Here we are again on a Friday and its my turn for the news.
Quarts and pint pots
Lets kick off with a few statistics which I found on Property Industry Eye which show that about 20% of all households now live in rented property and that this will rise to 25% in about eight years.
Thats a lot of people renting.
However there is a question mark over who they will be renting from as there are varoius reports, such as this one in the Telegraph saying that many landlords are planning on selling up. Or at least changing their behaviour.
Changing landlord behaviour
Indeed a survey report published by My Deposits seems to show that 44% of landlords are planning on making big changes, largely as a result of the new tax laws.
- 10% (or maybe 25% – both figures are cited) plan on selling up
- 25% are looking to increase rent
- 9% are planning on self managing to save costs, and
- 21% say that the changes will not affect them
What about the missing 35% (or maybe 20%)? It looks as if they are unaware of the tax changes.
So if the changes hit them hard, they may have to sell up anyway. Although no doubt many of them will decide to switch to Airbnb.
I suspect that government is hoping that large professional landlords will step in to take the place of the buy to let landlords who generally own just a few properties and who currently form the majority of landlords today. But I haven’t seen much indication that this is going to happen.
In the meantime it looks as if a shrinking supply of rented properties is pushing up the prices … Leading no doubt to the increase in street homeless being seen in London and other places such as Oxford.
Still a great investment
It does not look though as if buy to let is going away as a report on Landlord Today tells us that buy to let still provides ‘great returns’. At least in comparison with the dire returns from annuities and other investment types.
So the buy to let landlord will probably remain and maybe the 10 – 25% reported in the My Deposits survey as getting out will be replaced by new investors coming in.
Fire Safety brain drain
These are the people who inspect high risk buildings to make sure they are safe and who prosecute landlords whose buildings are unsafe.
Fire safety lawyer Warren Spencer (who spoke at two of our Landlord Law Conferences) said
“The government has tended to take the view that fewer people are dying in fires, fires occur less frequently, and therefore there’s no need to invest in fire prevention. So there’s been a total brain drain in fire safety knowledge and many experienced specialist officers have left the force,” he said.
“But fire safety officers have been saying to me for years that one day, there would be a big fire in a multiple occupancy building, which would make everyone sit up and take notice of the lack of fire safety provision. Tragically, that’s what happened at Grenfell Tower.”
Just one of the worrying statistics thrown up by the Grenfell tragedy.
Chat to the Ombudsman
An interesting story from Property Industry Eye is that the Property Ombdsman – one of the three property redress schemes – has now added live chat to its website to provide a new way to give help to people with complaints to allow them to be resolved quicker.
I wonder if they will be able to keep up with the demand?
What made me smile this week
This article about housing co-ops in Leeds. The article looks mainly at Cornerstone Housing Co-op in Chapeltown which has been around long enough to pay off its mortgage. Long term resident Cath Muller said
“Over 20 years and 100 members later, we’re still going strong with businesses operating in the cellars of both houses, productive gardens, excellent workshop spaces and infamous annual parties.”
Sounds good. You can find out more here.
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