Are you thinking of selling up after Sturgeon’s Rent Freeze?

Are you thinking of selling up after Sturgeon’s Rent Freeze?

15:15 PM, 6th September 2022, About a month ago 10

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The Telegraph Money desk is covering Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement that she will bring in rent caps. We’re looking to talk specifically to landlords who are selling up now as a result of this decision, or who are thinking of selling up, about how this decision will destroy your business plans and profit margins.

Are you going to invest elsewhere in Britain or leave the sector altogether?

Is this the final straw for Scotland’s private rental sector?

Please contact alexa.phillips@telegraph.co.uk, preferably by the end of Wednesday



Comments

Mick Roberts View Profile

12:46 PM, 7th September 2022, About 4 weeks ago

My notes on this:

They doing it again. Look what happened in Covid calling for Rent Holiday & no evictions etc.
We people that actually rent houses out, knew Landlords would be selling in their droves when they could after hearing stuff like this & tenants would then be worse off-And that's what happened.
Remaining Landlords now have mega demand & can charge what they like.

These people in power who change sensibility make it better for that current tenant temporarily, but the next 100,000 looking for a house or move cannot do so, as no Landlord takes them or if they can, super expensive rents. It's getting a case where only the well paid can afford to rent. All Govt & Council & Shelter & Generation Rent making.

Shelter will applaud this & say it is working-As above for the current tenant. I'd say it works more for the Landlord & Letting Agent that slugs it out, as when the freeze or ban over, we all know rents shoot up massively as more demand comes. Letting Agents are loving the higher commission from higher rents. And why shouldn't they.
And us Landlords then end up taking it out of the innocent tenants by increasing the rents at every opportunity as we just don't know when the next attack is coming. And we think we got a rent freeze coming again, we think Gees, best get some higher rent in now even though I was happy to leave at that existing rent to keep tenant happy.

And before Generation rent shoot me down, I want rents to reduce so my tenants can have a choice to move, so I can sell my ruddy houses.

Paul landlord

14:20 PM, 7th September 2022, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 07/09/2022 - 12:46
Couldn't agree more Mick with what you have said.

I have also had the similar problem for the last couple of years. I'm trying to sell my sizeable portfolio that took 30 years to build but my happy tenants who are paying well less than market rents cant move as there is nowhere to go they can afford even if they could find somewhere in the first place.

I have been selling when a tenant gives notice, choosing not to evict to sell and also not raising rents that I desperately need to do to meet the costs of the constant government attacks, because I know my tenants aren't wealthy.

But this is now changing. It has to. I can't afford 2010 rents etc in the environment of 2022 that has been created in the last seven years or so and survive as a business.

So I have no choice but to raise rents substantially now, (a decision made before the cost of living crisis), for those tenants I keep and I will be evicting to sell some year by year.

I regret having to do this but as I explain to my tenants, the situation is one created by the gov, gen rent, shelter etc. I'm not the aggressor forcing this situation these people are. I no longer have a choice

JohnCaversham

14:44 PM, 7th September 2022, About 4 weeks ago

I agree gents, I too have traditionally kept rents as low as I could but seemingly now to my own detriment as some of them of them are at 30% lower than market rates. With no let-up in the attack on the PRS section I have made the decision to increase rents annually by the rate of inflation regardless. I've written to all of the tenants explaining why I've done this and the feedback has been mixed. My longest tenant dates back to 2006 and is only on her 4th rent increase in that time. But no more-otherwise I may as well just not bother. Well done Generation Rent and successive short sighted Chancellors..I don't think Truss and team will offer anything different to that previously...

Mick Roberts View Profile

16:01 PM, 7th September 2022, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul landlord at 07/09/2022 - 14:20
U same as me tenants paying cheap rent, can't move & don't want to move once they see the other rents. I started 1997-Keep that quiet cause of my age.

I say exactly the same. Your 2008 rent does not pay for the 2022 outgoings.

I've sent this to a Councillor this morning:

Dear XXX,

Excuse me emailing you off the cuff, but my Bulwell tenants are getting desperate & need people such as yourself to help them.

We are doing a report for the Govt on Selective Licensing.
If you aren't aware, I'm biggest Benefit Landlord in Nottingham, don't want my houses any more, asked the Council to buy them, Alex Norris MP knows me, Linda Woodings despises me, yet all I want is for the tenants to have a better life & not pay these extortionate rents we are seeing now.

I know you've spoken out against Selective Licensing in the past & rightly so & I believe you are from Bulwell, as am I, & many of my tenants are from & live in Bulwell. So what I'm asking you, if you have a sympathetic head/mind/being with those in Bulwell & would be prepared to write a few words/letter/note saying what you think about Licensing as any evidence we have may help our cause. Long shot I know, but if you truly believe something is jeopardising tenants home, I'd like you to say so. I'm happy for you to email me the words, post it, text it whatever, you can even do it anonymously if you wish.

I'm charging many of mine £500pm when as you know, Bulwell rents are now £850 for 3 beds. I want tenants to have a choice of being able to move to where they want & at a fair rent. As you know, they can't get anywhere because of Selective Licensing
One of my tenants in Highbury Vale Ockerby Street screenshot enclosed.

XXX, I'm happy for u to ring me to discuss, meet me one day, wherever u like in Nottingham, but things I can tell u about what Licensing has done to tenants homes who had zero problems before is shocking. I've had ZERO inspections by the Council, yet cost my tenants £100,000 in rent increases to pay for the last scheme.

I'm definitely increasing all my Bulwell rents by £25 pm each tenant, should Licensing get bought in again Aug 2023, as I have asked the Council the below with no reply. And XXX, Licensing conditions are there too which u will be horrified at:

What do tenants get for their rent increases that have ZERO problems? That already have a nice house?
Can the landlord pay £10 a month then?
Take me for example, at that £630 u mention above, will cost me over £57,000 just in your fee alone. How long have I got to pay that?
I don't even want my houses any more, I'm only keeping it for the tenants, so u can be sure I won't be paying for it.
So u do acknowledge it may cost the tenants £10pm.
Are u aware Benefit tenants in Nottingham can't get a house any more? Cause of Licensing?
When I pay this £57,000 in one go I presume? Is that it? No paperwork to do?
No form filling in?
Can u explain to my 68 year old tenant who has lived there for 20 years why she has to have inspections every 4 month's? And give her anxiety. Is she a criminal?

Tell u what, ring me tomorrow, I'll pay your £57,000 and I PROMISE to give zero tenants a rent increase if that is ALL I have to do. No paperwork. No form filling in. No inspections. No 100 hours sending u documents and forms.

Please read your conditions below and tell everyone on this page that this is acceptable for a Benefit tenant, in fact any tenant to comply with.

How many bad houses did u find in 3.5 years from £15 million+ in tenants rent increases for licensing fees?

Most of u r very good. But are u perfect? Read Licensing conditions and tell yourself:
1. Could u comply with all them.
2. Would u take any tenant on that wasn't the most prim proper person ever?
3. If u was a landlord getting older, would u want to be dealing with that for EVERY house EVERY tenant?
4. Could u be doing with giving out 200 pages to each tenant each house.
5. Would u take a Benefit tenant on after being told u had to comply with them conditions?
Selective Licensing conditions Feb 2022
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sD_HRl57ANNw4PBAb-FGRU7h-0Qby9Vm5xLioH_nA7c/edit?usp=sharing

Mick Roberts View Profile

16:03 PM, 7th September 2022, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by JohnCaversham at 07/09/2022 - 14:44
Yes mine are ending up at only 70% of market rents. But Govt won't hear from these happy people that don't have a problem will they.

Golfman

18:12 PM, 7th September 2022, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul landlord at 07/09/2022 - 14:20Paul- I could have written this myself.
It was heartbreaking for me that I had to evict my tenant of 19 years yesterday - yes 19 years!! She was paying rents at 2007 levels and I was fine to continue. But the threat of rent caps in London (Communist London Mayor!!) and the fact that there was no feasible alternative to increase the rents to market levels made this an imperative for me. Add to that the fact that s21 would be curtailed and it was curtains for me. My substantial portfolio now gradually becoming vacant for sale. Never should have been this way!
We would expect that from Sturgeon - but its coming here. Fool if you think the recent Tory governments will support us.

Bernard Mealing

19:40 PM, 7th September 2022, About 4 weeks ago

Buy to let is a business. albeit often smaller than the corner shop.

How many businesses have selling caps put on the products...
Maybe we would understand it if the business we are in had a static price structure. The housing markets go up and down

Do they tell Tesco how much to charge for a can of beans

Freda Blogs

21:31 PM, 7th September 2022, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Bernard Mealing at 07/09/2022 - 19:40
Tesco can and is putting up prices, as is every other business.

So how can Sturgeon et al expect LLs to absorb higher mortgage costs, insurance, tradesman’s costs etc etc as well as having higher risk getting possession of OUR properties when required? All the time facing higher bills on our own homes too.

Are we to risk bankruptcy because we have no say in how we manage OUR properties because the government wants to impose retrospective changes and turn upside down existing tenancy arrangements?

I don’t have ‘mug’ written on my forehead and I will not be told by government what to do. For many years I have provided high quality homes and absorbed much of the costs associated with the ever changing legislation coming at us. But enough is enough. Yep, I’m selling.

Christine Howard

9:12 AM, 8th September 2022, About 4 weeks ago

We agree 100%, and 'Yes we are now seriously considering selling our complete portfolio for which some of our tenants have been with us for 20 years, and the rest at least 8 or 9 years - under market value rents. However, the cost of improving some of the properties to EPC 'C' is not viable, although all the tenants are very happy and comfortable. We do not let any property we wouldn't live ourselves, and we respect our tenants and visa versa. BUT this White Paper with the deletion of Section 21 and problems that could be forthcoming does not appeal to us. In addition to this we have just revamped to an EPC rating of C, (the previous tenants had been living in the flat for 23 years) - and although during this time the flat was uninhabitable (no water, no toilet, no kitchen), Cornwall Council insists on charging 50% of the full rates. Cornwall Council no longer allow a Landlord one month free rates in order for the landlord to check and ensure the property is up to standard for new tenants - they say they want the property let immediately! Rather short sighted thinking in my view, as it is eveditable the properties may well deteriorate whenever the property is re-let. The Landlord will not afford extra expense Cornwall Council (CC) is applying - CC are ignoring the recommendation by the Govermment with regard to not charging rates for an uninhabitable property during upgrading and revamping after long term tenants.

DSR

9:21 AM, 8th September 2022, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by JohnCaversham at 07/09/2022 - 14:44
ditto - rent rise letters etc were sent out to the majority of my tenants recently and I will be increasing year on year accordingly.
Gone are the days of me trying to help tenants anymore by keeping rents low. Its self defeating.

The government are making it really difficult for LL's to continue, and there is more cost incoming and regulation coming.... I am quite happy to tell the tenant how it is and point them in the direction of Gen Rent/Shelter and their MP to voice their own dissatisfaction - I am merely the middleman caught in the crossfire trying to appease all sides and it aint working no more.

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