Owner of eight properties in Cornwall says critics of ‘rich landlords’ underestimate the increased costs faced by many as Coronavirus impacts the sector.

Thousands of landlords need more help to get them through the next few months as they struggle to support tenants and pay the bills, a concerned landlord has told LandlordZONE.

Shaun Carter, who has eight properties in Launceston, Cornwall, believes that despite being offered a mortgage holiday, it’s council tax, utility bills and overdraft payments that are adding up to a big headache for the sector.

“After a month of a property being empty, landlords have to pay council tax which can be a financial burden,” he says.

“And while empty properties might not be using gas or electricity, landlords are still liable for daily charges. Utility companies and councils should give them a break.”

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Carter adds that large numbers of landlords will be accumulating additional fees on their overdrafts as they go over their limit.

“The public bailed the banks out [during the 2008 crisis] – it’s time that the banks did something for the sector and froze these extra charges,” he says.

Trouble stored up

Although only two of his properties are currently empty, and so far none of his tenants have asked for a rent holiday, Carter reckons others in the sector could be storing up trouble as they’re effectively altering tenancy contracts by offering rent freezes or reductions.

He says: “A lot of these agreements are verbal, but you really need it on paper too so there’s no misunderstanding.”

Adds Carter: “I bought my houses in the 1990s or at auction so don’t have big mortgages, but I know many who do, especially those who might just have one property that they rent out for their retirement. I believe if we share our stories and ideas, we can help each other out.”

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3 COMMENTS

  1. hi
    we are feeling let down with regards to any help
    2 empty shops with business rates still due for payment ,as unoccupied plus utility bills
    also on a commercial mortgage (with No holiday payments )
    The shops were our business premises , we decided to rent out (and just sell online / exhibitions – shy of retiring)
    furthermore we are self employed but are in the 5% that do not meet the criteria’s of the scheme as our trading profit less than 50%- but rent WAS majority but being not tenanted has changed ref income
    Am concerned what will happen to the rental market and how long it will last
    whether we can sustain the long haul with our limited savings

  2. Hi all feeling let down by the government with this 2 properties empty at start of covic 19 , electric power cut off dispate electric meters topped up putting my health at risk all gov strategy from what we could work out so no work’s could be done, and all council tax bills have to be met , no way East riding of Yorkshire council tax department will budge ,it is a complete worry and night mere ,as they know I have health issues since taking on buy to let properties through no flault of my own involved in car accident and still they will not help in any shape or form , and goverment need to stand by us too , I know they have said they can not help everyone, but enough is enough it all (the systems should off been means tested more ) ,it is only big organisation that seems to be getting help , our sector as been well forgotten dispate all the uge publicity in promoting buy to let advertising in the beginning and our sector housing people more now at our vast risk to getting property damaged in the consequence I think it is discusting that we have not been given a life line , I have had to fight tooth and nail to get even mortgage releief, don’t know how credit rating will be either , it is a complete disgrace to us how we are forced to pull out of this don’t know such a worry thanks .

  3. There is significant uncertainty ahead over the remaining half of this year with the (high) possibility of a 2nd Coronavirus outbreak and Brexit on the Horizon which could leave many landlords struggling for an extended period with limited support. It’s those landlords who haven’t built up a sufficient buffer or have adopted strategies that put them at greater risk than others which who will be most affected. It would be nice to have help as long as we help ourselves from the beginning.

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