Thank heavens for landlords

Thank heavens for landlords

8:56 AM, 17th August 2020, About 3 years ago 52

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This is one of the best pieces I have seen valuing the work of us as private landlords. If only we could get this message across to combat all the anti-landlord rhetoric that is so polluting discussions about the private rented sector and leading to the onslaught of destructive policies which are ruining things for tenants just as much as they are damaging landlords’ businesses.

A landlord writes:

After seeing a “Shelter” sponsored post on my timeline today, I scrolled through some of the nasty comments. Many people think landlords are parasites, trapping people, overcharging rent, forcing people to rent all their lives, preventing people from saving up for a deposit for a house, etc., I posted this comment to try to balance out things:

What about an alternative view?

You haven’t got the money saved up for a 10% or 15% deposit on a house, but you want to move out of your parents home now, so what do you do? If only there were some people who were willing to let me move into a house for only a £700 deposit and another £700 rent.

That way, I can have my own house and have only put down £1400. I can move in within a week or so of viewing it, rather than wait 3 to 4 months to buy. Brilliant. What’s more, if I decide I don’t like the area, neighbours, road noise, or change jobs and I need to move 20 miles away, or I need an extra bedroom, want a bigger garden, etc., I can move out with only a months notice. I don’t have to put my house on the market and wait 4 to 6 months to sell it, or much longer in a poor economy.

What a great system that would be… It’s so flexible, so easy and I am protected by law and have so many rights bestowed upon me too.

Furthermore, if there is a leak, a boiler breakdown, a non-working toilet, the cooker breaks or any other maintenance issue, somebody else pays for it, so I am assured that for the next year or so, my housing budget of £700 a month is never exceeded by a pesky roof leak or boiler breakdown.

Wait… What?!? A system like that already exists? Amazing.

So, you’re telling me that there are other people out there who have had the discipline to save up their wages and earnings and used their perfect credit score for the benefit of others? These people have bought a house, refurbished it, made it habitable, made sure it complies with all the housing regulations, gas safety regs, electrical safety regs, EPC regs and around 130 other regs (which I wouldn’t enjoy if I bought a house)?

So they take a massive risk and let me just put down £1400 to move in, within a week or so of viewing it, instead of putting down £20,000 and waiting 3 to 4 months?!? Who are these mystical people? Is there a name for them?

What was that you said… a “Landlord”.

Wow. We should be so grateful that these “landlord” people are willing to help me out in my hour of need, as I can’t save up £20,000, can’t wait for 3 to 4 months and I want to move now.

Thank heavens for landlords who saved up their money and decided not to leave it in a savings account or ISA or pension, but took a massive risk, invested their money, paid for the house to be done up, helping other people like this…. It’s amazing…

These people must be so loved and valued by society and the Government.

What? They’re called greedy parasites and attacked by ‘charities’ and Government? When they’re sorting out what would otherwise be a huge problem for people?

Is the world crazy?

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Old Mrs Landlord

23:28 PM, 19th August 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Dennis Leverett at 17/08/2020 - 20:21
Sorry Denis, my mistake. I apologise unreservedly. The post to which you took exception was intended as a response to that by The Forever Tenant at 11.52am on 12th August but clearly I somehow clicked on the wrong reply button. I'm not surprised you wondered what on earth I was on about. I have no disagreement with anything you have said. Monty Bodkin correctly surmised what had happened.

Dennis Leverett

10:21 AM, 20th August 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 19/08/2020 - 23:28No probs, I guessed as much.

Denise G

17:50 PM, 21st August 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by The Forever Tenant at 17/08/2020 - 11:52You say "In my 25 years of renting, I have met only one of my landlords once. They are a faceless entity who would seemingly not care about me until I do something wrong"
Who are you renting from?
We have just rental 4 properties now, but we make sure we meet all of our tenants at least twice a year face-to-face, when we do our Landlord Inspection - at which time we discuss together anything that might need doing to maintain the property in a good condition.
Our tenants have our phone numbers and are free to contact us if they need anything repaired, fixed or resolved and we will be onto it as soon as is practically possible - after all their home is our property and as such, keeping it in a good state of repair it is in both of our best interests.
We contacted each of our tenants personally within the first week of the Lockdown, to ask if they were well and to say that should they meet any difficulties over paying their rent etc. they should contact us, so that we could see what we could work out together.
Then you say "Further to everything, once in a property, it can rarely be made your own. You are generally not allowed to decorate, have pets, put pictures up, change anything, basically make the place your own. You cannot give the place your own touch."
Our Tenancy Agreement allows for all of the above, we just ask that our tenants consult with us. If their request is a reasonable one, they know it will be agreed to. They also understand that if we don't like their personal choice of decor, or feel it will make the property difficult to re-let, then it will need to be put back as it was when they leave. If they have pets they know that additional cleaning may be required at the end of their tenancy
No-one has thus far abused our trust.
Your statement that "It's not your own home" is one we take great care to address at the commencement of each tenancy. We live a small basket of goodies in the kitchen with a card saying 'welcome to your new home', which costs us under twenty quid, but is always appreciated and sets the tone we feel for our on-going relationship.
We believe that it's totally in our best interest to have our properties fully tenanted by tenants who feel the house is their home and so treat it accordingly.
One of our tenants has been with us now since 2007, another for 7 years, the third for 5 years and the last one for a little over 2 years.They all know that we value the fact that they treat the properties with respect.
What's more I KNOW we are not the only landlords who work that way!

Dennis Leverett

18:46 PM, 21st August 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Denise G at 21/08/2020 - 17:50
Just as it is with most Landlords, that's why we keep our tenants, we look after them and they look after the property. Simples.

The Forever Tenant

19:20 PM, 21st August 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Denise G at 21/08/2020 - 17:50
Denise, May I say thank you. Just like not all tenants are bad, not all landlords are bad either.

It's difficult to say for definite if someone of your demeanour is in the majority or the minority. I can generally only go by what I see. It would appear that from the experience of myself and my peers that you would be in the minority. I really hope that more people can be like yourself.

As for my situation, I do have a landlord now who is much like yourself. He is the one that I have met. He was more than happy for us to decorate in any style we wanted, put up whatever in whatever room. I have a 1 year old son so there is a stairgate that is most secure when screwed into the wall. He is more than happy for me to do anything and its like a breath of fresh air.

Not like my previous landlord, who was not the most honest of people. My rent included all bills and council tax. Turns out the reason he was able to offer that is because my flat didn't exist. It was listed as storage rooms for an office block. The same office block where he was extracting electricity from. It was a fun time when the council eventually found out and handed us a bill for the time that we had been there.

As I have said earlier, please do not get too frustrated with me. I am on your side. I want there to be peace between landlords and tenants alike. I merely present the issues that tenants have.


8:52 AM, 22nd August 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by The Forever Tenant at 17/08/2020 - 11:52
I note in particular your comments that "You are involved in providing one of the the items that is basically required for any reasonable person to live. A roof over ones head is a necessity, so by profiting from that, you have already been put into a bad light."
An even more basic requirement is food and drink. Would you consider bars, restaurants and food supermarkets in the same light as landlords. Should those in need be allowed to eat and drink their fill, help themselves to supplies and walk away without paying. Should the government step in with legislation to ensure they cannot be stopped or apprehended or face any form of prosecution during these difficult times.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

10:01 AM, 22nd August 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by BigMc at 22/08/2020 - 08:52
Great post, and exactly my point of view! I am trying to put that on the Shelter pages too, but it always fall on deaf ears. Water and energy are also basic supplies, and not many will dare not to pay! (Apparently one can not pay water and nobody can cut it off?). Where the entitlement to basic necessities will stop? Every supermarket will prosecute even hungry person, stealing a loaf of bread and a bottle of water worth £2. With property 20x more theft and zero reaction from anyone. Shelter and councils actively encourage that sort of behaviour...

Mick Roberts

11:59 AM, 22nd August 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Denise G at 21/08/2020 - 17:50
There's the problem, a few bad Landlords & we all get tarred with the same brush.

I get it with Universal Credit & the Job Centre, they are amazed that I know all my tenants personally & each ones different needs. Some tenants don't give a hoot if UC messes up, some do & I know how each tenant will react.
UC manager's colleague said to her about one case, Ooh dear.
Manager said I know Mick, he knows all his tenants, I'll ask him, he'll sort it.
Granted, I don't know my few Letting Agents tenants & sounding horrible, that's how I want it as I get older so I don't get told Aah no Mick u can't do a rent increase even though I've been here on same rent 20 years & you now got Licensing to pay for. And tenants ringing me on holiday 3 hours a day. And going forward, that's how it may be with Letting Agent tenants coming in. But current tenants, if u not met your Landlord & u don't know him/her, then yeah don't sound great. But we not all like that.

Old Mrs Landlord

16:04 PM, 22nd August 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 22/08/2020 - 10:01
Yes, non-payment of water bills does not result in the supply being cut off, but if your tenant does not pay his electricity bill the supply company will break into your house if they can't gain entry when the tenant is at home and change the supply to a metered prepay system. They will not even have the courtesy to notify you, the property owner, and you will have to pay the cost of returning to the quarterly bill method of payment.


8:56 AM, 23rd August 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by The Forever Tenant at 17/08/2020 - 11:52Hello forever tenant and we’ll done for putting out there the tenant point of view. The points you make must be felt by many renters and seem logical and fair. I would ask you to consider a couple of things: -
Firstly there are the counter arguments of flexibility of house movement, low taxation (no stamp duty), zero maintenance costs and low outgoings. You have to admit that Ros has pointed out the advantages of renting very clearly. But there has to be a reason why landlords go into renting. The main one is to earn a living. You call that profit, but would you be so quick to judge someone who earns their living running a casino or a greengrocers? I might have an issue with the casino, but providing housing or food are necessary surely?. No one would do this job voluntarily (Shelter certainly don’t.).
Then you mention that renters come out with nothing, but - landlords have to pay considerable tax on any gains they make (capital gains tax). Had I put my gains into a pension like other working people I would have been given tax RELIEF! But as a landlord I PAY tax on property gains.
And I pay stamp duty at a penalty rate over an owner occupier. So the entry level into renting is extremely punitive.
You may think that we earn a fortune for doing nothing. A common myth. Landlords have been singled out as the ONLY business that cannot claim all its expenses against tax. It is possible to be a landlord and make a loss purely by being taxed more than your profits. It’s a complex thing to understand, so no one believes it, but when interest rates go up, plenty of landlords will end up in exactly this position. No one wants to believe it either, because people need a scapegoat and landlords fit the bill nicely.
Back to the point about not working for our money. The masses of legislation surrounding landlords means that we spend hour upon hour attending meetings, going on courses and paying for experts to advise us. You won’t realise the cost in man hours and £ that goes into producing the bundle of certificates that come with your tenancy nor the anxiety we feel should we fill something out wrong.
Personally I spent lockdown putting into action plans I had been working on in the background with architects and builders to improve my portfolio. I have worked
7 days a week, morning to night to get these projects finished. Then at the end of all that, a tenant became mentally ill and between him and the police a house I’d just finished renovating was trashed. I spent yesterday picking through the debris and now have to wend my way through insurance claims and yet more building work under pressure as new tenants move in on two weeks!!
But your point about not being able to make a place your own is understandable. I have rented myself and found this very frustrating. I understood the landlady’s reluctance entirely. For short term renters this is naturally disconcerting, but when you moved in you probably didn’t have to suffer the previous tenant’s personal choices (blue walls, badly fixed shelving, Beige-gone-dirty carpets, walls peppered with blu tak to name a few. So swings and roundabouts on that one. Smart landlords know that a happy tenant is a long term tenant and will try to accommodate your homely requests, but it is a negotiating issue. As the lady above mentioned - a lot of landlords are amenable to suggestions.
I hope that you can start to see that landlording is a job just like any other. It has a pension scheme of its own. We work hard even though you don’t always see it. We invest our money rather than spending it. We actually can be nice people too and get on with our tenants!

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