What a week it’s been.
As I’ve said in the lead story: “The momentous referendum vote harbingers the biggest turning point in Britain’s history since World War Two – it brings the beginning of the end of our contentious 43-year relationship with what is now the EU.”
It’s going to take exceptional leadership to steer us through this next couple of years and for Britain to come out the other side intact as a nation, and growing in prosperity. We live in an increasingly interconnected world where information flows and services are just as important as physical product, and Britain is uniquely positioned to take advantage; our skills our language and our geographical location.
Let’s hope that our leaders can pull this off because the future cohesiveness and prosperity of the nation depends on it, including those that voted out, in or didn’t vote at all. A thriving and prosperous UK is in everyone’s interest, but it’s going to be a Herculean task to unravel our existing relationship with the EU, and put something better in its place while at the same time keeping the UK together as one nation.
Meanwhile, the small-scale landlord is looking at the uncertainty all of this will bring. Will property prices fall in the short term? Is this a buying opportunity? Will there be changes to recent legislation, and pertinently, the tax allowances issue? Will rental demand and rent levels increase if house building stalls, as looks likely?
No one really knows what will happen exactly, but business as usual, planning with a degree of optimism that all will work out well, is perhaps the best course of action. One thing is absolutely certain, people will always need a roof over their heads, prices increase when there is scarcity, and in a shifting economy people need flexibility to move around – they need rental accommodation.
The battle on mortgage interest relief continues as landlords and peers throw their weight behind the landlords and the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) campaign to oppose George Osborne’s plans to cut mortgage interest relief for landlords.
According to an RLA article in this issue, Tory peers Lord Flight, Lord Howard, Lord Lytton and Lord Cathcart have said the move is “misguided” and it will “make the UK housing crisis worse, forcing up rents and making it harder than ever for tenants to save for a deposit.”
Other articles in this issue include: How Brexit will affect the London property market, an article from Belvoir on how to “give your rental property a money saving makeover with six simple steps”, advice on commercial property leases from regular contributor and rent review specialist Michael Lever, tips on extending carpet life in rentals, and another article on how to unlock potential value in your property investments. There’s also information about Kingston Council’s enterprising scheme offering guaranteed income for landlords and Elfin Kitchen’s article on how to add value with a mini kitchen when space is limited.
By next month we should have a clearer idea of where things are going in the country and the effect this will have on property, so watch this space.
Finally, we encourage you to take part in a private landlord survey that is attempting to discover the true impact of the recent legislative changes introduced into the private rented sector (PRS) in England and Wales. Please take a few minutes of your time to complete this survey which is being conducted as part of a postgraduate study by a student at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s. We will publish the results of the survey when the study is complete.
Tom Entwistle, Editor, LandlordZONE® June 2016