Tamworth Tenant’s Deposits held total £2,458,500

With the Government preparing to control tenant’s deposits at five weeks rent, Tamworth landlords will soon only be protected in the event of a single month of unpaid rental-arrears, at a time when Universal Credit has seen some rent arrears quadrupling and that’s before you consider damage to the property or solicitor costs.

It can’t be disputed that the deposits Tamworth tenants have to save for, certainly raises the cost of renting, putting another nail in the coffin of the dream of home ownership for many Tamworth renters. At the same time, those same deposits being unable to provide Tamworth landlords with a decent level of protection against unpaid rent or damage to the property.

In fact, the total of all the tenants’ deposits in

Tamworth, deposited or protected, is £2,458,500

When you consider the value of all the privately rented properties in Tamworth total £705,361,800, the need for decent landlord insurance to ensure you are adequately covered as a Tamworth landlord is vital.

However, I want to consider the point of view of the Tamworth tenant.  Several housing charities believe spending more than a third of someone’s salary on rent as exorbitant, yet for the tenants they find themselves in that very position.  I feel especially sorry for the Tamworth youngsters in their 20’s who want to rent a place for themselves, as they face having to pay out the rent and try and save for a deposit for a home.

The average 22 to 29-year-old in Tamworth spends 33% of their typical salary on a one bed rental property

….and 39% of their salary for a 2-bed home in Tamworth.

40 years ago, British people who rented spent an average of 10% of their salary on rent, and only 14% in London.  Looking in even greater detail, according to the ONS, over the past 60 years the proportion of total spending on all housing (renting and mortgages) has doubled from 9% in the late 1950’s to 18% today.  Whilst on the other hand, the proportion of total expenditure on food has halved (33% to 16%), as has the proportion of total spending on clothing (10% to 5%) … it’s a case of swings and roundabouts!

Yet landlords also face costs that need to be covered from rents including mortgages, landlord insurance (especially the need for the often-inadequate deposits to cover the loss of rent and damage), maintenance and licensing.  In fact, rents in the last 10 years have failed to keep up with UK inflation. So in real terms, landlords are worse off when it comes to their rental returns (although they have gained on the increase in Tamworth property values – but that is only realised when a property sells).

There are a small handful of Tamworth landlords selling some/or all of their rental portfolio as their portfolios become less economically viable with the recent tax changes for buy to let landlords, which will result in fewer properties available to rent.

However, this will reduce the supply and availability of Tamworth rental properties, meaning rents will rise (classic textbook supply and demand), thus landlords return and yields will rise.  Yet, because tenants still can’t afford to save the deposit for a home (as we discussed above) and we are all living longer, the demand for rental properties across Tamworth will continue to grow in the next twenty to thirty years as we turn to more European ways where the norm is to rent rather than buy in the 20’s and 30’s age range. This will mean new buy-to-let landlords will be attracted into the market, buy properties for the rental market in Tamworth and enjoy those higher yields and returns … isn’t it interesting that things mostly always go full circle?

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Tamworth Rents Set to Rise to £749 pm in Next 5 Years

 

Tamworth
Tamworth

It’s now been a good 12/18 months since annual rental price inflation in Tamworth peaked at 3.9%. Since then we have seen increasingly more humble rent increases. In fact, in certain parts of the Tamworth rental market over the autumn, the rental market saw some slight falls in rents. So, could this be the earliest indication that the trend of high rent increases seen over the last few years, may now be starting to buck that trend?

Well, possibly in the short term, but in the coming few years, it is my opinion Tamworth rents will regain their upward trend and continue to increase as demand for Tamworth rental property will outstrip supply, and this is why.

The only counterbalance to that improved rental growth would be to meaningfully increase rental stock (i.e. the number of rental properties in Tamworth). However, because of the Government’s new taxes on landlords being introduced between 2017 and 2021, that means buy-to-let has (and will) be less attractive in the short term for certain types of landlords (meaning less new properties will be bought to let out).

Interestingly, countless market experts assumed at the start of 2017, that the number of rental properties would in fact drop throughout the year. The assumption being as the new tax rules for landlords started to kick in, landlords looked to kick their tenants out, sell up and invest their capital elsewhere. (Although ironically that would lower supply of rental properties, decreasing the supply, meaning rents would increase again!).

Anecdotal evidence suggests, confirmed by my discussions with fellow property, accountancy and banking professionals in Tamworth, that Tamworth landlords are (instead of selling up on masse), actually either (1) re-mortgaging their Tamworth buy-to-let properties instead or (2) converting their rental portfolios into limited companies to side step the new taxation rules.

The sentiment of many Tamworth landlords is that property has always weathered the many stock market crashes and runs in the last 50 years. There is something inheritably understandable about bricks and mortar – compared to the voodoo magic of the stock market and other exotic investment vehicles like debentures and crypto-currency (e.g. BitCoin).

Remarkably, there is some good news for tenants, as Tory’s recently published the draft Tenants’ Fee Bill, which is designed to prohibit the charging of tenants lettings fees on set up of the tenancy. However, looking at evidence in Scotland, I expect rents to rise to compensate landlords, thus hammering faithful tenants looking for long-term tenancy agreements the hardest. This growth will be on top of any usual organic rent growth.  It really is swings and roundabouts!

So, what does this all mean for landlords and tenants in Tamworth? In my considered opinion,

Rents in Tamworth over the next 5 years will rise by 10.4%, taking the average rent for a Tamworth property from £679 per month to £749 per month.

To put all that into perspective though, rents in Tamworth over the last 12 years have risen by 19.3%. In fact, that rise won’t be a straight-line growth either, because I have to take into account the national and local Tamworth economy, demand and supply of rental property, interest rates, Brexit and other external factors. Please see the graph for my projections

In the past, making money from Tamworth buy-to-let property was as easy as falling off a log. But with these new tax rules, new rental regulations and the overall changing dynamics of the Tamworth property market, as a Tamworth landlord, you are going to need work smarter and have every piece of information, advice and opinion to hand on the Tamworth, Regional and National property market’s, to enable you to continue to make money.

if you enjoyed reading my article, feel free to take a look my other online resources below:

Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Tamworth Youtube Channelhttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyF9OUR3g6E8HywCx7tU4DA

Follow The Buy-To-Let Property Investment Market in Tamworth https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

Lorraine’s Tamworth Property Market LinkedIn Page https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorrainethompson2/

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Tamworth Buy-To-Let Predictions up to 2037

On several occasions over the last few months, in my Tamworth Property Blog, I predicted that the rate of rental inflation (i.e. how much rents are rising by) had eased over the last year. At the same time I felt that in some parts of the UK rents had actually dropped for the first time in over eight years. Recent research backs up this prediction.

Rents in Tamworth for new tenancies only grew by 0.4% in the last 12 months (i.e. not existing tenants experiencing rental increases from their existing landlord). When we compare that current rate with the historical rental inflation in Tamworth, an interesting pattern emerges ..

  • 2016 – Rental Inflation in Tamworth was 2.2%
  • 2015 – Rental Inflation in Tamworth was 6.9%
  • 2014 – Rental Inflation in Tamworth was 0.7%

The reason behind this change depends on which side of the demand/supply equation you are looking from. On the demand side (from the tenants point of view) there is the uncertainty of Brexit and the fact that salaries are not keeping up with inflation for the first time in three years. Critically this means tenants have less disposable income to pay their rent. As an aside, it is interesting to note that nationally, rent accounts for 29% of a tenant’s take home pay (Denton House).

On the supply side of the equation (landlords point of view) Brexit also creates uncertainty. However, the biggest issue was a massive upsurge of new rental properties coming on to the market in late 2016, caused by George Osborne’s new 3% stamp duty tax for landlords in the first part of 2016. This meant a lot of new rental properties were ‘dropped’ on to the rental market all at the same time. The greater choice of rental properties for tenants curtailed rental growth/inflation. A slight softening of Tamworth property prices has compounded this.  Figures from The Bank of England suggested that first time buyers rose over the last 12 months as some were more inclined to buy instead of rent. Together, these factors played a part in the ongoing moderation of rental growth.

The lead up to the General Election in May didn’t help: after all people don’t like doubt and uncertainty. So now that we have a mandate for going forward over the next 5 years hopefully that has removed any stumbling blocks stopping tenants making the decision to move home.

Whether it be ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit negotiations (and with the Election result the Tory’s might have to be ‘softer’ on those negotiations) the simple fact is, we aren’t building enough properties for us to live in. Both in Tamworth, the West Midlands and the wider UK, long-term population trends imply that rents will soon be growing faster than inflation again. Look at the projections by the Office of National Statistics.

Population Estimates for Tamworth Borough Council over the next 20 years
2016 (actual) 2021 2026 2031 2036
77,313 77,993 78,616 79,030 79,428

Population estimates for the Tamworth council area over the next 20 years
Population estimates for the Tamworth council area over the next 20 years.

Tenants will still require a vibrant and growing rental sector to deliver them housing options in a timely manner. As the population grows in Tamworth, and wider afield, any restriction to the supply of rental properties (brought about by poor returns for landlords) cannot be in the long-term best interest of tenants. Simply put rents must go up!

The fact is that I see this as a short-term blip and rents will continue to grow in the coming years. With rents only accounting for 29% of a tenants’ disposable income, the ability for most tenants to absorb a rent increase does exist.

Don’t Forget you can keep up to date with all our articles on the Tamworth property Market here.   https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

Whatever property type you are thinking of adding to your portfolio next year I am sure it will let readily as the market remains strong with a lack of supply continuing to feed strong rental prices. If you are in town and would like to discuss any plans you may have, give me a call to meet for coffee on 07531484956 or email me lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk

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£23m a year black hole in the Tamworth Property Market – Is Buy to Let Immoral? (Part 2)

 

An Englishman’s Home is His Castle as Maggie Thatcher lauded – everyone should own their own home. In 1971, around 50% of people owned their own home and, as the baby-boomers got better jobs and pay, that proportion of homeowners rose to 69% by 2001. Home ownership was here to stay as many baby boomers assumed it’s very much a cultural thing here in Britain to own your own home.

But on the back of TV programmes like Homes Under the Hammer, these same baby boomers started to jump on the band wagon of Tamworth buy to let properties as an investment. Tamworth first time buyers were in competition with Tamworth landlords to buy these smaller starter homes … pushing house prices up in the 2000’s (as mentioned in Part One) beyond the reach of first time buyers. Alas, it is not as simple as that. Many factors come into play, such as economics, the banks and government policy. But are Tamworth landlords fanning the flames of the Tamworth housing crisis bonfire?

I believe that the landlords of the 3,300 Tamworth rental properties are not exploitive and are in fact, making many positive contributions to Tamworth and the people of Tamworth. Like I have said before, Tamworth (and the rest of the UK) isn’t building enough properties to keep up the demand; with high birth rate, job mobility, growing population and longer life expectancy.

According to the Barker Review, for the UK to standstill and meet current demand, the country needs to be building 8.7 new households each and every year for every 1,000 households already built. Nationally, we are currently running at 5.07 per thousand and in the early part of this decade were running at 4.1 to 4.3 per thousand.

It doesn’t sound a lot of difference, so let us look at what this means for Tamworth …

For Tamworth to meet its obligation on the building of new homes, Tamworth would need to build 264 households each year. Yet, we are missing that figure by around 110 households a year.

For the Government to buy the land and build those additional 110 households, it would need to spend £23,199,927 a year in Tamworth alone. Add up all the additional households required over the whole of the UK and the Government would need to spend £23.31bn each year … the Country hasn’t got that sort of money!

The bottom line is that, as the population grows, there aren’t enough properties being built for everyone to have a roof over their head. Rogue landlords need to be put out of business, whilst tenants should expect a more regulated rental market, with greater security for tenants, where they can rely on good landlords providing them high standards from their safe and modernised home. As in Europe, where most people rent rather than buy, it doesn’t matter who owns the house – all people want is a clean, decent roof over their head at a reasonable rent.

So only you, the reader, can decide if buy to let is immoral, but first let me ask this question – if the private buy to let landlords had not taken up the slack and provided a roof over these people’s heads over the last decade .. where would these tenants be living now? ….. because the alternative doesn’t even bear thinking about!

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time and you want to read more articles like this about the Tamworth Property Market, together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Tamworth (out of the many of properties on the market, irrespective of which agent is selling it) then feel free to get in touch!

Email me on Lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk or call on 07531484956.

If you enjoyed reading my article, feel free to take a look my other online resources below:

Follow The Buy-To-Let Property Investment Market in Tamworth

Lorraine’s Tamworth Property Market LinkedIn Page

Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Tamworth Facebook Page

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Ask Lorraine – How much notice do I need to give my tenants?

🙋  Landlord’s Question: 

”Dear Lorraine,

 I have a property in Tamworth that I need to sell, the tenants have been living there 4 years. How much time to leave the property do I need to give my tenants? They have been good tenants and I don’t want to upset them”.
 
Lorraine’s Answer

First things first have your tenancy agreement to hand, assuming that the contract is a periodic (rolling) contract then 2 months notice.

My advice, if you are unsure of how to serve the notice  correctly yourself then I would personally pay a professional to serve this on your behalf.

Before serving notice, ensure that all  your ducks are in a row i.e annual gas safety inspection carried out and tenant has a copy, deposit has been dealt with correctly.  Getting it right at the outset is so much easier than half way down the line having to start all over again. I’d be gutted if I had a sale going through and was advised that my notice was void, I can’t imagine the buyer would hang around much longer.

If serving yourself, post a copy retaining  proof of postage from 2 or 3 different post offices, allowing for the correct number of days.  or hand deliver the notice yourself, taking a friend or relative with you who can video or take a photo as proof of postage through the door.

I would be honest and upfront with your tenant, upsetting them may cause problems with you. You need the  cooperation of your tenants with regards to   viewings while they are still living there. So keeping the tenants on continued friendly terms is a must.

I hope all goes well in the sale of your Tamworth property.

Until next week.

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