It’s hard not to come to the conclusion after reading the most popular articles, discussions and comments in multiple landlord news portals that landlords are being blamed, disregarded and punished from all sides; being squeezed out of the market, blamed for all wrongs and paying costs that are simply unfair.
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From the short-sighted ‘market cooling’ policies that have backfired causing a shortfall of rented accommodation and higher interest rates as thousands of landlords exit the market; to local authorities advising tenants to ignore court judgements and to stay put until bailiffs are appointed with complete disregard for the imposed stress and financial cost to landlords; to the introduction of the new Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service which many experts fear could result in tenants using free legal representation as a risk-free stalling process which could cost landlords thousands more in court costs and legal fees; it seems that scapegoating landlords and expecting them to pay the cost for failed policies is faster, easier and more of a vote winner than making any serious attempt to understand and fix the real problems renters face.
Unfortunately, with a general election looming and anguish from the ‘Renters’ Wall’ growing in electoral sway, it is unlikely that the problems are going to get better any time soon and landlords will continue to be the brunt of blame and policy.
Matthew Lynn, columnist for the Daily Telegraph said recently, “The war on landlords has already backfired badly, sending rents spiralling out of control. And now it is driving inflation higher too. The worst part of it all is that there is no sign whatsoever that the Government realises it is to blame.”
So with public opinion, government policy and free support stacked against landlords, what can they do to balance the needs of the tenant with the cost to the landlord?
Help For Landlords Many landlord associations are calling for a more balanced response from the government, taking the interests of the tenant and landlord into account, and for housing associations to support their calls to make sure policies designed to protect tenants do not routinely have an adverse effect for the majority of landlords.
However, with interest rates still rising, fixed term mortgages ending, and the recently launched free help for tenants wanting to challenge landlords seeking possession; the best option for many landlords is to sell up as soon as possible (before S21s are abolished and the more ‘challengeable’ S8s are the only option available to seek enforced possession).
As experienced by vast numbers of landlords commenting on articles and asking for help, one option to sell a buy-to-let property is either wait for tenants to vacate or use an S21 to give 2 months’ notice to tenants to quit but realistically landlords should be prepared for tenants to ignore the notice and any subsequent court instruction to leave while LHAs advise tenants not to move until a bailiff notice has been served. Also, once a tenant has been served notice, they often choose to stop paying rent for as long as the process takes with many commentators sharing experiences of losing £10K+ in court costs, lost rent, repair bills and legal fees just to get the property back.
Another option for landlords with good tenants is to sell with their tenants in situ by advertising the property as suitable for investors. Many high street agents are happy to promote properties in this way but most will not get help landlords to ensure all certificates are in place and/or help a tenant to be rehomed if they are willing.
The Landlord Sales Agency is different – it was set up by landlords for landlords with the USP of using their vast experience as landlords to help other landlords find a better way to sell without the expense, delay and unpleasantness of litigation. We are the support landlords need in their corner to help balance the needs of the tenant with the cost to the landlord.
We also help landlords sell multiple properties together and our average sale time is less than 28 days. We have been warning landlords about the problems they are currently facing since George Osborne introduced the early policies in 2015 and we have accumulated a database of thousands of buy-to-let investors looking for tenanted properties.
Find out what we can do for you today and start planning what you want 2024 to hold for you.
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