The landlord exodus explained – what our critics don’t want to hear

The landlord exodus explained – what our critics don’t want to hear

10:00 AM, 17th May 2024, About 4 weeks ago 35

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So, another week in landlord land and another slew of stories highlighting how bad landlords are for selling up – but there’s no perspective of WHY landlords are choosing to sell. And there’s a good reason for that. No one, literally no one, cares about the why.

They only care about handing control of rented properties to tenants via the Renters (Reform) Bill, without considering the implications.

First, we had the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) flagging up government figures that show that 45% of tenants asking for council help had done so because their landlord had sold up.

Note: the rate of evictions was just 20%. So, why is the media and tenant campaign groups so focused on Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions?

Obviously, it’s because landlords are bad people for owning a home and having the temerity to charge someone to live in it.

And they just love evicting people for no reason (Another note: There is nearly ALWAYS a reason).

The NRLA played a cheeky card when it highlighted that Generation Rent had warned that homelessness was being caused by landlords selling.

Generation Rent hit back complaining

Then we had Generation Rent hit back complaining that its words were being used against it.

Even worse, they say that landlords selling up makes little difference to the housing market.

Excuse me?

They explain that the houses don’t disappear because they could be bought by another landlord, a first-time buyer or a social landlord.

Wow. Landlords are selling up because of your antics and you think another landlord will step in?

I know of portfolio landlords who are finding other landlords to buy their properties but for the rest of us with one or two rented homes, isn’t selling up the best of both worlds?

We get to offload a property to a buyer (we don’t really care who, natch), and get the cash to invest in something that is less stressful and won’t be taken from us. Hand-rearing sharks, for example.

Landlords should be incentivised to sell

I do agree with Generation Rent that landlords should be incentivised to sell with a sitting tenant to another landlord.

That won’t happen.

We can’t even claim business expenses when running a business.

And the notion that is growing in popularity that landlords should offer moving expenses when they want possession made me choke on my corn flakes.

I really am living in a different world.

One of the issues I have is that while the Renters (Reform) Bill is undoubtedly an issue, landlords must face increased regulation and rising interest rates.

That means being a landlord, that’s the actual job of providing a safe and secure home for a tenant, is becoming less attractive.

NRLA should be highlighting the exodus of landlords

To me, the NRLA should be highlighting the exodus of landlords because of the growing economic pressures, not just the Renters (Reform) Bill.

This is a different issue than evicting tenants because there are growing numbers of landlords who just cannot make the numbers work when they remortgage.

The days of cheap money are over, and many landlords are being found out.

But there’s also another reason why rents are rising, and rented homes are becoming harder to find.

And that’s the level of immigration.

We haven’t built enough homes for the numbers arriving and when demand is high and supply is low, what happens?

Rising rents aren’t always down to ‘greedy’ landlords.

Sometimes, increasing the rent to match the levels of demand and expenses means keeping the business going – and keeping a roof over a tenant’s head.

If the government isn’t going to invest, then encourage landlords to do so.

Councils can’t afford to do it and Labour says it will build should they get in, but they won’t do it either (for the same reason the Tories haven’t managed to do it).

Focusing solely on Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions

I’m really worried that by focusing solely on Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions from a tenant’s perspective means we ignore the bigger picture.

Everyone involved in the provision of rented property, including the tenant campaign groups like Shelter and Generation Rent, need to address the real reasons for landlords leaving the market.

It won’t be a pretty or friendly conversation but without a supportive environment, landlord investment will decline.

Either we sell up, or move into holiday lets, or we could provide temporary accommodation to the homeless families because demand is going through the roof, but this will see a squeeze on available rental stock.

Basically, we need a sustainable model that considers both landlord profitability and tenant affordability.

But that means focusing on realistic strategies, not using ‘leverage’ to build a property portfolio but having a solid base that delivers a healthier private rented sector for the long term.

Until we do have that conversation, everyone but landlords will be focused on eviction when investment and encouragement are the best ways to deliver lower rents and more choice.

It won’t happen because no-one cares about landlords and what we do for our tenants.

Until next time,

The Landlord Crusader

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Cider Drinker

9:41 AM, 17th May 2024, About 4 weeks ago

Excellent article.

When I sell (which I will), I’d be happy to pay reasonable moving expenses if tenants leave at the end of the notice period, return the property in a saleable condition and without rent arrears. This doesn’t mean that I should.

My tenants don’t want to buy their own homes. If they were to buy, they’d struggle every time their home needed work. They’d end up stressed and the property would, in all probability, be repossessed. The responsibility of homeownership would make them miserable and could lead to their relationship breaking down. I’ve seen it before with people buying under RTB. Homeownership isn’t for everyone.

Colin Bayley

10:59 AM, 17th May 2024, About 4 weeks ago

Surely the likes of Generation Rent and Shelter realise that by getting rid of S.21 no reason given notices, and using S.8 reason given notices, that when the tenant goes to the council for re-homing they will be shown the door. In 22 years of being a portfolio landlord, I have used S.21 5 times, each time due to rent arrears. With S.21 gone, the councils will have no responsibility to re-home a tenant if the reason given is the tenants default on rent.

Judith Wordsworth

11:10 AM, 17th May 2024, About 4 weeks ago

It's not just so called "bad" landlords that are selling up.

Many excellent ones are too, me for one started offloading a couple of years ago.

My real reasons for leaving the market after 30+ years: Verbal abuse from tenants, threatening behaviour from tnenats, tenants causing structural damage from life style condensation/lack of cleaning and care of "their home"/deliberate trashing of fixtures & fittings and flooring in the property; being an unpaid and untrained ASBO Officer with the possibility of fines if I don't deal with situations not of my making; being an unpaid and untrained immigration Officer with fines if I cannot recognise forged passports and documents (even Police Officers say they cannot always recognise them!); rent arrears when tenants decide not to pay AND that it is becoming socially acceptable to be in arrears; Local Authorities not supporting landlords who are housing those they don't have the social housing to accommodate AND supporting tenants in not following Court decisions re ie possession, paying monies owed etc etc.

I always redecorate to a high standard, carpet nicely, installed modern kitchens and bathrooms, I even curtain the properties with neutral shades to match carpeting and nice light fittings so that they are a home and ready to move into.

There is enough legislation already without the Renters Reform Bill becoming law; the removal of s21; the "new" Grounds for s8 are totally in the tenants favour and should Labour be returned at the General election they have already stated that they will instruct the Courts to carry out a hardship test re possession when landlords wish to sell/move into the property themselves or their families need homing ie Who will suffer the greater hardship if the landlord is given possession? The tenant who is losing "their home" or the landlord who is "gaining a saleable asset/or possibly an unencumbered home to move into/already has a home.

It's been an interesting and at many times a difficult/scary/frustrating/unfair journey. But it is certainly nice to not worry before going to bed and having less stressful days.

Reluctant Landlord

11:12 AM, 17th May 2024, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Colin Bayley at 17/05/2024 - 10:59
councils will argue that the rent is deemed 'excessive' (even at market rent levels!) because its over the LHA rate. Ultimately all this does it make it totally unattractive to rent to anyone reliant on the rent being state funded....

Oh the irony...the reason the rents go up is because of the costs involved in renting and that includes the costs due to tenant non payment and costs getting the property back.. to be able to relet again....

When WILL the penny drop????


12:48 PM, 17th May 2024, About 4 weeks ago

The problem is no matter the quality of private provision, it is considered bad. No matter the quality of government provision, that is good.
So they will always find fault and not care as the landlord is bad by definition.

Neil Robb

13:03 PM, 17th May 2024, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Reluctant Landlord at 17/05/2024 - 11:12
Lha only covers bottom 30% of rental market .

Big problem in this country . Is many who don't put into the system expect to take everything out.

Fed Up Landlord

13:24 PM, 17th May 2024, About 4 weeks ago

For George Orwell Animal Farm afficianados. (Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely by intent.)

" Tenants Good Landlords Bad" squeaked Ben
" Napoloomey" the head pig. He wanted the landlords out so mounted a coup so he could take over the socialist funny farm and everything will be hunky dory in Lefty Socialist La La Land. Where there is free property for all.

Napoloomey looked at his second in command - Polly SnowBleat. Watching the landlords running for the hills, having ousted them from their properties, he looked whimsically at Snowbleat.

"They're gone then" said Napoloomey. " Yes" said Snowbleat.

"What happens now?" said Snowbleat. " Who will house all the proletenants?

" The state will provide
Snowbleat" said Napoloomey.

" But the state hasn't got the money to buy or build houses Napoloomey" she said. "We have made thousands of proletenants homeless by what we have done"

Napoloomey and Snowbleat turned and walked away in silence. They had no answer.
They had sacrificed millions of proletenants for political and ideological gain.

The End.

Reluctant Landlord

14:11 PM, 17th May 2024, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Robb at 17/05/2024 - 13:03
the councils only look at the LHA when it suits them, in cases where possession notices have been given and a S21 is issued, because they are trying to work out if they can throw money at the LL, he/she will retract the S21 to stop people coming onto their housing list.

it is simply another tick box exercise to show they are trying to determine if the T is making themselves homeless, therefore they can wash their hands of a 'housing duty' (and save money) if the rent is deemed something they can afford but actively chose not to pay.

Again ironic really because in my case, any benefit tenants I house are put forward by the council themselves WHO DO THE AFFORDABILITY in house (I demand a copy of this assessment too) so they know full well the rent is affordable on their 'incomings'.

Councils are literally shooting themselves in the foot, and blind to the tsunami that is on its way....

Only this morning I contacted the 'PRS LL Liaison officer' at a council I deal with to say he needs to get private LL's and the housing Dept to literally meet and get together rapidly to look at the crisis now and find a way forward to pro actively engage with LL and PROPERLY encourage them to take on housing list tenants, before they leave the sector completely and supply dries up (this council has no council owned accommodation of its own - relies on small HA's only)

He came back and said he isn't in the role anymore and has been moved to em/temp housing as they cannot deal with the demand/list! He says this is because LL's are all selling up citing too much legislation as is plus incoming and want to simply get out or the sector completely.

Excellent the message is getting through - and the results are becoming really obvious now and this is before the RRB is even passed....

Gloat? Me? Too busy laughing....

I await more inevitable desperate emails asking if I have any accommodation come again on Monday....

Disillusioned Landlord

14:25 PM, 17th May 2024, About 4 weeks ago

There is plenty of legislation already, it’s just not enforced. The courts are so far behind it makes any legal process a joke, and everyone is blaming the landlords for their situation.

Bad landlords should be dealt with, no doubt, but so should bad tenants, which seems to be escaping everyone concerned except us landlords.

I’m dreading Labour coming to power, I don’t think the Tories have done a very good job, but are probably the best of two evils?

Jack Jennings

15:27 PM, 17th May 2024, About 4 weeks ago

It's about time that renters woke up to the idea that the reason that there is not enough subsided social housing is that millions have been sold since 1980 at initially up to a 50% discount. All this cash along with the money from looted national companies went to central government and spent on tax cuts.
Private rental shouldn't be the solution for low income families. It's certainly not the market I'm aiming for.

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