Cost of Living Crisis – What do we do as landlords?

Cost of Living Crisis – What do we do as landlords?

14:35 PM, 9th March 2022, About 3 months ago 19

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We all know there is pain coming our way with the cost of energy prices, but the stark reality has hit home today even before the effects of oil and gas import restrictions from Russia bite.

Our tenant of a 3-bed bungalow had previously topped up her oil tank for around £250 in the past, but upon calling for a refill last week was quoted £460. After considering her options she was today quoted £970 and couldn’t get delivery for over 3 weeks. She is a great tenant and has a great job, but as a single mum there is only so much any budget can withstand.

If these price increases play out over the longer term, and as likely get worse, the Bank of England 2% inflation target is going to look like a bad joke. Then what does the Bank do? Throw its hand in the air and say nothing can be done so let’s not make the pain worse or do they follow their government remit and try to control inflation with interest rate increases and if so by how much? If interest rates rise section 24 tax positions are only going to get worse.

Will our costs increase (likely), will we need to pass this on in rent increases, will our tenants be able to afford this with knock-on food, goods and services price increases?

Yes, our tenant may not buy her children all new iPhones this year, but budgeting can only be taken so far.

Some difficult decisions and times are ahead.

Do we stick or do we twist and look to sell?

What will happen to the Housing Market?

You get over one crisis and then immediately get punched on the nose by another!

Ian

 



Comments

by Ofer Moses

14:08 PM, 10th March 2022, About 3 months ago

Rent increases are also being brought into question with London Mayor Sadiq Khan pushing for rent controls, effectively freezing rents for 3 years, apparently due the cost of living crisis, although he had been pushing for rent controls irrespectively.
Whilst all the changes to the PRS adversely impact all Landlords, the level of impact and viability will vary according to individual Landlords financial and planning arrangements.

by Mick Roberts

14:15 PM, 10th March 2022, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ofer Moses at 10/03/2022 - 14:08
I've got several paying £500pm when all surrounding rents are £800pm. We have discussed next big 2022 repair can't be paid on old 2008 rent. Will need rent increase. Let's hope Govt don't say No can do, otherwise we become more business like next time & increase them every year like most do.

by geester24

14:16 PM, 10th March 2022, About 3 months ago

If she's a great tenant and pays on time and looks after the place I would try and be compassionate. I always charge my longer term tenants 10-15% below market value anyway. Is your insulation all top class (200-400mm in loft or equivalent ). Windows DGL. You could offer to upgrade thermo things and it would add value and be tax deductible.
Have an honest chat with her about riding it out together. If you evict her where do you put your money ?
If property is your only investment it might be worth diversifying a bit. Stocks and shares global tracker etc or plutonium futures :!

by Blodwyn

16:41 PM, 10th March 2022, About 3 months ago

I agree with Geester, this is a time to share and show the sharing on some platform that may be coordinated to demonstrate that landlords are not all Rachmans but normal breathing people whose blood runs red like everyone else? Our tenant is on a fixed income.
A regular payer, under the going rate perhaps and doesn't know what a hoover is for but pays and would be very difficult to replace?

by rita chawla

19:12 PM, 10th March 2022, About 3 months ago

If the tenant is good, I never ever increase their rents during their stay. By 'good' I mean just not someone who pays the rent on time but also someone who looks after the place as if it's their own and don't mind resolving the east /cheap repair jobs themselves, without asking for my help. I've had a few like them, and such tenants have continued to live for 5+ years, and surprisingly, i've even received flowers and thank you notes etc after they have left.

On the other hand, I do have tenants, who pay the rent on time, but are extremely demanding even though the rent they are paying is much lower than the market value. A tenant of mine rang me at 7 am in morning as the shower hose broke that morning and he didn't want to spend a tenner and get a replacement himself. He made me drive 30 miles to replace it same day even though I offered to pay for it if he replaces himself. Another one broke my window in a drunken argument with his partner but didn't bother to inform me or repair it. Only admitted it when I confronted him as neighbours had seen the fight. Such tenants, I'll pass on all my increased costs to without any second thoughts.

by Mike

20:57 PM, 10th March 2022, About 3 months ago

What about those Landlords who charge rents with all utility bills included, including Council tax as part of the rent.

by Colin Dartnell

21:33 PM, 10th March 2022, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 10/03/2022 - 20:57
Unless there are special reasons for doing so they would be asking for trouble. Tenants could burn the lights, heating and hot water 24 hours a day knowing they don't have to pay for it.

by Mike

0:30 AM, 11th March 2022, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Colin Dartnell at 10/03/2022 - 21:33I am in that situation, as I wrongly or rightly believed that all bills are landlord's responsibility when it is an HMO, so I pay for water charges, Electric and gas, and council tax, within the rent I charge for 4 double rooms fully furnished house, winter heating set to maximum 22C and minimum to 19C by a Nest thermostat, but tenants want it 24hours and still complain that they are freezing, I cannot afford to heat my own house for more than 20c to 21 C, yes at times you may feel a little cold but I wear another layer if need be, even now I am indoors in my padded jacket,
My East European tenants want to roam in their shorts and tee shirts, they have never heard of pyjamas, even when it is snowing outside!
I let out 4 rooms, at £425 pcm and 1 at £300 pcm in East London 5 mins from tube station, no where you can get rooms for that price, and tenants I spoke to two weeks ago regarding cost of energy, they started to scream mad at me for trying to put the rent up! Notices will be given to them next and I shall put new tenants who can pay me around £500 pcm to cover the cost of higher bills now, and not forgetting additional costs like building insurance £400, License fee about £200, Gas safe checks around £100, other maintenance expense roughly around £200 each year.
Not including is the amortising cost of replacement carpet, beddings etc.

by Mike

0:41 AM, 11th March 2022, About 3 months ago

Also my tenants when they go to visit their home in Romania, they usually spend a month each year and refuse to pay rent for the month they are away, somehow they think they do not have to pay me rent when they are not living here!
So now higher energy costs will now drive me mad, and I will have to take this up on these low rent tenants, they will have to pay me more to cover additional cost of energy, and water charges too, and higher council tax, I am just waiting how much more everything will go up till after April, and I suggested to them a figure of additional £50 per month still keeping my rent under £500 fully furnished rooms. Heated to 22C or even more,
as for heating I found that rooms get heated to about 23c to 24c as the thermostat is situated in a hallway, which is prone to drafts, so switches the boiler on even when the rooms are actually 22c

Oh, and one of them has even bought an electric scooter and frequently charges it within my £300 rent for this young lad!

by Alistair Cooper

10:26 AM, 11th March 2022, About 3 months ago

The hikes in energy and all other costs will start to change the all inclusive HMO model especially in high value areas where mortgages are naturally much larger. Gas & Elec alone for my 6/7 bed HMOs will likely top £12000/year if the further rise of circa 50% cuts in from October.
To cover such costs nicer rooms will top £1000/month to stay viable and I doubt the market will stand such rises
We have began to switch our properties to short term/AirBnB serviced accommodation and find the experience a whole lot more desirable than being an HMO landlord and watching our properties being constantly abused. A great Sec 24 hedge as well.
I suspect the supply of affordable accommodation will fall sharply but this is a direct consequence of ill thought through government policy; the energy prices just exacerbate the tide

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