One-size-fits-all legislation is hitting Welsh landlords particularly hard, according to one of the country’s more successful property investors, who believes it’s having an irrevocable impact on the sector.

Alexlouise Thomas, who has been in the business for almost 20 years and has 14 properties in Wales, says the government is working against landlords who want to offer good quality, affordable housing.

“There’s a lot of unintended consequences to the legislation that’s being introduced, as a landlord in London is different to a landlord in Wales,” she tells LandlordZONE.

“Many Welsh landlords just don’t have the resources to become a limited company or pay for Rent Smart Wales registration. House prices and incomes are lower, rents are cheap and many of the landlords are small.”

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After training as a chef, Alexlouise started investing in property aged 22 and rapidly grew a 19-strong portfolio. But while hosting cookery demonstrations, she realised she was giving diners more advice about houses than cooking, and her property education business was born – Rock Solid Moneymaker.

It’s grown into a successful mentoring scheme that focuses on financial security and has spawned joint ventures involving some of her trainees as well as an upcoming book.

Limited company

She recently transferred her property into a limited company as a way of making it more tax-efficient, but acknowledges that many smaller landlords don’t have that luxury.

And with energy efficiency targets looming, many will be hit disproportionately hard when faced with retrofit bills, says Alexlouise, while some are also getting big tax bills. “They’re realising the property isn’t making them money anymore.”

As larger joint ventures and companies can share the tax and legislative burden, the result will be fewer smaller landlords, she adds.

“It’s sad that the current climate is removing the ability for someone to build a bit of wealth by buying one property to rent out, however, it could mean it will become a more professional sector. We should now be having conversations about the solutions as well as the challenges ahead.”

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