If renting out a home is so easy, why don’t you have a go?

If renting out a home is so easy, why don’t you have a go?

0:01 AM, 8th September 2023, About 9 months ago 11

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Many people think that being a landlord in the private rented sector (PRS) is easy money. They assume that all you have to do is buy a property, find a tenant and collect the rent every month. They think that landlords are greedy, exploiting tenants and contributing to the housing crisis.

Unfortunately, they also listen to organisations like Shelter and Crisis, who claim that landlords are responsible for the poor conditions, insecurity and unaffordability in the PRS.

But this is far from the truth.

Being a landlord is not easy money. It is hard work, risky and stressful.

And, if it really was that easy, then why doesn’t Shelter offer homes to those who it continually carps are ‘facing homelessness’? Let’s look at some of the reasons why everyone wants to have a go at landlords providing a home and why they don’t want to provide homes instead of finger pointing.

Challenges and responsibilities

Landlords must deal with many challenges and responsibilities that are often overlooked or ignored by our critics.

So, to tenants and those who judge us, here are some of the reasons why being a landlord is not easy money:

  • Landlords must invest a lot of money upfront. Buying a property is not cheap, especially in the UK. Landlords must pay for the deposit, the mortgage, the stamp duty, the legal fees and the survey costs. We also must pay for any repairs, renovations or improvements that are needed to make the property suitable for renting.
  • Landlords must comply with lots of regulations and laws. The private rented sector is highly regulated in the UK – despite what Shelter says. Landlords must follow rules and standards regarding health and safety, energy efficiency, fire safety, gas and electrical safety, and more. We must protect the tenants’ deposits and provide them with the right information and documents. If we fail to comply with any of these requirements, we can face fines, penalties or even prosecution. Believe me, there are lots of rules and regulations to follow that most tenants won’t have a clue about. We are ordinary people wanting to – mostly – build a nest egg for retirement but once you go through the mill of breaching a rule, you’ll find a landlord’s heart isn’t really in it anymore.
  • Landlords must deal with unreliable or problematic tenants. This is an issue that is ALWAYS overlooked by critics. Finding good tenants is not easy. Landlords must screen potential tenants, check their references, credit history and income. We also must deal with tenants who are late with rent, damage the property, cause a nuisance to neighbours, or breach their tenancy agreement. We must deal with tenants who refuse to leave or who make false accusations. Evicting tenants can be a long and costly process. This will usually see the landlord not getting rent but still having to pay the mortgage and pay for the legal process.
  • Landlords must cope with unexpected costs and risks. Landlords must pay for insurance, maintenance, repairs and replace white goods and furniture. We must also pay for when the property is empty and there is no rent being paid. We must pay tax on our rental income and capital gains when we sell the property. We must also deal with any changes in the market conditions, interest rates, or government policies that can affect our profitability or viability.
  • Landlords must provide a good service and value to their tenants. Contrary to popular belief, most landlords are not out to rip off tenants or provide them with substandard accommodation. Most landlords want to provide a good service and value to their tenants. We want to keep our tenants happy, safe and comfortable. We want to maintain our properties in good condition and respond to any issues or requests promptly. We want to build a good relationship and reputation with our tenants and the local community.

The financial penalties that landlords face are steep

Just to highlight the financial penalties that landlords face are steep to the point of bankruptcy. Not registered as an HMO in a selective licensing area? That’s up to £30,000. Not meeting every regulation? That’s another £5,000 for EACH transgression.

Then add into the equation the cost of a new boiler, fixing plumbing problems or repairing the roof. All this costs money – money that landlords MUST find.

Apparently, anti-social behaviour from tenants is the responsibility of landlords. But when we try to evict for this reason, we get lambasted if we use a section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction because this is the quickest way of dealing with the issue.

Renting a property is a demanding and challenging business that requires a lot of time, money, effort and skills. It is not fair or accurate to portray landlords as villains or parasites who are exploiting tenants or causing the housing crisis.

It is also not helpful or constructive to demonise or vilify landlords or call for more regulations or restrictions that will make our lives harder or drive those who get fed up out of the market.

Instead of attacking landlords or blaming us for everything that is wrong with the PRS, organisations like Shelter should try to work with us to improve the sector. They should try to understand the challenges and difficulties that landlords face and help us overcome them.

Investment and innovation in the sector

They should try to encourage more investment and innovation in the sector that will benefit both landlords and tenants.

That’s why I think that Shelter and Crisis should put up or shut up.

Either start renting out homes to all those families you claim are being made homeless by heartless landlords, or rein in the rhetoric that all landlords are bad people.

You will soon learn that being a landlord is not a route to easy money.

We deliver a valuable and vital service that provides homes for millions of people in the UK who cannot or do not want to buy their own property.

Landlords deserve respect and recognition for our contribution and role in society.

But I doubt that will change any time soon.

And that is a shame because with the benefit of hindsight when tens of thousands of homes have left the rental sector, perhaps then you might appreciate us.

But we won’t be here for your apologies and regret – the unwarranted character assassination and the extra legislation helped to push us out.

The critics of landlords won’t bother to house people desperate for a home, that’s not the game they play, but they will have made a bed they will be forced to lie in.

I hope they enjoy it.

Until next time,

The Landlord Crusader


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Comments

Paul Essex

10:24 AM, 8th September 2023, About 9 months ago

Sad state of affairs but so true.

We can do nothing right; too many houses bought by landlords they insist one week, not enough houses to rent the following week.

Demands for the highest standards of accomodation, followed by a cry of the rents are too high.

Landlords must tackle anti-social behavior but want to get rid of Section 21 and are happy to pay wealthy barristers to use every trick to prevent you dealing with the problem.

Russell Cartner

11:25 AM, 8th September 2023, About 9 months ago

Excellent
but
If you want to make your point confront your Local MP by email and explain due to Government anti Landlord policies you will not be voting for him at the next election Better if you email M Gove michael.gove.mp@parliament.uk
Brilliant to wiipe the smile off his smug face when he loses his £150,000 job

Ofer Moses

12:00 PM, 8th September 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Russell Cartner at 08/09/2023 - 11:25
I did confront my local Labour MP, unfortunately he is in cahoots with the likes of shelter, gen rent etc, and unsurprisingly did not even have the decency to reply!
We're on our own and at the mercy of governing bodies, so stay in or out is for every landlord to decide for themselves

Russell Cartner

12:42 PM, 8th September 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ofer Moses at 08/09/2023 - 12:00
Thats ok just email to let him know because he hasn't replied You will definitely not be voting for him.
Gove is the main man you really should email him. In fact all your family should

SimonP

0:09 AM, 9th September 2023, About 9 months ago

And when my tenant leaves in a few weeks, I shall end up having to pay 3 times what he was paying in Council Tax since an empty property is, quite obviously, a much larger drain on council services than a single-tenanted home. Right! Got it!

Mick Roberts

8:04 AM, 9th September 2023, About 9 months ago

Yes, I've said to em many a times

Please u buy it, u welcome to look after em. I'll do u 10k discount if u promise to keep em in there for 10 years at current rate.

Fergus Wilson

8:24 AM, 9th September 2023, About 9 months ago

There are easier ways of making a living!

If you take single mums on housing benefit you are taking advantage of vulnerable people!

One local council official said I was. Quite easy, stop taking people on Housing Benefit!

Then you are a nasty landlord!

Well 82% of PSLs do not take people on Housing Benefit!

If you are a Landlord you have a target on your back!

Easy rider

15:02 PM, 9th September 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by SimonP at 09/09/2023 - 00:09
Move in yourself. Single person discount on your main home and the rental property. Or move a student in (family member perhaps) or somebody under 18.

Teessider

13:22 PM, 10th September 2023, About 9 months ago

My properties have an average value of around £90k (2, 3, 3 and 4 bedroom properties).
Shelter’s income in 2022 was over £75million.
That would be enough money to buy 833 x houses outright in one year alone. With 75% mortgages they could buy 3,333 houses in one year alone.
Imagine how many people could have been housed by Shelter since they started their ‘charity’ in 1966 if they’d chosen to spend just half of their income on buying houses.
Of course, answering the phones to give out repetitive advice that could be provided by AI bits and advertising for more funds is far easier than being a landlord.
I bet the CEO has a nice house.

Russell Cartner

13:38 PM, 10th September 2023, About 9 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Teessider at 10/09/2023 - 13:22
I would love it if they were investigated
All you need to do us ask whether they have misaproted funds

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