Will you be hit by the Budget?

by Patrick Collinson

9:53 AM, 14th November 2017
About 3 years ago

Will you be hit by the Budget?

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Will you be hit by the Budget?

Hi, I write for The Guardian (I’m their money editor) and we’re keen to profile a landlord ahead of next week’s Budget – looking at the sorts of things that have affected you financially over the past year, what you want from the Budget, etc.

On the day we’ll ring back for any reaction. We’d need to name you and photograph you, and preferably say how many properties you have.

If you’d like to take part, contact me at p.collinson@theguardian.com

You’ll find I’ve written a mix of stories about landlords representing Guardian readers’ views on the sector.

My most recent one, “Have we gone too far in vilifying landlords” Click Here to view the article.


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reader

12:09 PM, 14th November 2017
About 3 years ago

Some of us operate in the housing sector where our tenants would qualify for social housing, if such was available to them. Their properties tend to be well and truely regulated HMOs. Not all tenants and not all landlords are of course the same, The Guardian and Inside Housing readers (incl me) need to appreciate the efforts we undertake to provide accommodation for those in need. My sector provides a social service, and like many other social services is run by an organisation where profit is essential in order to keep providing such services. Without the likes of us in the housing market many people would be destitute.
Landlords are often profiled as a portly white bigoted villain. Such an approach is niave characterisation long gone are the days when a landlord could be characteerised as "someone who does not work for a living".

John McKay

12:11 PM, 14th November 2017
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 14/11/2017 - 11:25
Indeed Mark. I've offered many of my tenants the opportunity to buy their homes at significant discount - no takers. In one case the tenant is on benefits so I offered her guarantor - again no uptake. So it seems that what Mr Collinson wants is for me to evict these tenants and sell to someone better off and can afford to buy. That's a really compassionate view isn't it?

Even moneyweek today wrote that they can't see rents rising, but the fact is that they are now. I've started increasing rents on tenants that have never seen a rent rise and they've been with me for years. As more and more landlords exit the market it increases scarcity so the low income individuals and families get pushed further and further down market until they're pushed out of the bottom. Nice one Mr Collinson! The cost to the public purse is going to be astronomic as Councils struggle to house these people. Peterborough is a great example. They spend £1.2m on Travelodge last year, then a corporate landlord (unaffected by S24) evicted 74 households so the properties could be used as hostels for the homeless (and I believe charge somewhere near double for the rents). Peterborough City Council jumped on the opportunity to house people there because it was cheaper than Travelodge.

Very recently it emerged that Barnet Council has bought 28 houses in Peterborough to move some of their homeless families out of their Borough. So now PCC is paying the housing benefit and Barnet is collecting it. Ha, you just can't make this stuff up!

And the latest report is that the homeless situation is going to cost Peterborough £5.7m over the next 3 years (http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news/politics/budget-rise-in-homelessness-to-cost-peterborough-city-council-extra-5-7-million-in-three-years-1-8239966).

Landlords contribute massively to housing with bringing back long-term empty properties into use and conversion of big properties to flats, bedsits and HMOs. They convert commercial buildings to resi and many either put down deposits off-plan or actually build properties themselves. Collinson supports stopping all of this. The man is a complete fool! And as you say rent caps will exacerbate the issue.

Monty Bodkin

12:22 PM, 14th November 2017
About 3 years ago

Seems like a well balanced and fair minded chap;

https://www.theguardian.com/money/blog/2013/jul/20/rent-control-housing-crisis

"They are "rentiers" and speculators on existing property, adding nothing to the economy, enriching themselves by gouging ever higher rents out of younger adults."

David Price

13:08 PM, 14th November 2017
About 3 years ago

"Well balanced and fair minded chap [Patrick Collinson]." Now is that a fine example of an oxymoron?
https://www.property118.com/guardians-current-onslaught-private-landlords/
It’s getting very hard to keep up with the Guardian’s current onslaught against private landlords; it’s also supremely ironic that they should be engaging in this one-sided tirade whilst...

Steve Bower

13:23 PM, 14th November 2017
About 3 years ago

Really, Patrick? When was the last time you provided a warm, comfortable, affordable home for a young single Mum on benefits and was demonised for doing so.
You now seek to use OUR hard work to line your own pockets for this article. Shame on you.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

14:26 PM, 14th November 2017
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Monty Bodkin at 14/11/2017 - 12:22
How one so ill informed and showing a complete lack of understanding of property market mechanism can be a property journalist and earn money on his writing - is beyond my belief.

AlanR

15:51 PM, 14th November 2017
About 3 years ago

The Guardian is generally considered to be a champagne socialists newspaper - read by those who like to be seen reading it - I guess it makes them feel vaguely intellectual and all warm & cozy left of centre! Highly unlikely that anything supportive for landlords will come from Collinson and the Guardian...

Adam Lawrence

15:53 PM, 14th November 2017
About 3 years ago

I understand people vilifying the vilifier here. But hold on for a second - read the article linked to - and these few paragraphs (my comments in brackets)

But let’s be clear why buy to let has grown so rapidly in the UK: it wasn’t down to a sudden outbreak of greed, but because government policy facilitated it. The 1996 Housing Act revised the assured shorthold tenancy, giving landlords the power to evict tenants on a no-fault basis after just six months. This gave the green light to banks and building societies to enter the market, safe in the knowledge that they could get possession of a property if the borrower defaulted, with no pesky sitting tenants in the way. The buy-to-let mortgage was born. (Correct, blaming those who act in the way that they were incentivized to act is bloody stupid. Finally this is recognised. The same way there is no point blaming those who legally avoid tax be they individuals or corporations - to stop it you change the system and close the loopholes. People will do what they are incentivized to do.)

Around the same time, banks were loosening their lending criteria, offering multiple jumbo-sized loans, sometimes with little verification of the borrowers, and interest-only deals to keep repayments cheap. Add to the mix a reduction in social housing, low levels of private home construction, a loss of confidence in personal pensions, low interest rates and the huge increase in net inward migration after 1997, and you get near-perfect conditions for an explosion in the private rented sector. (well the low levels of construction started before that, of course, but otherwise correct).

Financially speaking, buying to let has been probably the best thing anybody could have done with their money since 1997, with gains averaging more than 1,400% since then. But the losers are the younger generation, who are now unable to get on the property ladder in large parts of the country, particularly in the capital. (there is an obvious impact that buy to let has had on prices, denying this by landlords is just stupid. However, extrapolating to the capital is also stupid. When the average property is geared to less than 20% in the top 20 UK cities, and particularly the prevalence of cash purchases in the capital with over £100bn in property purchased in cash from abroad since 2010, citing the capital as the shining example of this, purely because it has the most expensive property, is simply not correct).

NW Landlord

16:08 PM, 14th November 2017
About 3 years ago

After the 2015 summer budget I don’t really think anything could possibly hurt as much as section 24. The last two years have been challenging incorporating, if you can which has a cost of time and money all so you can continue to stay afloat which is the position many mortgages portfolio landlords found themselves. The media in the main fuel the hatred towards landlords without telling the other side like letting a single mother live in one of my properties for 13 weeks whilst waiting for UC, then being told they won’t backdate the rent !!! I certainly will not be speaking to one of the chief architects of landlord vilification. How these people can reach so many people without having the necessary knowledge of the PRS is beyond me and very dangerous.

John McKay

16:22 PM, 14th November 2017
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Adam Lawrence at 14/11/2017 - 15:53
I absolutely do not accept that BTL has prevented anyone from getting on the ladder. The fact is that the English Housing Survey states that 83% of housing added to stock is down to BTL. That is not saying that landlords have bought 83% of new properties, though new builds will certainly be in the mix. That's because landlords build, they put deposits down on off-plan opportunities and they also do great work in conversions and renovations. I'm personally been responsible for numerous long-term empty properties (in excess of ten years) now being homes to people. Here is an article by a paper some way above the level that Collinson reports at... https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/councils-ignore-powers-to-take-control-of-empty-homes-xrkkcqm3x

This describes how the number of long-term empty properties has decreased by 36% over 10 years and it's little to do with Councils. If it's not Councils responsible then it doesn't take much working out who is.

Without BTL the housing crisis would be a whole lot worse and prices likely a fair bit higher. It's interesting how Collinson states, apparently for a fact, that BTL has forced up prices. Would he like to suggest by how much? The man is a blinkered idiot.

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