Coronavirus – What Landlords need to know

by Property118.com News Team

9:08 AM, 25th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Coronavirus – What Landlords need to know

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Coronavirus – What Landlords need to know

Tessa Shepperson of Landlord Law talks to John Stewart of the Residential Landlords Association bringing people up to date with developments for landlords in the UK resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic.

This is the recording of Tessa’s webinar yesterday (24 March. 2020) with John Stewart of the NRLA.

The comments by both John and Tessa are based on a combination of government guidance (where it exists), the existing law and guesswork. Note that some of the advice given may be overtaken by later events.


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Tony Hodge

10:56 AM, 25th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Not directly related to the above Webinar (which I have to say was very good and informative) but there is lots going on about 'rent holidays', 'mortage holidays', '80% of wages', etc. What concerns me is that at the end of the day, someone, somewhere will end up paying for all these holidays.
Who will it be? You? Me? Gov? Banks?
It will effect all of us as nothing in life is free.

David Lawrenson

11:23 AM, 25th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Yes, the bill for years will be colossal.
I predict that we could see a fall in rents by as much as 20% in less than 3 months (new rentals agreed), as numbers of folks looking for lets could remain dried up for some time - and letting agents and landlords will have to drop rents to get tenants.

This will feed through to existing tenancies within 6 months. Renewals rentals will be at lower levels.

The impact on house prices could be to the same level, though will take much longer to feed through, as house prices are very sticky downwards, (no one is keen to accept their house is worth a lot less).
One bright spot is the drop in base rates - great news for those on real base rate trackers (not so much the SVR variant). The West Brom must be cursing Mark Alexander even more than when they lost at the Court of Appeal!.
In the longer run, when this is all over, the world must simply have to pay to close down bad practices in farming, especially these awful "wet markets". We just cannot survive a fourth pandemic and close the world's economy again. The world must subsidise and pay poorer countries to ensure compliance and close these disgusting places down - with traders given alternative employment.
We also have to look at the health of our own nation. Too many people's "underlying health conditions" are caused by their own lifestyle choices. This then places a huge burden on the NHS. So more government money must be made available to support exercise, sport and healthy eating.
The pleas of the part of the food industry that produces fat food must be ignored this time.
The government has just proved that it has a lot of money it can spend / find in times of crisis. It must put in place preventative actions for the future.
Finally, our civil liberties must be restored as soon as possible.
I have written more about this here...the impact on the PRS and on society in general.
https://www.lettingfocus.com/blogs/2020/03/coronavirus-and-private-landlords/
David Lawrenson
http://www.LettingFocus.com
Landlord Consultancy

Monty Bodkin

11:35 AM, 25th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lawrenson at 25/03/2020 - 11:23
I predict that we could see a fall in rents by as much as 20% in less than 3 months (new rentals agreed)

Go then, state and link to your preferred index and we'll all have a look in 3 months.
Supply levels are down and it look set to remain that way.
I predict it will be the same or higher.

David Lawrenson

14:21 PM, 25th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Monty Bodkin at 25/03/2020 - 11:35
Hi Monty,

I hope you are right. And yes, you are correct about supply levels going down too. But it seems to me that the fall in incomes is the key factor and will hit very hard indeed. I hope I'm wrong of course - and you are right.

Four fascinating pieces / articles in The Times today critiquing the approach we have taken, including one by Max Hastings and another by Daniel Finkelstein.

When I have a moment, will try to link.

Kind regards
David Lawrenson
LettingFocus.com

Monty Bodkin

15:20 PM, 25th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lawrenson at 25/03/2020 - 14:21
https://homelet.co.uk/homelet-rental-index

For February 2020 the data shows that the average rental price for a new tenancy in the UK was £955 per calendar month (pcm)

So for your prediction to be correct, the Homelet May 2020 index average rental price for a new tenancy in the UK would need to be £764.

(N.B Whole of UK index includes London.)

Monty Bodkin

22:23 PM, 25th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lawrenson at 25/03/2020 - 11:23"I predict that we could see a fall in rents by as much as 20% in less than 3 months"
Emergency LHA rate rent increases have just gone bananas in the last hour.
Unprecedented increases on initial reading.

David Lawrenson

9:38 AM, 26th March 2020
About 8 months ago

We must allow for the serviced accommodation providers switching to standard BTL where they can, this will add to supply and tend to reduce rents a little.

As I said, speaking with my landlord hat on, I hope you are right and I'm wrong.

But these are strange times.

On a general level, what’s really scary is that in Italy, Spain and France they are variously restricting the actual time you can spend outside or how far you can go from your home…and people there are complying.

But if you believe the narrative, then it is avoiding close contact with other people that is the issue….If you always avoid that, then it doesn't matter how far you roam and for how long.

Can people really be accepting this? Can they not be trusted to do the right things, as Sweden is notably doing.

David Lawrenson
http://www.LettingFocus.com

BB

9:57 AM, 26th March 2020
About 8 months ago

I apologise if my question seem irrelevant or a little silly. I live overseas and have for a long time, so very little contact with people back in the UK. So if I could please:-

During the Government shutdown are people allowed to move home? Be that tenants to new properties and buyers/seller to their prospective new homes. As I have tenants wishing to move out at the end of their tenancy next month.
Are viewings permitted if the rules on gathering of no more than two people are adhered to?
Finally what about at the end of a tenancy (or start) - check out inspections, inventories and return of deposits?

Thank you, I would be most grateful of some info.

angela

11:02 AM, 26th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lawrenson at 25/03/2020 - 11:23
totally disagree, rents will rise as more people go bankrupt, the PRS has contracted due to the financial penalties the government imposed, house prices will stagnate for period just like during brexit, but look how they took off this year after things were finally agreed for the moment.

your comments on civil liberties is ridiculous, this thing is killing thousands, left to itself it will kill millions, for the sake of my father and elderly friends I am happy to comply, not only that I do not want it.

We are living through unprecedented times, cannot compare to 1918 as the world bears no resemblance to those times. Watch and wait is all we can do.

David Lawrenson

11:19 AM, 26th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by angela at 26/03/2020 - 11:02If I was in Italy and went for a walk in the country near my home and don't go within 2 metres of another soul, how would this be dangerous, as their government says it is?
All the evidence says it is close contact with other people that is the risk and failing to wash hands.
(I think it is Italy (or maybe Spain or France) where restrictions of distance from one's house and imposed and time outside).
But how could that make sense in the scenario of a walk in the country as I had described?
By all means take appropriate precautions for your own life and for those of fellow citizens, but there is no reason to allow the state to impose ludicrous restrictions that make no sense at all from the perspective of public health. Which is why I agree with Sweden's approach. Perhaps there is a better level of trust between that nation's citizens and the state than in Spain or France or Italy.

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