuspecting buyer, the real victim is this episode, a young lady who has not been named, lost £1.3m in cash. This story goes to show the real importance of doing thorough tenant checks
I’m pleased to report the success of our seasonal competition which has attracted a large number of entries for the prize draw to win a Sony 40” HD TV. The prize is on its way via Amazon to the lucky winner: landlord Dean Christy, owner of a portfolio residential properties around Reading and London. The competition, which was sponsored by 12 leading suppliers to the rental property industry, also raised £1200 for charity – UK Cancer Research.
All that remains is for me to wish all our readers a Happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year – it’s going to be a challenging one!
Tom Entwistle, Editor