Coronavirus Update #2 For Landlords: Thanks For Absolutely Nothing, BoJo

Landlord coronavirus update

I’m trying to be positive.

I really am!

But it’s becoming increasingly difficult.

The bog-roll bandits are still terrorising Tesco shelves with coordinated attacks. I literally have 2-3 days worth of supply left (depending on how much/little I eat), and then I’ll be forced to decimate and violate the leaves in my garden.

Yesterday (18th March 2020) the government announced, I quote, “radical package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by coronavirus.”

And that, certainly did make me feel even more radically less than inspired.

I said I’ll do my utmost to keep you updated. So here we are.

Okay, so let’s take a look at this junk…

Here’s the official press release of the measures. They include:

  • Emergency legislation to suspend new evictions from social or private rented accommodation while this national emergency is taking place.
  • No new possession proceedings through applications to the court to start during the crisis.
  • Landlords will also be protected as 3 month mortgage payment holiday is extended to Buy to Let mortgages.

The official Bill to enforce the new measures have not been released yet (from what I’m aware), so the finer details are unknown. I’m not looking forward to those.

However, my early thoughts…

On the surface these measures seem reasonable and useful. If you lean over and take a glance at the headlines, you may even feel inclined to applaud the government for being so uncharacteristically helpful.

Unfortunately, we are landlords, so we need to scratch beneath the surface and apply the measures in real case scenarios. Once you start doing that, you’d be forgiven for wondering if this pantomime is one big wind-up.

In practical terms, these measures seem like thoughtless knee-jerk counter-measures to appease anyone but landlords.

If these measures prove anything, it’s that there is still no such thing as a free lunch and we’re still being treated like fools.

Buyer beware.

Suspension of new evictions & possession proceedings

The press release implies that there is a blanket suspension of new evictions and possession proceedings for at least the next 3 months. There doesn’t seem to be any distinct mention of this policy only protecting tenants that are exclusively impacted by the coronavirus.

I am baffled.

So essentially, tenants can run around buck-wild for a minimum of three months with no immediate consequences, even if they commit acts of domestic misbehaviour, which includes damage to property, or fall into arrears for reasons totally unrelated to the coronavirus.

Basically, it looks like we’re on the verge of being shot in the ass with a tranquilliser dart. “Touch your toes for me, darling!”

But let’s be hopelessly optimistic and assume that this measure only applies to tenants that can prove they have fallen into rent arrears due to the coronavirus, and are therefore entitled to deferring their rent payments. Here’s the government’s strategy:

At the end of this period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances.

This is bonkers, because the government seems to be flat-out playing dumb. This measure is irresponsible at best, and psychotic at worst.

Reality #1: the most vulnerable people in society will be impacted the hardest by financial turmoil. These poor souls live on the breadline and live pay cheque to pay cheque. There is no way even the best intentioned tenant will be able to repay “rent holidays” in any reasonable timeframe, and this has been proven over and over again when landlords have taken tenants to court for rent arrears.

The government must know this, and that is why they will NOT underwrite the temporary lines of credit they expect us to provide, or pay the rent on behalf of the tenant and then recover the money themselves.

Reality #2: assholes will take advantage of the rent holiday, and there’s no mention of any safety measures in place. I’m not expecting any either.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: drug dealers are still dealing, and looters are still looting, and I’m sure there are scumbags out there diluting bottles of sanitizer with donkey piss to increase profit margins.

Do they think everyone in society has suddenly become an innocent victim?

Reality #3: while many tenants are self-isolating at home they will naturally consume more utility services (e.g. gas and electricity). Some landlords *include* utility bills with the rent, particularly HMO landlords, so their costs are likely to skyrocket, especially if the tenants are requiring rent holidays.

Much of this debt will inevitably be lost money and tax write-offs for landlords.

In the medium to long-term, this seems like it’s going to be extremely damaging for both landlords and tenants.

On a side note, some tenants have runaway with the idea that a “rent holiday” (deferred rental payment) is the same as a “free rent” period that doesn’t need to be repaid.

It’s not.

But many of them will be right.

BTL Mortgage Holidays

The ultimate wolf in sheep’s clothing, so it appears.

Recognising the additional pressures the virus may put on landlords, we have confirmed that the three month mortgage payment holiday announced yesterday will be extended to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus.

Where to start with this one?

Firstly, from what I understand, we can “apply” for a mortgage holiday, so it is not guaranteed even if you need it. I believe it will be down to the discretion of the lender. So WTF even is this then? What does it have to do with the government? I don’t get it. *stares blankly*

It looks like they’re just passing on a message from the lenders and taking credit for doing sweet F-all.

Secondly, notice how this measure has an explicit condition of being impacted by the coronavirus, while the suspension of new evictions & possession proceedings is based on unspecified conditions. That means landlords can only qualify for a mortgage holiday if their tenant has been financially impacted by the coronavirus, but tenants are protected from evictions for the next 3 months regardless of rhyme or reason. Seems fair.

Thirdly, this measure would have been much more balanced if it forced lenders to qualify landlords for mortgage holidays if tenants stop paying rent in the next 3 months. But, of course, it doesn’t.

Fourthly, what about the many landlords that have no mortgage and rely on the rental income as their salary? No provisions whatsoever.

Fifthly (sounds very odd), interest is still payable and it will build up over those deferred months, meaning you will owe more on the mortgage.

Lastly, and perhaps the biggest slap in the nuts of them all. If anyone takes ‘advantage’ of a mortgage holiday it may negatively impact their credit rating, which unsurprisingly, is a condition I haven’t read anywhere in the small-print. Here is a tweet I received yesterday:

Mortgage holidays coronavirus

I haven’t verified the legitimacy of this claim, but I have no reason to disbelieve.

If that is the case, the consequences of taking advantage of a mortgage holiday seems like too big of a price to pay, so I urge all landlords to discuss this matter with their lender first. If your lender says it will not impact your credit rating, please get it in writing. Even then, I’d still be dubious, personally.

Bear in mind, a poor credit rating could impact your ability to obtain future credit and your ability to remortgage onto better products. Being limited to poor mortgage products can be significantly expensive for borrowers for many years.

Ironically, both the NLA and RLA seem to be bragging that this move follows extensive lobbying by them.

Amazing job, thank you! I’ll put the ‘BTL mortgage holiday’ right next to my chocolate teapot!

This should be a last resort, if that. I’ll loiter the streets with my begging bowl before allowing my lender to have this one over me.

I never asked for or expected a handout, but…

I didn’t expect the government to help landlords in the first place. I think there’s too many hopeless hermits roaming the streets that have lost grip of reality. It’s quite concerning, to be honest.

People seem to be forgetting that we haven’t been able to efficiently fund the NHS, schools, and the police force, yet everyone, including politicians, is expecting handouts and bailouts to prop-up every industry and household on the planet.

I understand and accept that the government cannot help everyone right now, it’s simply unfeasible. But, my issue isn’t that, it’s that they’re trying to flog us a pile of steaming shit while packaging it as an act of mercy to “protect renters and landlords

Unfortunately, I think these measures – in their current sparse form – are just pretty sparkly lights, and cheap attempts of misdirection. I’ll be utterly bewildered if they don’t end up being extremely costly for everyone, but the government.

The final details could be more reassuring, but I’m doubtful.

Bottom line, I wouldn’t rely on the government to support landlords during this crisis.

Nothing new to see here.

Other bits ‘n bobs!

  • Keeping on top of the info – I’m trying my best to actively share as much information as I possibly can, and I’ll continue to do so, but everything feels like it’s moving far too quickly for my tiny hobbit feet to keep up with. I’ve been most active with updates on my Facebook Page, so I invite you to join it if you aren’t a member already.

    Just as a reminder, I’m merely an inadequate and socially awkward blogger, so everything I share is based on my opinion, nothing else. I do, of course, try my utmost to keep you updated with accurate information, alas, my futile mind and resources are shamefully limited.

    So, during these uncertain times, it wouldn’t be totally absurd to join a Landlord Association to get the most accurate information. I suspect as this ghastly situation continues to develop and unravel, more and more questions will need answering by landlords.

    Many landlords are already asking questions that I simply don’t know the answers to (e.g. what if my tenant is isolating and I need to make essential repairs?). I’m not even sure if there are any guidelines for all the nuisances that will certainly pop-up because this is uncharted waters. But if there are answers available, a landlord association would be a good place to seek them.

    I personally recommend Landlords Guild, but only because I find the head-honcho, Adrian, extremely personable, knowledgeable and approachable. Of course, the RLA and NLA are also worthy options (despite their recent lobbying antics).

  • Wills – Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for this.

    I feel terrible for even mentioning this, but it is the reality of what’s going on. I’ll keep it short, and I truly hope you understand!

    I’ve noticed a giant uptick in Google searches related to wills, presumably by those that haven’t made any arrangements for how their assets will get distributed, if God forbid, the worst happens. I think people are starting to realise they’re not as invulnerable as they had once hoped.

    Many of you will remember that I shared a positive review for an online will service called Beyond.life quite a while ago, after incurring a tragic… basketball injury, which… umm… left me with a dislocated finger.

    Why do I feel like I’m going to burn in hell for this?

    That blog post is now suddenly thriving with activity, and that can’t be a coincidence. Beyond.life allow you to quickly and easily create a professional will online in 15mins for £90.

    I’m sorry. I’m done.

    See you bog-roll bandits in hell.

Stay safe and please continue to look after one another!

I want to reiterate my sentiments from my previous blog post, just in case anyone gets their knickers in a twist and misconstrues my gripes with these new measures.

I wholeheartedly hope every single landlord and tenant support one another through these difficult and uncertain times. Do whatever you can for one another.

I want the government and those in fortunate positions, to help the most vulnerable in society as much as possible.

Finally, sorry for being such a Debbie Downer. I know optimism may have been more beneficial right now, but I think it’s critical not to ignore the fact that we do have a future, and what we do TODAY will make a difference tomorrow. Life is not ending, despite popular belief.

P.s. can someone lend me some bog-roll, please?

Coronavirus: what you need to do!

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Showing 92 - 142 comments (out of 142)
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Bill Peabody 23rd March, 2020 @ 22:19

@Richard

I can sympathise with Paul Barrett regarding his potential loss of rental income.
My investments include property and I'm expecting to take a hit. My equity portfolio has certainly taken a hit. There's blood on the streets and some of it is my own.

But investing is about understanding and accepting risk.
Nobody forced Paul Barrett to invest in residential property. He could have invested all his money in U.S. Treasuries and right now he'd be laughing.

But with the amount of currency being created right now, I still think long term property will out perform US Treasuries and cash.

My situation is slightly different perhaps, in that my tenants also work for my family business. So it's in all our interests to be reasonable.

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Paul Barrett 24th March, 2020 @ 04:08

@bill peabody

Yep I believe that you are totally correct about investment risks.

However with letting property the risk is all to do with the tenant.
Clearly it is for the LL to determine the level of risk they wish to undertake.

The presumption in the UK is that one should be able to remove a non-rent paying tenant to enable that risk of no rent being mitigated by hopefully new rent paying occupants.

But to have a situation where a LL is effectively prevented from indulging in as much mitigation as he sees fit to ensure business survival is clearly a risk that couldn't be reasonably expected to occur.
So it is hardly poor me anything with my 5 soon to be 4 properties.

All LL myst of course accept the business risks of taking on certain types of tenants.
The problem is that dysfunctional tenants cannot easily be removed.

If I started eating all supplies in a supermarket I would quickly be arrested and removed from the store.
Not so with a rental property.
It is difficult enough to get rid of dysfunctional tenants at the best of times; a risk most LL should be aware of.

This is the principal risk of being an AST LL and one that unfortunately too few LL appreciate is the case.

I believe the PRS will be transformed.
For the little LL the risks are simply too much especially if mortgaged.

I gad already decided to get out of the AST game about a year ago but it takes time to exit the PRS with maximum profit.

During this time one just has to suffer the agonies of being a LL; a role that I detest and hope to be shot of as soon as I profitably can.
Osborne started the rot and basically since S24 the game is no longer worth the risk.

This is why I now aspire to become a lodger LL where I will not be subject to all the issues an AST LL has to suffer.

I would welcome large institutions taking on all the dross tenants.

I believe the PRS should be for financially sound tenants.
Let the PITA dross tenants be housed by large corporates who are better able to absorb rent defaulting etc costs.

When I say the PRS will ve transformed I hope for the better in that many mortgaged sole trader LL will finally realise how vulnerable they are to rent defaulting tenants.

As such many of these LL will throw in the towel or possibly diversify.

For me the lodger LL seems about as perfect letting solution as I can think of.
There is no law which states a lodger LL need be in continual occupation.
A stay overnight is more than adequate to retain PPR status etc.
The downside of such a model is the loss of potential CG across numerous properties which was the only reason I invested in multiple properties.

In hindsight perhaps not such a good idea!!

So in the very near future I hope not to be a poor me AST LL but a doing OK lodger LL who should be better able to absorb rent defaulting losses from lodgers should they occur..
Such lodgers may be booted out without too much problem to be replaced by one who will pay the rent.

Of course it would be unfortunate if a lodger had to be booted out but business is business.
I do not operate to provide free accommodation no matter how unfortunate things may have become for the lodger.
I will operate a very simple business model.

Pay the contractual rent or you will be removed forthwith subject to the lodger contract conditions.

There will then be no poor me as I will be in charge and not the tenant which is what currently occurs.
There is also no law which prevents me from having multiple residential properties that I live at where I may have lodgers.
Of course usually only the rich can afford such circumstances but I would suggest it it would be perfectly achievable for a LL to convert his property portfolio into a reduced number of residential properties.
Letting per room to lodgers is far more profitable than single household occupancy.

There will I believe me an increasing demand for lodger rooms.

It happens to be a far less risky letting business model.

As such it will be one I aspire to achieve.
I have no idea whether I will or not but you can't knock a chap for trying!

I simply cannot see the PRS returning to as before.
The inherent risks to LL will have bern radically highlighted and it us for these reasons that I believe many LL will throw in the towel!

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Richard 24th March, 2020 @ 06:44

@Paul Barrett

What you seem to be talking about is an HMO, except you think they will be called lodgers in your world.
You will have to change your mortgages in to residential mortgages and live in each house.
I really don't think you have thought about this at all.
And with your attitude of pay me or get out I would think you may have trouble finding these desperate lodgers that will take anything they can get!

Do yourself a favour and get out of the game, invest your money elsewhere. At least you will.be able to sleep at night, I currently worry about your health both physical and mentally. Despite your obvious issue's i wish you all the best and hope you are able to peace and happiness in your life.

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Paul Barrett 24th March, 2020 @ 10:06

@ bill peabody

Yep thanks for your concerns but both mentally and physically I'm in the rudest of health!!

I will NOT be investing in anything other than property.
If I can't do that I will leave my capital in a savings account no matter how derisory the saving rates are.

I was perfectly content with the risks of being a LL or rather I should say I was aware of the risks though I obviously didn't like them.
After 2015 and dopey Osborne I was very annoyed to say the least!!

As a consequence of all the anti-LL policies I intend not to be an AST LL.

I am not mentally or physically affected by the issues this dopey Tory Govt has caused.

I am however absolutely fuming at Govt ineptitude and the damage their negative policies are having on me as a mortgaged sole trader LL.

Consequently I have now determined to cease at the earliest opportunity of being an AST LL.
Other LL will be welcome to take on the business of 16 occupants if they wish to buy my properties at the price I want to ensure maximum profitability from my time in the PRS.

I will still wish to be invested but just as a Lodger LL.

This will be a lot harder and will require a considerable deposit.
I doubt this will be achievable but this is my aspiration.
I hope than I do not aspire above my means!!

If I am unable to achieve being a lodger LL then that is for me the end of property or any other form of investment.
I have a spare room which I will utilise where I could probably make about £6600 per year.
So that would be something at least!

But certainly my time as an AST LL will from my choice be coming to an end.
The rusks are simply too high for me too countenance anymore.
Servicing over a million pounds of debt is a rather large burden to bear when there is zero profit being made.

So for me rather a pointless exercise in that there isn't the usual CG available.
All rather annoying.
Then you have this ridiculous Govt suggesting that tenants default on rent and not to worry as the greedy old LL will cover their defaulted rent..................bloody bonkers!!

Nope this CV19 has crystalized for me in sharp relief that the AST LL is on their own.
Very hard for such LL to be able to have sufficient resilience to cover these circumstances.

As such it makes being an AST LL pretty pointless.

I feel especially sorry for student LL who have bern abandoned by feckless students who don't seem to understand that when you sign a contract you have certain obligations come what may..The aura of fecklessness which pervades the younger generation can be no inspiration for those LL who have sought to provide students with good accommodation.
I would suggest that many student LL will be getting out of student lettings after all this has finished

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Bill Peabody 24th March, 2020 @ 11:18

@Paul Barrett,

I don't know how old you are, but one piece of advice I would offer you is to seriously consider whether you want to be a passive investor or actively run what is effectively a business.

The problem I find a lot of BTL landlords have in the UK, is they treat it as an investment, whereas it is actually more of a business.

If you want a resilient, defensive passive investment strategy then stick to something like Harry Brown's Permanent Portfolio.

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Bill Peabody 24th March, 2020 @ 11:44

@Paul Barrett,

Another observation I would make about a lot of UK BTL investors, is their inherent belief that property is always the best investment. They often seem to dismiss other asset classes out of hand.

I don't know where this attitude comes from, but I do find it interesting. They often see the only options open to them as "cash" in the bank or BTL residential property, as an alternative to a pension. To me, this is madness. But their beliefs seem deeply embedded from somewhere. Sometimes these guys are in their 50s or early 60s, way too old to be concentrating their capital in a single asset class.

I own a residential property, currently occupied by some employees of our family business. Just forced to close today. Won't be expecting any rent for a few months (although we will continue to run some aspects of the business).

I keep the residential property, because it's worth more to us than it would be to anyone else. It's basically synergistic to our business property.

I also own some REITs, again not expecting much rental income from them.

I own some USD Treasury ETFs, which have done incredibly well over the past month. I'm now gradually selling these and looking for the blood on the street stocks, such as oil majors for now. Maybe airlines in the next month or so.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 24th March, 2020 @ 12:02

The comments are becoming irrelevant, silly, but more importantly, not very useful to the average landlord. Come on, guys! :)

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Paul Barrett 24th March, 2020 @ 12:22

@ bill peabody

Yep totally agree with your sentiments.
I always considered what I was doing was a business and not a passive income jolly.
For me to be as profitable as I could I wasn't going to ever involve a Letting Agent.
I offer a far better service than any LA could provide.
Of course that must have an impact but I never minded as my activity fed into my profitability.

Plus by investing my time and occasionally money I kept my good tenants who when they vacated were my best free salesforce.
Many tenant recommendations have come via this free salesforce!!

But S24 was the killer.
I would never go corporate as my domestic circumstances make it difficult to extract cash tax efficiently from a corporate entity.

Plus the fact that back in the day few LL started as corporates for a wide variety of reasons.

Had we know S24 was to visited on us sole traders 10 years later I believe many LL would have behaved differently!!

Personally I reckon I would have gone straight to the Lodger LL route.
Had I done so I would be considerably far better off.

Never interested in the more prosaic forms of letting.
Too much like hard work.
I adopted the KISS investment strategy so was perfectly content with the AST business model albeit that I didn't fully appreciate how dysfunctional the eviction process was.

I think had I then I would have gone down the Lodger LL route straightaway.

S24 has killed the sole trader AST strategy.

I am not prepared to invest in other than property as it is relatively easy to manage and relatively risk free.
That suits my investment mindset.
Only ever invest what you can afford to lose.
Well with property rarely do you lose a deposit!
Of course it can happen if unable to make mortgage payments.

Fortunately I have always used credit cards to ensure I always make mortgage payments on time and in full.

I certainly don't have the fire in the belly to aggressively grow my lettings business.
S24 put out what little fire there was.
Now I just hope to get out of AST lettings as soon as I economically can.
I reckon there will be many more disenchanted LL getting out of the game.
One hopes there will be mug newbies to offload properties to.

Few newbies do proper DD and they will catch themselves out when they decide to invest.

I have no doubt that there are many other effective investments out there.
Just not for me.
Bricks and mortar for me and that means no buying crappy timber-framed new-builds!!

My occupants will miss me when I'm gone as I have always striven to provide a good service.
But hey such is life.
There will probably be a mug newbie along to take my place.
And the very best of luck to them!!

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Bill Peabody 24th March, 2020 @ 12:58

@Benji accused me of "spreading panic" by describing this situation as potentially worse than the 1930s depression.

Well the IMF has stated that this could be worse than 2008. Many have argued that 2008 was the largest crash since 1929.

Also worth remembering that during the 1930s depression, life for many continued as normal. However, unmortgaged land and property was lost by those who could not afford to pay the property taxes on it.
So those who had half their money in property and half in currency were better prepared than those who had all in property with no currency. Obviously gold was made illegal, so couldn't really be used.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 24th March, 2020 @ 13:00

Benji calls a lot of people unsavoury things. He's called me a muppet once or twice.

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Bill Peabody 24th March, 2020 @ 13:09

@Paul Barrett,

The "newbies" may not be "mugs" if they are suited to being a landlord and are young enough to ride out the bad times. However, very few will be.

Why do you consider only "bricks and mortar for you"?
Genuine question as I meet many guys (and a few women) with exactly that mindset. Very few consider equities, bonds, metals etc.
Why do you think this is?

I'm genuinely curious, because to me, the older I get the more I value diversification and liquidity. Many 20 year olds can afford to take hits that a 60 year old may never recover from.

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Bill Peabody 24th March, 2020 @ 13:14

@ The Landlord,

I don't mind what people call me.
I've never really understood why someone would get so upset about another person's opinion on investment decisions.

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Bill Peabody 24th March, 2020 @ 13:30

@Paul Barrett,

S24 was a political risk.
Investing in utility companies carries a political risk. Or mining companies. Or gold (if it gets confiscated, made illegal etc).

Owning my residential BTL property has become more burdensome due to increased bureaucracy (licensing etc). That was a political risk.

Many people concentrate only on price risk and neglect other risks.

Like buying an open ended fund. You may wish to hold the underlying investments for many years, but if the fund gets wound up, you get that decision taken away from you.

A lot of people disagree with me when I buy individual stocks. But I like to have diversification of structure to my portfolio. That comes at a price, but there's no such thing as a free lunch.

I know people who own farmland and forestry. But in my opinion those asset classes are over priced due to IHT advantages, that are of no relevance to me. If those tax advantages are ever removed, I expect the prices asset prices will fall.

So in my opinion, everyone should consider what investments suit them. Everyone has different attitudes, abilities and time horizons.

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Paul Barrett 24th March, 2020 @ 13:43

@ bill peabody

Yep I do get your curousity as to why so many me included are not prepared to invest in mixed investments.

Of course many people are whether they know it or not as they are called PENSIONS!!

But for me the risks are simply too high.
I have made far more out of property than any other form of investment.
Property for the little man remains about as near as damnit a guaranteed investment.

Of course there are many flaws with such an investment strategy but in my investment timeline property has always worked very well for me.

I appreciate that is my living over the past 40 years when residential property has outperformed with guaranteed returns.
If one had invested in resi property in previous decades the returns wouldn't have bern so attractive.

But I'm only interested in the decades that I have been and hopefully will be alive.

Gold or Platinum might be something I would have invested in.
But I have no issue with all my eggs being in the proverbial property basket.

I suppose a lot of consideration of property as a store of value and appreciation comes from my Great-Grandfather builder.
My mother and her fellow siblings still own some of those properties and have done mightily well out of them.
Admittedly that didn't occur until the Regulated Tenants died off.
But fortunately they did and the profits have rolled in effectively providing pensions for them all.

It could well be that I become an inheritor of some of these properties though for obvious reasons I would prefer NEVER to be an inheritor though of course that is actuarially impossible.
In the meantime I must get by!

I could quite easily be a proverbial Rigsby though of course I would be far more courteous and certainly wouldn't be entering willy-nilly into the lodger rooms.
I would be very comfortable with such a business arrangement.

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Paul Barrett 24th March, 2020 @ 14:12

@ bill peabody

Yep I totally agree with your contentions.
I suppose it is just the case that your average Joe and I include myself in that category is more confident in letting property than other forms of investment which as you have suggested may be better investments.

The average Joe like me understands the simplicity of property.
This is the major reason the UK population never became a share owning democracy.
It decided to invest share profits into property!!
That is what I did.

You may consider such an investment strategy as counter intuitive.

I wouldn't suggest you'd be wrong.

But like it or not the Brits have greater confidence in property more than any other form of investment.
Whether that is wise doesn't really enter the equation.
The Brits want their property fill.
Only once they have it might they consider what they consider as more flakey investments.

The little man understands property and has seen the fraud that has occurred in the investment markets.
Why bother risking when investing in a nice little property can give guaranteed returns and the asset is still there whenever one wants to sell it.

Lenders weren't stupid when they started offering the BTL product.
They knew the takeup would be massive and so it was and is.

Though many newbies will rue the day they invested in a Cat E EPC property with no new Electrical certification.
But then that is what DD is all about.
The shrewd Ll are getting out or have already gone.

I thought about it in 2015 as I could see the writing on the wall.
Trouble is I had to remain invested to achieve the debt repayments I owed personally.
Took 10 years to achieve but now I can sell up thank god!!!

I totally respect those with the cahonies to invest in things other than property.
Just not for me.

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Bill Peabody 24th March, 2020 @ 14:28

@Hank,

Regarding your comment about "stuffing USD cash under the mattress";
You cannot hold USD currency in an ISA. Only GBP currency is permitted under HMRC regulations.
That's why I have always held short term USD Treasuries as a cash substitute.

I'm not an expert by any means, just a regular guy trying to diversify.

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Bill Peabody 24th March, 2020 @ 14:57

@Paul Barrett,

Thank you for your reply. It is interesting to read other people's opinions on investments. I think you're right that so many people in the UK have D.C. pensions, yet don't consider themselves equity investors.

I grew up in a working class household and often heard the phrase "you can't go wrong with bricks and mortar". Equities were, and still are, looked upon as something alien. It's an interesting UK culture.

But my single residential property has been one of the most time consuming and worst performing investments I have ever made. So far, anyway.

Thankfully the tenants have always been ok, but the maintenance costs are high and the government bureaucracy increasing.

I always find it interesting that residential property investment is considered by some to be the best option for "the little guy", whereas equities are seen as a plaything for the wealthy. I take the opposite view; I see equities, especially funds as the best starting point for small investors and property as a diversification for those with over £100k minimum.

Also interesting that the FCA enforces so many consumer protections on retail fund investors, yet until recently anyone could buy a BTL property, with a mortgage and become a highly leveraged property investor.

When I was in school, investments were never taught. I left school with good grades, but not knowing the difference between an equity and a bond. Looking back that seems ridiculous, yet commonplace. People just seemed to invest based on their family background. Is this a deliberate government policy? I don't know.

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The Landlord 24th March, 2020 @ 14:58

Holy moly, how long are you two going to go back and forth for? You can do this through private messages or email... or get a room!

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Bill Peabody 24th March, 2020 @ 15:24

I have now sold a lot of my short duration U.S. Treasuries.
Over the next few weeks I'm going to be investing about £40k into oil majors (trying to avoid too much exposure to US shale producers). My biggest investment into equities since 2009.

These are going to be interesting times. I think quite a few people will miss the bottom of this market.

Blood on the streets...
Be brave when others...

etc

Good luck to all

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Benji 24th March, 2020 @ 15:30

@The Landlord,

'He's called me a muppet once or twice.'

Not so much in later years, you've become boringly knowledgeable!

But if you had come out with anything as ignorantly spiteful as this-

'Residential landlords should be planning to have no rental income coming in for the next year, on average.'

I would have called you a panic mongering prick.

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Yashamatoto 24th March, 2020 @ 15:32

I agree ".....get a room" then at least one of you can charge the other for being a lodger. So at least one or both of you should be happy. Plus you can chat all day without boring the shit out of the rest of us!!!!

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Paul Barrett 25th March, 2020 @ 01:25

So getting back to the LL post what might LL do when this CV19 thing is done and that presupposes they haven't been bankrupted or properties repossessed for mortgage default.

Will such LL just carry on as per?

Can't see it myself.
This CV19 will have bern a wakeup call to many LL who perhaps have never appreciated their true vulnerability.

It is clear that Govt comes down on LL immediately with no real concern about them surviving as a business.
LL wishing to remain in business must surely build in sufficient resilience to ensure their business won't be destroyed.
This additional resilience will cost LL considerable amounts of money even if kept as a working capital amount.

This capital could be used to grow the business but will need to be reserved.

How LL will react to their now appreciated vulnerability no one knows yet.

But many LL will be reviewing what they do in light of this CV19 crisis.

I believe the PRS will substantially contract and many LL will get rid of dud properties to mug FTB who won't have to meet EPC and Electrical requirements.
These render many rental properties as economically unviable.

The payback on the considerable amount of monies required to make these properties legal for letting is simply not worth it.

Better to offload to a FTB

I also believe lenders will be reviewing their business models.
They will be changing their lending criteria such that they will be far more stringent.

Lenders can see that their LL clients are very vulnerable to rent not being paid and they will require additional validated resilience from these LL.
That will make obtaining BTL mortgages far more onerous.
I would imagine that lenders will be reducing their allowed LTV to something like 50% which again makes it difficult for new entrants.

Considerably more capital amounts will be required by new entrant LL or any LL taking out a new BTL mortgage.
Lenders could even be retrospective on their loans and require LTV reductions for any product change.

It will be torrid times for BTL LL.

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Yashamatoto 25th March, 2020 @ 10:33

In case any LL not seen this article from Landlord Today about CV-19, you might want to hear the few thoughts from the landlord and tenant team at Dutton Gregory LLP Solicitors, which manages ARLA Propertymark’s legal helpline, in response to some of the calls received over the last seven days:

https://www.landlordtoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2020/3/necessary-covid-19-information-for-landlords-and-agents

Scotland now looking to impose 6 month bans on evictions!
With no thought/plans for the practicalities and consequences for LL's.

The World is going mad, so next time it stops spinning you might want to get off. Mind you if the World stops spinning CV19 will be the least of our worries.

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Smithy 25th March, 2020 @ 12:16

I had issued at Section 21 Notice - the tenant has lodged a defence and a Hearing had been scheduled for 30 March.
We have now been notifed by the Court that the Hearing has been adjourned to the first available date after 42 days.
So yippee - another 6 weeks (at least) with no rent.
Of course we do not know what will happen after 42 days - this could go on and on.

(We don't know what defence they have lodged - the Court will not email a copy - are sending it by post so should receive it in the next couple of days.)

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Paul Barrett 25th March, 2020 @ 12:37

@ yashamamoto

Indeed you put it well regarding LL practicalities and consequences.

This Tory Govt and what would have been an even worse Labour one have absolutely no interest in the finances of the PRS LL or should I say of the small LL.
You can guarantee that if it was one of the large Corporate LL that was being bankrupted because of tenant rent default the Govt would ensure the FULL contractual rents were paid.

Unfortunately the small LL is just an irritant for Govt and they would certainly like to see such LL removed from the PRS.

The last thing Govt will do is make it easy for LL to get rid of rent defaulting tenants.

It has been a right PITA to get rid of such tenants before the CV19 crisis so dysfunctional is the current eviction process.
So now Govt is piling on the agony for LL making it even more difficult for LL to get rid of rent defaulting tenants.

The Govt solution is supposedly for LL to discuss with their tenants any rent arrears and come to an amicable solution.
Well I can tell this dopey Govt I've never been able to recover any rent arrears at all in over 10 years of operation!!

What Govt is saying is that they do not intend to support the LL at all.
Some tenants will receive wage assistance .
Whether those tenants choose to pay their contractual rent is another matter.
As it stands currently LL suffer on an annual basis about £9 billion in losses mostly caused by rent default and then the subsequent lengthy period until eviction during which time few tenants pay rent.

If Govt was so concerned about the LL they would have changed the law to allow LL to get rid of rent defaulting tenants after 2 missed monthly rent payments with no court action required.

Govt will use LL as a free cash cow.
They may pay UC but this will be nowhere near the market rents that tenants are contractually obligated to pay.

Then of course UC isn't available to many tenants especially the self-employed as far as I am aware though I stand to be corrected on this as I know nothing about UC.

But the main point here is that LL are operating a business.
They have costs to meet and rent is used for those costs.

Govt is failing to recognise that it needs to support the payment of the contractual rent.
Without doing so LL will seek to evict.

It is not the fault of the LL that many tenants may now find themselves in the unfortunate position of not being able to pay their full rent.

That is the tenant's problem.
Such tenants should offer to vacate but of course none of them will because they are feckless.

Responsible tenants would have ensured they could pay their rent if their employment was affected.
But no they expect to ve able to get away with not paying abd now Govt has made it even easier to avoid paying rent.

I'm afraid this whole situation has revealed that many L.P. are being revealed as Emperors without any clothes!

Without tenants paying rent the BTL business model is collapsing.
But it is LL that will bear all the costs of such a collapse.

Govt has no thought at all for the private LL who it expects to bear all and more of the rent losses that will occur in their billions.
Even worse for LL subject to S24 they will still be expected to pay tax on fictitious income with fictitious rent.

You really couldn't make it up.

Nope it must be realised by LL that they are on their own even more than before CV19
It will be for individual LL to manage their own survival.
If they can't they will be bankrupted.
Govt doesn't care how many small LL are bankrupted by rent default.

Consequently many LL will now be deciding to get out of this game.
There will never be any support for the small LL.

So LL will need to severely question their viability as you can vet another similar thing to CV19 will come along again.

I know from now on the best tenants will be those with Govt jobs.
Trouble is most of them are homeowners so lost to the rental market.
A Govt worker will be the proverbial gold-plated tenant!
Their wages will always be paid in full come what may even when off sick.
With the possibility of RGI now a distant dream LL really are left holding the rent defaulting baby in entirety.
I doubt many LL consider that is a risk they are prepared to continue to take.
Their response must surely be to sell up or at least move away from AST lettings.
That would be very bad news for tenants!

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Frightened Landlord 25th March, 2020 @ 17:00

PLEASE SHARE - ALL LANDLORDS PLEASE TAKE NOTE: I just found out from my Solicitor that we should make sure that we should consider the following: -

Enhanced cleaning – following guidance in terms of cleaning communal areas and managing waste disposal, as well as more frequent cleaning of those areas which are at high risk of spreading the virus (door handles, taps, lifts, stair rails).

Assessing the risk – conducting risk assessments, considering factors specific to the property, such as its physical characteristics (would it be possible to isolate areas if necessary), its use and its occupiers.

Enhanced security – establishing more stringent security (e.g. building entry) procedures for occupiers, employees and visitors and considering ways to reduce social contact.

In terms of specific health and safety regulations, a landlord has no explicit obligations at law regarding the prevention or containment of coronavirus COVID-19 in its premises. The virus is, however, a biological agent, so the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) may be relevant, as they provide a framework to control the risks from a range of hazardous substances. Whether such obligations towards tenants exist under COSHH largely depends on the level of control a landlord has over the property, which will itself be determined both by the terms of the leases granted and the physical characteristics of the property.

Landlords and building managers should take positive steps to limit the possibility of transmission and make their tenants feel safer. They should be cleaning and disinfecting high-traffic surfaces like front-door handles and elevator buttons, as well as common rooms and laundry rooms. They should also station hand-sanitiser around the building.

I have been advised to practice the above and to make sure that l have evidence that l made every attempt so as to minimise the effect of any claim for negligence etc.

My Solicitor believes that another PPI WINDFALL will occur after these difficult times are over and that errant Landlords who did not take action will face significant claims from tenants, who will claim that their lives had been placed at risk by the Landlord's failure to ensure common areas of buildings are cleaned and kept cleaned on a daily basis where relevant.

WTF!!!

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Bill Peabody 25th March, 2020 @ 17:06

@Paul Barrett

You don't know for certain that the government would bail out a large plc landlord. They didn't bail out Carillion and that was a company providing services to the government.

But the government did spend tax payers money flying back tourists when Thomas Cook went bust. Why on earth someone else's holiday problems are of national importance is beyond me. Just cronyism and moral hazard at its worst. I honestly don't think the government care anymore.

Have you not got rent guarantors for any of your tenants?

You claim that a property needing certain refurbishment to meet rental standards makes it economically unviable; well surely that is only true if there is a floor on the sale price?

Surely if a potential landlord pays a low enough purchase price, then assuming some rent is paid, the property does make a potentially viable investment?

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Bill Peabody 25th March, 2020 @ 17:13

@Frightened Landlord,

Does your post apply only to HMO landlords?
Most single family occupancy letting does not include cleaning etc. Tenants clean themselves, as per owner occupiers.

Litigation is a risk for most businesses, especially customer facing ones. I would argue landlords actually get off relatively lightly compared to many other businesses.

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Bill Peabody 25th March, 2020 @ 17:26

@Smithy,

No one really knows what will happen with the court system. The laws are being changed on an almost daily basis.

Why are you evicting in the first instance?

I would be tempted to try and make some kind of offer to the tenants. Perhaps much reduced rent for the next year, etc?

This country will probably not be running normally for some time. I would be prepared to not receive any rent for a year or so. That's why I'd try and negotiate an offer now. At least that way your tenants may have more incentive to look after your property well, even if they're not paying you much rent.

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The Landlord 25th March, 2020 @ 17:32

@Frightened Landlord
As Bill Peabody said, that all sounds relevant to HMO's, not single let occupancy. And even then, all that sounds a bit too OTT and a little ill-fitting information, in my opinion. Since when is it the landlord's responsibility to clean the property?

The information your solicitor provided sounds a bit impractical and not particularly relevant to BTLs. Sounds more relevant to short-let/Airbnb/holiday-let if anything, or even building managers.

Perhaps provide some clarify before freaking everyone out, including yourself :)

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Bill Peabody 25th March, 2020 @ 17:46

Judging by Minister Jenrick's latest Twitter posts, it seems the government is moving more towards the side of the tenants on this.
To some extent they're making it up as they go along, but Johnson has been looking unprepared recently. They'll be guided by focus groups etc. The last thing they'll want to risk is the media getting hold of some nasty CV19 related eviction stories.

Generation Rent, Shelter et al seem much more media savvy than the NLA/RLA these days. Maybe because they share a demographic cohort with the media. In many cases they probably are the media. Certainly peas in a pod.

Anyway, no doubt I'll get plenty of abuse for this, but I expect the voting arithmetic will push the government's decisions.

I'd definitely prepare for a year or so without rental income.

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Chris Bone 26th March, 2020 @ 07:16

Just letting members know that the courts are at least following up repossession applications that were lodged prior to Govt announcements. My representative went to court a couple of weeks ago, court needed some more papers, which we supplied and now we have an April 10 hearing date.

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Smithy 26th March, 2020 @ 07:39

@ Bill Peabody (120)

I am evicting my tenants for rent arrears. They have paid most of October, but nothing for Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb/March.

I have a Hearing for a Section 8 listed for 6 April - have not yet heard if that is going ahead.

An acquaintance is employed as a bailiff and has now been laid off work. He works for a private company - so don't know about Court Bailiffs.

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GriffMG 26th March, 2020 @ 10:39

This just popped up in the DM:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/bills/article-8151249/Landlords-serve-eviction-notices-coronavirus-outbreak.html

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Bill Peabody 26th March, 2020 @ 17:20

@Smithy, I'd be surprised if that hearing went ahead on 6th April. But you never know.
I would also consider not just the legal and technical restrictions the government is introducing, but also the effects all this is having on the public mindset.
I suspect that many tenants will now be more minded to resist paying rent, for many reasons.
Even if court bailiffs are not laid off, there will still be the issues of case backlogs and high sickness absences. So enforcement may not be that easy, even if the rules remain unchanged.

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Gem Unique 26th March, 2020 @ 21:56

I am a single pensioner and rely on the income from my letting property. I cannot pay my bills if this is not paid to me for 3 months. Surely if my tenant can get 80% of his salary then I should at least get 80% of the rent from him. I’m not holding my breath over this.
Home owners are getting 3 months grace on their mortgage payments but it will be added to their loan. We get nothing and our tenants can stay there in isolation knowing they don’t have to pay us.

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GriffMG 26th March, 2020 @ 22:03

I do not believe MOST tenants will behave like that, some will.
Most will be concerned for the future, their next let will be after a reference check.

'Tenant missed 3 months rent', mm like the sound of that tenant... not

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Bill Peabody 27th March, 2020 @ 18:53

It will be interesting to see how many people actually do get this 80% of wages paid.
In my experience the government tends to announce these kind of schemes to great publicity.

Then the schemes are designed with so many bureaucratic hoops to jump through, that most people just give up trying to claim.
Typically there is a mountain of paperwork, an endless list of documents required and a helpline that's open two hours a week.

What we've seen in this country is a shifting of the bureaucratic burden from organisations, to the individual. Typical example, Windrush Scandal. This bureaucracy has always existed, but it's just now more socially excluding.

There has long been a scheme to support people who lose their jobs; JSA, unemployment benefits, or whatever they've called it this week. Why not just increase the money in that scheme? Why create a new one? Because it is a sham, a sleight of hand.

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Jay 3rd April, 2020 @ 23:16

Hi Everyone,

Been going through this article and the comments in hope someone else is in the same scenario as I am but couldn't find anything.

I have rent guaranteed agreement with a letting agent for a flat however as soon as they heard the news of the rental holiday for tenants they sent a letter stating they wont be able to pay the rental agreement we had due to the tenants being affected.

I do realise they will face some financial hardships as any other businesses are going through right now due to this COVID-19 pandemic but they cannot out right say they will not pay up or even after the 3 months are up to chase for the rent payments.

Regardless my point is, the rental agreement, for me as the landlord is with the letting agent not the tenants and they are liable for the arrears that come out of this, am I correct in saying this?

Can anyone advise on what would be the best course of action?

Hope all can get through this difficult time.

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GriffMG 4th April, 2020 @ 07:34

@Jay

I think you are stuffed, if you will forgive the vernacular. Your letting agent just showed their real colours, probably they are going to pocket any rent from the tenant that does come in and pass on zero to you. If you try to take them to court to enforce the worthless agreement you have with them, they will simply fold and re-emerge a few weeks later with a variation on a theme for their name.

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Jay 13th April, 2020 @ 12:37

@GriffMG so what options do I have?

These letting agents have been a nightmare for me, just want to get rid of them.

The letting agents are now threatening me if I go to court over this I will lose as they are the tenants and I am the landlord but I have the contract which I have personally signed where it states rent guaranteed every month and they are "The Company".

It seems like they have committed fraud and will use another contract agreement which I have not signed, saying they are the tenants but will this not be found out by the court as they are a letting agent company?

The contract I have with them must be valid in a UK court?

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GriffMG 13th April, 2020 @ 12:46

You contract is only valid if they still exist, if they fold in order to avoid court your contract is probably not worth much.

You should probably seek some professional help.

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GriffMG 13th April, 2020 @ 13:38

You could look at these:

https://www.emc2property.co.uk/news/rent-guarantee-schemes-are-they-worth-it/
https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/769233/does-anyone-use-northwood-lettings
https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/5638351/rent-guarantee-schemes

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Kate 5th June, 2020 @ 08:39

@Paul Barret – Well done on having always been so financially secure. You deserve to be proud of yourself. However, you seem to be completely oblivious.

Why do people rent? Sometimes perhaps it’s the preferred option - the LL will surely take care of all the things that go wrong which would in the average homeowner's case leave them slightly out of pocket for a little while. Then again, the renter might be paying upwards of £1,000/month for a house that a homeowner's paying £300/month mortgage on. Which is preferable to me? Home owning - I could fix a lot with the "spare" £700, AND have some savings. I work near a London link. I want to rent somewhere within my budget, it’s not entirely impossible, but I won’t be able to do so within a 20-mile radius.

Then you have cases of misfortune. Take myself, for example. I’d just cleared all my debts and was looking forward to building my credit rating and actually having savings. Actual, real live savings. Hurrah! Then I had a car accident which was a write off. I lived 40 miles from work. The daily fare was over £40 for a return. I wasn’t on a high wage. My mum was dying 30 miles north from where I lived. I was pregnant. (I didn’t actually know that little titbit at the time, mind, not until a little while later.) My boyfriend was laid off from the job which didn’t really pay him that well either.I found myself back in debt, what with needing a new car – public transport isn’t an option where I live – as well as luxuries like food and clothes (I’m not a shopper by any means. My wardrobe is minimalist, however with my mother dying, I had lost a helluva lot of weight and belts just weren’t cutting the mustard). Hospital car parks weren’t cheap either. I was going to work, going to the hospital and staying with my mother until visiting hours were done. That was sometimes £18+. So please forgive me for not having the savings in advance of not having a job to go to. I mean, I work in recruitment, and guess what companies have not been doing? I also work for a cab company. People haven’t been getting cabs. I get that you have a business in property, which would suggest you have the money behind you. Really, I’m not being sarcastic when I say that I applaud you. I wish I could be the same, but I’m not smart, I’m not assertive, and while there are some areas that I could very quickly kick your arse in, those areas aren’t exactly money-makers.

@Jo Chapman – Oh my actual god! How did you get such a Karen? Personally, while I'm currently on benefits (which doesn’t make me happy and I’m yearning for the moment I can place my kid in daycare so I can get back to work!), any issues I’ve had, I've spoken to the agency about. I’m going to be a little late (by that I mean perhaps a few days, never even a month in arrears). How anyone can suggest you pay their rent... I think as tenants some of us have this idea that LLs have property because they’re minted. I know that’s the case with my LL. I know it’s not the case for all. What some of these tenants fail to realise is that LLs have bought the property in order to use it as an income. They don’t seem to understand that (like myself) you haven’t been paid your “wage". Because that’s ultimately what it is. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with someone like that.

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Paul Barrett 5th June, 2020 @ 13:57

@ kate
I feel you misunderstand.
I fully applaud your endeavours etc.
It hasn't been easy for me to achieve financial resilience and I know life can intervene in ones best intentions.

But the vast majority of tenants aren't like you.

However we come to you being a tenant etc.
Clearly you would prefer to be a homeowner.
Most sensible people would.

However you need to consider what you can afford.
Being able to afford £1000 monthly rent doesn't mean you can afford a £1000 mortgage.
As you correctly state a rather large deposit is usually required before you have the opportunity to pay a £1000pm mortgage.

Regard your deposit as the entry fed to enter the housing market which is an effective poker game.

Nobody has the divine right to qualify for a mortgage.

If you can't afford a deposit that is required then a tenant you will remain.

It isn't too much to ask that a tenant has savings or facilities to cover normal domestic expenditure for a year in cases of eviction loss.

Tenants simply don't bother saving because they know they cannot easily be removed if they stop paying rent.
Essentially there is little miral hazard for a tent who stops paying rent.
The converse is true for the LL who easily faces bankruptcy without rent being paid.

It is very rarely the case that tenants aren't able to save.
They choose nit to by living feckless lifestyles.
That means buying a £2.50 coffee everyday when they have no savings to pay rent in case of sudden income loss for WHATEVER reason.

There will of course always be genuine cases like yours where life hasn't worked out as expected.

They aren't what I would call feckless; more unfortunate!

Due to MASS UNCONTROLLED IMMIGRATION the demand for rental properties far exceeded supply and so the market provided that supply.

There will always be people that can't buy as they will be outbid by another who has more income and a larger deposit.
It isn't fair or unfair it is just a market!

But tenants must ensure they build financial resilience at the earliest opportunity.
I will be insisting on any tenant I take on having at least 6 months of savings.
I want a stable tenant just as much as the tenant wants stability.
Well if he pays the rent I guarantee he has it!!

For tenants to start rent defaulting because of loss of income for 2 months is ridiculous.

A modicum of some financial resilience is surely required!!?

I became a LL because I saved abd went without.
My choice.
But now I am resented for my parsimony.
I have something others haven't.

The only way they can get it from me is to pay rent.
If they don't pay rent and are allowed nit to pay rent while still living in the property I could very easily lose that rental property.
Clearly NOT fair as no other business is forced to provide fred services!

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GriffMG 6th June, 2020 @ 10:35

@Paul Barrett

A tenant with 6 months savings - I would have thought that was as rare as rocking horse pooh.

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Kate 6th June, 2020 @ 10:47

@Paul Barrett That's fair enough of I've misunderstood. I'll reiterate that I'm really not that smart. But really, am I in the minority? I honestly don't know. Here's my thing: I'm having issues with renting at the moment. No, right now I can't afford a mortgage but that isn't as much a priority to me as clearing my debt. If I'm going to have a mortgage, I'm going to make damn sure that I have no other unrelated commitments, if that makes any sense at all. My issue with renting at the moment (and as an FYI, I've recently registered on the housing list, not because we can't afford to rent but because of the CCJ issues) comes down to my partner's paid CCJs. We've never not paid rent. His CCJs are unrelated, but obviously it's a concern and I appreciate why the landlords would be wary.

Now, my current place... Technically we could afford it but given the current climate, it would be a huge risk. You see, after my mother died, we moved in (blissfully unaware of the bun in the oven) with my father (nighttime cabbie by trade) to look after my mum's dog and cat. Both are small, inoffensive creatures, getting on in life at the point where their idea of a happy day is curled up sleeping. Now, obviously you'll have a far different view to myself here, but my only experience of animals is the ones I've owned - dogs, cats, rabbits, owls, Guinea pigs. So given I understand the nature of my own animals, I find it confusing that 95% of landlords (around my area at least) don't allow pets. My most confusing moment was the time we were turned down by a landlord in favour of a "single woman with no animals". See, it was a group viewing. We heard her talking about her alsatian and cat. We know we were lied to about the reasons, and I'm fine being turned down for any reason as long as I know what the reason is. In this case, it was the fact we had a baby. So we have animals against us as well as a baby and two CCJs. My dad put notice on our current place because he doesn't want to be where my mother was anymore. He's ready to be by himself now. This was fine with us until we found we can't get a guarantor because as a rule we're seeing guarantors need to be UK home owners who earn x. Most of the (small amount of) people we know rent themselves, and of the homeowners, two earn the required amount, one has been burned by his own wife and child so he won't act as guarantor, no matter how reliable the person, and the other... I don't wish to insult (he's a good guy) but he has other people deal with his life. He doesn't know his NI number, his address from two years ago, and his accountant failed to send the requested documents so he doesn't really work with reliable people either.

I explain all this because to my mind, I just assume most people pay the rent, and that landlords are weird when they say somewhere is "unsuitable for animals/children" when visually it's incredibly suitable. I simply assume there's the one-in-a-thousand nightmare that passes referencing and is the reason shampoo bottles have instructions.

Incidentally, I never begrudge anyone what they have. Nine times out of ten, it's been worked for. If you're a decent landlord and you've bought some gorgeous properties, I'm not going to hate on you or even feel jealous. On the contrary, I'd more likely applaud your eye, congratulate you on owning a beautiful property that I'd love to live in, and, if I was lucky enough to be able to live there, I would thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you're an arsehole landlord, I'd skip the bottom of my heart.

But surely - and I only say this from what I read at the beginning of the pandemic - the tenant, if delaying on paying rent, was supposed to discuss repaying as soon as possible? So you wouldn't have been expected to do it for free. It's not the only business facing that issue though. My partner's faced the same. He was due to have quite a few invoices paid in April (by essential businesses) and not one came through. Due to the nature of the business, I think I overheard that there was little they could do to get help from the government either.

As far as the financial resilience goes, let me put it like this. As I mentioned, price and distance is a huge factor. I do my searches filtering on things loaded within the last 24 hours. I keep price below £900. If I get 2 hits a day, I'm lucky. Again, we can afford to rent, but agencies look at combined income. Let's say in my situation he deals with the rent, I deal with the bills and other crap. I was kicked aside two/three weeks before lockdown. I live in a house of vulnerable people. I can't put my child in daycare right now. At her age (she's under two) I'd have to pay for it if I did. So even if I could go get some work at the supermarket, I can't. My other half's been going to work - he's a recruiter for essential services, but those services could only work until they ran out of parts. He's tried to get other work in the meantime, but he hasn't been able to. 66 million people in the country, only something like 50,000 jobs opening up. So any income we had has gone massively downhill. My kid's growing. She needs clothes. So I understand umyour frustration but as someone who only had a couple of months until one thing was fully paid, I can assure you some of us really aren't living it up and probably feel just as crap, if not worse, than you. Your indignance over how people should have savings to cover them during ongoing pandemics suggests you have savings yourself. That already puts you in a much better situation. The housing lists, by the way, closed in March and were not rehoming people. They only opened in the last two weeks. Do you really think not paying rent is people's first choice? Again, I can only speak for myself, but as someone trying to get out of one place and into another, the last thing I want is to default on rent, which would mean I'd have to default on something else, which would mean more chance of failing referencing and requiring a guarantor which I can't provide because even if we went for somewhere at £600 (starting rate within a 40 mile radius).

I hear you on the immigration though. My brother lives in a flat above a two-bed flat containing 8 of them.

Good on you for only accepting people with 6 months in advance. It's likely a small number of people who can afford that, though. I mean, if you rent somewhere for £500, that's a salary requirement of what, £15,000? Less than a take home of £1k/month. If they don't own their car outright, pay that monthly, as well as bills and insurance, that's gonna take longer than 6 months to save up. I have to say though that one thing I will be teaching my child is financial security because I never want her to face the problems we've had.

I'm not here for a fight with you, mind. I really only have my own uninformed opinion and experience to go by.

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GriffMG 6th June, 2020 @ 16:55

@Kate

Seem smart enough to me.

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Kate 6th June, 2020 @ 18:15

@GriffMG Ha, thanks. I mean, I could probably win you a pub quiz, especially if the music section's between 1940-1994, but things like this have me flummoxed. I'm not very business-minded.

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ERIC ROBIN 11th August, 2020 @ 12:15

As Blog 90 says there are some who will take advantage of the situation - in my situation in East Cambridgeshire -I got an eviction order against a bad, non paying & destructive tenant on 5 Feb this year .. he did not move out fully until end of April Thank goodness I go that order in before this ludicrous 6 month delay on evictions ...Does BoJo think that bad tenants just stop !? Hes wrong they have taken full advantage of this situation.
If you are not sympathetic to the £3500 Im losing what abnout the council tax (£1200 not paid electricity & gas bills not paid ...OK not my responsibility BUT will affect the supply companies who WILL pass it on .
Also becos of CoVid rules I only just got to my property this week - What a mess 10 days just to clean it and sort the overgrown garden mess ......No rent now for 1 year !!!
The Goverment need to revise ALL the letting rules and the Judicial system for sur is NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE --they are still getting paid !!! the more evictions the merrier for them & who pays ME!!
This is insult to injury
Its time landlords fought back ...we are not all wealthy ...my properties are my pension.
How ABOUT Landlords for Justice ................ANYONE UP FOR THAT

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Yashamatoto 11th August, 2020 @ 13:06

Hi Eric

"Justice for Landlords" might be more appropriate.

My properties are also my pension but they're also my 'daily millstone'too - I'm too old for all this but as I'm sure others will agree, it's not that easy to extricate yourself without a huge financial hit, so instead we 'plough on and try to keep calm!'

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