Empty Property, empty rental income and still face costs?

by Readers Question

14:42 PM, 24th March 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Empty Property, empty rental income and still face costs?

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Empty Property, empty rental income and still face costs?

I am a professional Landlord with quite a few properties. I have Buy to Let mortgages on all of them.

However, like most landlords there is money over and above the mortgage payments from the rent I receive, to which I live on. The government have to surely rethink their strategy on this.

Maybe if needed they should pay the tenants rent and then get them to repay the government back on a repayment plan when able to do so when this nightmare passes.

I have in the last two weeks had two properties that need to be re-let, they are empty. I will now not be able to show any prospective tenants around due to the new lock down rules. Also the council will want council tax paid in full each month as well on these. This should be immediately waved for rental properties during this crises.

Everyone in the general media seems to only worry about renters and not give a damn or thought about the landlord and the problems that are encountered by landlords who play a key part for housing people in this country.

Ray



Comments

Mervin SX

20:29 PM, 24th March 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Ray, I hear you. I currently have 2 empty properties vacant (since beginning of March) for which one of the agreed tenants has to pull out.
Another one will be empty next week and another on notice to go empty by mid-April. With the ongoing lockdown, it's not going to be possible to show prospective tenants around, which will certainly hit the vacancy rates. I am fully supportive of the lockdown measures but aspects such as council tax, utility standing charges, gas safety check expiry, etc. will require some clarity from the government! 🥺

Monty Bodkin

20:57 PM, 24th March 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Why do you have to show them round?
If no one else can either, then it's take it or leave it based on the advert, communication, verification and negotiation.

Marcus Cassidy

9:29 AM, 25th March 2020
About 2 weeks ago

I too have similar issue but my management company 'Howsy' offer a Facetime viewing. Either the present tenant or someone else shows the prospective new tenant around the property, via Face time and then Howsey takes it from there with holding deposit and move in day. Keys can be put in a cost effective key lock box hidden outside somewhere and the new tentants move in when agreed . I have some new tenants moving in by April when I thought it would be empty for the forseeable future.

John

9:36 AM, 25th March 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Marcus Cassidy at 25/03/2020 - 09:29
I to have this issue but she has been delayed in moving out.

My main issue is with council tax. This should be reimbursed by the council. We need a temp exemption from CT.

Mervin SX

9:42 AM, 25th March 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Monty Bodkin at 24/03/2020 - 20:57
I suppose it is my chance to get to know the tenant before I sign them up virtually.

I manage all my properties myself and half my portfolio which I can access nearby, are marketed via OpenRent.

Luke P

9:44 AM, 25th March 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by John at 25/03/2020 - 09:36
I had heard (whether the same in all areas) council tax would be exempt for empty properties. Yet to find a source, though.

The Property Man

9:57 AM, 25th March 2020
About 2 weeks ago

I have 4 properties empty at the minute that have all just undergone refurbishment and are all ready to go now, and now this has happened.

We will be doing video viewings but this is not the same as being in the property in person and getting the feel of their new home but it’s the best we can do at the minute.

One thing I can say is the council should not be charging council tax on these properties while we have them empty at this time.

Throughout the year I pay the council thousands on empty properties so during this period they should be writing off the council tax !!

Simon Williams

10:12 AM, 25th March 2020
About 2 weeks ago

If someone is moving property during the lock down, they are breaking the lock down rules as far as I can see. So, even if it's an empty flat and you've found a tenant through virtual viewings, they ought not to be moving in until the lock down is eased (or the government grants a specific exemption - I assume they have not already?).
That said, the landlord may well say that it is not his/her problem and leave the newly arriving tenant to blag their way out of things if the neighbours call the police and say it shouldn't be happening. The police would likely say: just get on with it and move in.
The problem is even harder in multi-share accommodation where existing tenants would likely kick up a stink at the idea of new tenants moving in who may be infectious (even if not showing symptoms).
Good luck to all those who try to fill a property in the midst of the lock-down. I'm not sure if it's entirely legal but I completely understand the desperation.

Monty Bodkin

10:20 AM, 25th March 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Mervin SX at 25/03/2020 - 09:42
I suppose it is my chance to get to know the tenant before I sign them up virtually.

I'd agree in an ideal world, but we have to play with the cards we've been dealt.

The Property Man

10:24 AM, 25th March 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Simon Williams at 25/03/2020 - 10:12
I am personally just seeing how things go. If I can secure a tenant through a video tour then I will ensure they don’t need to be moved in by a certain date and they are flexible. At least I can get all the references done / inventory etc and be ready to go when the government relax things again.

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