My thoughts on the future of the Tamworth Buy-To-Let Market

 I was recently reading a report by the Home website which suggested that hordes of landlords are selling their buy-to-let investments due to increasing burdens on them in the buy-to-let market. Their findings suggest the number of new properties that came onto the market nationally (for sale) jumped by 11% across the UK as a result.

Those increasing burdens include new tax rules coming in over the next 3 to 4 years and the announcement that all self-managing landlords (i.e. landlords that don’t use a letting agent to look after their buy-to-let property) will soon need to register with a compulsory redress scheme to resolve tenant arguments and disputes; as Westminster wants to heighten standards in the Private Rented Sector.

Interestingly I was chatting with a self-managed landlord from Bonehill, when I was out socially over the festive period, who didn’t realise the other recent legislations that have hit the Private Rented sector, including the ‘Right to Rent’ regulations which came in to operation last year. Landlords have to certify their tenants have the legal right to live in the UK. This includes checking and taking copies of their tenant’s passport or visa before the tenancy is signed. Of course, if you use a letting agent to manage your property, they will usually sort this for you (as they will with the redress scheme when that is implemented).

If you are a self-managed landlord though, the consequences are severe because if you let a property to a tenant who is living in the UK illegally, you will be fined up to £3,000. That same Bonehill landlord met me for coffee at Druckers  in the New Year, and I checked all his paperwork and ensured he was on the right side of the law going forward – and I offer the same to any landlord in the Tamworth area if you want me to cast my eye over your buy to let matters (and at no cost)

But what of all these extra properties being dumped onto the market in Tamworth? When I looked at the records the number of properties on the market in Tamworth now, as opposed to a year ago, the numbers tell an interesting story …

 

1st Jan 2017 1st Jan 2018
Detached 110 162 47%
Semi 90 105 17%
Terraced 43 35 -19%
Flat 33 45 36%
Plots +
Other
7 10 43%
Total 283 357 26%

Overall, Tamworth doesn’t match the national trend, with the number of properties on the market actually rising by 26% in the last year.  It was particularly interesting to see the number of detached increase by 47%, yet the number of terraced on the market drop by 19%.

However, speaking with my team and other property professionals in the town, the majority of that movement in the number of properties and the types of properties on the market isn’t down to landlords dumping their properties on the market. The whole property market has changed in the last 12 months, with the majority of the change in the number and type of properties for sale due to the owner-occupier market, not landlords (a subject I will write about soon in my Tamworth Property Market blog later this Spring?). You see, for the last ten years, each month there has always been a small number of Tamworth landlords who have been releasing their monies from their Tamworth buy to let properties – as is the nature of all investments!

Nationally, the number of rental properties coming on to the market to rent fell by 16% in Q4 2017 compared to Q4 2016 .. but that isn’t because there are 16% less rental properties to rent – it’s because tenants are staying in their rental properties longer meaning less are coming on the market to be RE-LET.

Nevertheless, some Tamworth landlords will want to release the equity held in their Tamworth buy to let properties in 2018. All I suggest is that you speak with your letting agent first, as putting a rental property on the open market often spooks the tenants to hand in their notice days after you put it on the market (because they don’t like the uncertainty and also believe they will become homeless!). This means you have an empty property, costing you money with no rent coming in.  However, some letting agents who specialise in portfolio management have select lists of landlords that will buy with sitting tenants in. If you have a portfolio in the Tamworth area and are considering selling some or all of them – drop me a line as I might have a portfolio landlord for you (with the peace of mind that you won’t have any rental voids).

If you want to learn about the Tamworth Property Market , one source for information is the Tamworth Property Blog authored by yours truly at https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

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3,300 Tamworth Landlords – Is This a Legal Tax Loop-Hole?

In November 2015, George Osborne disclosed plans to restrain the buy-to-let (BTL) market, implying its growing attractiveness was leaving aspiring first time buyers contesting with landlords for the restricted number of properties on the market.  One of things he brought in was that tax relief on BTL mortgages would be capped, starting in April 2017.  Before April 2017, a private landlord could claim tax relief from their interest on their BTL mortgage at the rate they paid income tax – (i.e. 20% basic /40% higher rate and 45% additional rate).

So, for example, let’s say we have a Tamworth landlord, a high rate tax payer who has a BTL investment where the rent is £900 a month and the mortgage is £600 per month.  In the tax year just gone (16/17), assuming no other costs or allowable items …

  • Annual rental income £10,800.
  • Taxable rental income would be £3600 after tax relief from mortgage relief
  • Meaning they would pay £1,440 in income tax on the rental income

And assuming no other changes … the landlord would have income tax liability’s (at the time of writing May 2017) in the tax years of …

  • (17/18) £1,800
  • (18/19) £2,160
  • (19/20) £2,520
  • (20/21) £2,880

Landlords who are higher rate tax payers are going to have be a lot smarter with their BTL investments and ensure they are maximising their rental properties full rental capability.  However, there is another option for landlords.

The Tamworth landlords who own the 3,300 Rental properties

Buy To Let Landlords setting up Limited Companies
Buy To Let Landlords setting up Limited Companies

in the town could set up a Limited Company and sell their

property personally to that Limited Company

In fact, looking at the Numbers from Companies House – many landlords are doing this.  In the UK, there are 93,262 Buy To Let Limited Companies, and since the announcement in November 2015 – the numbers have seen a massive rise.

  • Q2 2015 / Q3 2015 – 4,193 Buy to Let Limited Companies Set Up
  • Q4 2015 / Q1 2016 – 5,403 Buy to Let Limited Companies Set Up
  • Q2 2016 / Q3 2016 – 3,007 Buy to Let Limited Companies Set Up
  • Q4 2016 / Q1 2017 – 7,149 Buy to Let Limited Companies Set Up

So, by selling their buy to let investments to their own limited company, owned 100% by them, these landlords could then offset the costs of running their BTL’s as an ‘allowable expense’ – effectively writing off the cost of 100% of their mortgage outgoings, wear and tear and upkeep, letting agent’s fees etc.

I am undeniably seeing more Tamworth landlords approach me for my thoughts on setting up a BTL limited company, so should you make the change to a limited company?

In fact, I have done some extensive research with companies house in the 15 months (1st January 2016 to 31st March 2017 and 394 Buy To Let Limited Companies have been set up in the B postcode alone).

Well if you are looking to hold your BTL investments for a long time it could be very favourable to take the short-term pain of putting your BTL’s in a limited company for a long-term gain.  You see, there are huge tax advantages to swapping property ownership into a limited company but there are some big costs that go with the privilege.

As the law sees the new Limited Company as a separate entity to yourself, you are legally selling your BTL property to your Limited Company, just like you would be selling it on the open market. Your Limited company would have to pay Stamp Duty on the purchase and if you (as an individual) made a profit from the original purchase price, there could be a capital gains tax liability of 18% to 28%.  The mortgage might need to be redeemed and renegotiated (with appropriate exit charges).

On a more positive note, what I have seen though by incorporating (setting up the Limited Company) is landlords can roll up all their little buy to let mortgages into one big loan, often meaning they obtain a lower interest rate and the ability to advance new purchase capital.  Finally, if the tax liability is too high to swap to a limited company, some savvy buy to let investors are leaving their existing portfolios in their personal name whilst purchasing any new investment through a limited company?  Just an idea (not advice!).

It’s vital that landlords get the very best guidance and information from tax consultants with the right qualifications, experience and insurance.  Whatever you do, always get the opinions from these tax consultants in writing and you shouldn’t hurry into making any hasty decisions.  The modifications to BTL tax relief are being progressively eased in over the next three years so there is no need to be unnerved and rush into any decisions before finding out the specifics as they relate precisely to your personal situation, because with decent tax planning (from a tax consultant) and good rental / BTL portfolio management (which I can help you with) … whatever you do – let’s keep you the right side of the line!

If you are interested in the Tamworth Property Market and haven’t signed up to the Tamworth Property Blog you are missing out on critical/ important information that all landlords should consider when renting out their property.  Visit the Tamworth Property Blog at www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

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Tamworth First Time Buyers Mortgages taking 28.6% of their Wages

I received a very interesting letter the other day from a Tamworth resident. He declared he was a Tamworth homeowner, retired and mortgage free. He stated how unaffordable Tamworth’s rising property prices were and that he worried how the younger generation of Tamworth could ever afford to buy? He went on to ask if it was right for landlords to make money on the inability of others to buy property and if, by buying a buy to let property, Tamworth landlords are denying the younger generation the ability to in fact buy their own home.

Whilst doing my research for my many blog posts on the Tamworth Property Market, I know that a third of 25 to 30 year olds still live at home. It’s no wonder people are kicking out against buy to let landlords; as they are the greedy bad people who are cashing in on a social woe. In fact, most people believe the high increases in Tamworth’s (and the rest of the UK’s) house prices are the very reason owning a home is outside the grasp of these younger would-be property owners.

Age Distribution of First Time Buyers in UK since 1990
Age Distribution of First Time Buyers in UK since 1990

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, the numbers tell a different story. Looking of the age of first time buyers since 1990, the statistics could be seen to pour cold water on the idea that younger people are being priced out of the housing market. In 1990, when data was first published, the average age of a first time buyer was 33, today it’s 31.

Nevertheless, the average age doesn’t tell the whole story. In the early 1990’s, 26.7% of first-time buyers were under 25, while in the last five years just 14.9% were. In the early 1990’s, four out of ten first time buyers were 25 to 34 years of age and now its six out of ten first time buyers.

Although, there are also indications of how un-affordable housing is, the house price-to-earnings ratio has almost doubled for first-time buyers in the past 30 years. In 1983, the average Tamworth home cost a first-time buyer (or buyers in the case of joint mortgages) the equivalent of 2.5 times their total annual earnings, whilst today, that has escalated to 4.5 times their income (although let’s not forget, it was at 5.0 times their income for Tamworth first time buyers in 2007).

Again, those figures don’t tell the whole story. Back in 1983, the mortgage payments as percentage of mean take home pay for a Tamworth first time buyer was 25.9%. In 1989, that had risen to 55.5%. Today, it’s 28.6% … and no that’s not a typo .. 28.6% is the correct figure.

Mortgage payments as a percentage
Mortgage payments as a percentage

So, to answer the gentleman’s questions about the younger generation of Tamworth being able to afford to buy and if it was right for landlords to make money on the inability of others to buy property? It isn’t all to do with affordability as the numbers show.

And what of the landlords? Some say the government should sort the housing problem out themselves, but according to my calculations, £18bn a year would need to be spent for the next 20 or so years to meet current demand for households. That would be the equivalent of raising income tax by 4p in the Pound. I don’t think UK tax payers would swallow that.

So, if the Government haven’t got the money… who else will house these people? Private Sector Landlords and thankfully they have taken up the slack over the last 15 years.

Some say there is a tendency to equate property ownership with national prosperity, but this isn’t necessarily the case. The youngsters of Tamworth are buying houses, but buying later in life. Also, many Tamworth youngsters are actively choosing to rent for the long term, as it gives them flexibility – something our 21st Century society craves more than ever.

 

Whatever property type you are thinking of adding to your portfolio this year 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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How do Transport links effect the Tamworth Property Market?

It might surprise you that it isn’t always the poshest villages around Tamworth or the swankiest Tamworth streets where properties sell and let the quickest. Quite often, it’s the ones that have the best transport links. I mean, there is a reason why one of the most popular property programmes on television is called Location, Location, Location!

How do transport links effect the Tamworth property marketAs an agent in Tamworth, I am frequently confronted with queries about the Tamworth property market, and most days I am asked, “What is the best part of Tamworth and its villages to live in these days?”, chiefly from new-comers.  Now the answer is different for each person – a lot depends on the demographics of their family, their age, schooling requirements and interests etc. Nonetheless, one of the principal necessities for most tenants and buyers is ease of access to transport links, including public transport – of which the railways are very important.

Official figures recently released state that, in total, 1,578 people jump on a train each and every day from Tamworth Train station. Of those, 454 are season ticket holders. That’s a lot of money being spent when a season ticket, standard class, to London is £6,520 a year.

So, if up to £2.96m is being spent on rail season tickets each year from Tamworth, those commuters must have some impressive jobs and incomes to allow them to afford that season ticket in the first place. That means demand for middle to upper market properties remains strong in Tamworth and the surrounding area and so, in turn, these are the type of people whom are happy to invest in the Tamworth buy to let market – providing homes for the tenants of Tamworth…

The bottom line is that property values in Tamworth would be much lower, by at least 3% to 4%, if it wasn’t for the proximity of the railway station and the people it serves in the town

And this isn’t a flash in the pan. Rail is becoming increasingly important as the costs associated with car travel continue to rise and roads are becoming more and more congested. This has resulted in a huge surge in rail travel.

Overall usage of the station at Tamworth has increased over the last 20 years. In 1997, a total of 398,197 people went through the barriers or connected with another train at the station in that 12-month period. However, in 2016, that figure had risen to 1,148,686 people using the station (that’s 3,156 people a day).

How transport links effect the Tamworth property market

How transport links effect the Tamworth property market

The juxtaposition of the property and the train station has an important effect on the value and saleability of a Tamworth property. It is also significant for tenants – so if you are a Tamworth buy to let investor looking for a property – the distance to and from the railway station can be extremely significant.

One of the first things house buyers and tenants do when surfing the web for somewhere to live is find out the proximity of a property to the train station. That is why Rightmove displays the distance to the railway station alongside each and every property on their website.

For more thoughts on the Tamworth Property market – please visit the Tamworth Property Blog https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

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Hard Brexit could cause 550 properties to be dumped onto the Tamworth Property market

So all cards up in the air! A general election will be on the books, but one thing is for sure … whoever gets the job to deal with Brexit has a hard job on their hands (I’m just glad its not me!) As it currently stands, by not assuring the rights of EU citizens in the UK, Theresa May has squandered an opportunity to give peace of mind to our EU co-workers working and living in Tamworth (and the rest of the UK). No.10 Downing Street’s point of view is that in promising the rights of EU citizens in the UK, it will postpone the same guarantee to the 1.5 million UK citizens living in the other nations of the EU.

Putting aside the politics for one second, the simple fact is now Article 50 has been triggered, we have two years to make a deal with the EU; otherwise it will be a ‘hard Brexit’. Now you might not think a hard Brexit will affect you in your home in Tamworth … but nothing could be further from the truth.

Tamworth property market could see 100's of properties dumped with a hard brexit!!
Tamworth property market could see 100’s of properties dumped with a hard brexit!!

Of the 76,446 people who are resident in the Tamworth Borough Council area, 73,628 were born in the UK, 850 were born in EU countries from West Europe and 794 were born in EU countries from the former Soviet States in East Europe (the rest coming from other countries around the world).

The rights of these EU citizens living in the Tamworth area are not guaranteed and will now be part of the negotiation with Europe. It is true a lot of our EU next door neighbours in Tamworth will have acquired rights relating to the right to live, to work, to own a business, to possess a property, the right to access health and education services and the right to remain in a UK after retirement… yet those acquired rights are up for negotiation in the next two years.

So, what would a hard Brexit do to the Tamworth property market?

Well a hard Brexit could mean the nuclear option when it came to the Tamworth housing market. It could mean that every EU citizen would have to leave the UK.

In the Tamworth Borough area, 590 of the 850 Western European EU citizens own their own home and (so they would all need to be sold) and 525 of the 794 Eastern European EU citizens rent a property, so again all those rental properties would all come on the market at the same time.

Hard Brexit and mass EU Migration would mean c. 550 properties being dumped onto the housing market in a short period of time, meaning there would be a massive drop in Tamworth property values and rents, causing negative equity for thousands of Tamworth homeowners and many buy-to-let landlords would be out of pocket.

While there is no certainty as to what the future will hold, both UK expats in the EU and EU citizens in the UK rights will no longer be guaranteed and will be subject to bilateral renegotiation.

All I ask is that the politicians are sensible with each other in the negotiations. A lot of the success of the Tamworth (and UK) property market has been built on high levels of home ownership and more recently in the last 10/15 years, a growth of the rental sector with lots of demand from Eastern Europeans coming to Tamworth (and the surrounding area) to get work and provide for their families. Many Tamworth people have invested their life savings into buying a buy to let property.

Much will depend on what is politically realistic. Unilateral knee-jerk reactions and measures caused by a hard Brexit would not only likely cause major disruption or suffering to the 3 million EU citizens living in the UK, but also everyone who owns property in the UK … politics aside – a hard Brexit is in no one’s interests.

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.

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‘Generation Rent (Forever)’ – 2,961 Tamworth Tenants have no intention of ever buying a property to call home

Generation rentThe good old days of the 1970’s and 1980’s eh … with such highlights lowlights as 24% inflation, 17% interest rates, 3 day working week, 13% unemployment, power cuts … those were the days (not)… but at least people could afford to buy their own home. So why aren’t the 20 and 30 something’s buying in the same numbers as they were 30 or 40 years ago?

Many people blame the credit crunch and global recession of 2008, which had an enormous impact on the Tamworth (and UK) housing market. Predominantly, the 20 something first-time buyers who, confronting a problematic mortgage market, the perceived need for big deposits, reduced job security and declining disposable income, discovered it challenging to assemble the monetary means to get on to the Tamworth property ladder.

However, I would say there has been something else at play other than the issue of raising a deposit – having sufficient income and rising property prices in Tamworth. Whilst these are important factors and barriers to home ownership, I also believe there has been a generational change in attitudes towards home ownership in Tamworth (and in fact the rest of the Country).

Back in 2011, the Halifax did a survey of thousands of tenants and 19% of tenants said they had no plans to buy a home for themselves. A recent, almost identical survey of tenants, carried out by The Deposit Protection Service revealed, in late 2016, that figure had risen to 38.4%, with many no-longer equating home ownership to success and believing renting to be better suited to their lifestyle.

You see, I believe renting is a fundamental part of the housing sector, and a meaningful proportion of the younger adult members of the Tamworth population choose to be tenants as it better suits their plans and lifestyle. Local Government in Tamworth (including the planners – especially the planners), land owners and landlords need an adaptable Tamworth residential property sector that allows the diverse choices of these Tamworth 20 and 30 year olds to be met.

This means, if we applied the same percentages to the current 7,711 Tamworth tenants in their 3,300 private rental properties, 2,961 tenants have no plans to ever buy a property – good news for the landlords of those 1,267 properties. Interestingly, in the same report, just under two thirds (62%) of tenants said they didn’t expect to buy within the next year.

.. but does that mean the other third will be buying in Tamworth in the next 12 months?

Who is planning to buy a Tamworth property soon

Tamworth Tenants

Some will, but most won’t … in fact, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) predicts that, by 2025, that the number of people renting will increase, not drop. Yes, many tenants might hope to buy but the reality is different for the reasons set out above.  The RICS predicts the number of tenants looking to rent will increase by 1.8 million households by 2025, as rising house prices continue to make home ownership increasingly unaffordable for younger generations.  So, if we applied this rise to Tamworth, we will in fact need an additional 1,414 private rental properties over the next eight years (or 177 a year) … meaning the number of private rented properties in Tamworth is projected to rise to an eye watering 4,714 households.

For more insight and thoughts like this on the Tamworth Property Market – please visit the Tamworth Property Blog at https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

Are you looking to get into the rental market, have you seen a property and you’re not sure if it’s a good buy? Why not give me a call to discuss 01827 425195 or email me  lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk

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Tamworth First Time Buyers borrow £55.9m in the last 12 months

Starting with the bigger picture, over the last 12 months in the UK, 1,061,557 properties were sold with a total value of £223.74 bn. To give that some context, ten years ago 1,581,727 properties sold with a total value of £405.56bn, so it can be seen the number of people moving house has dropped by over a third over the last decade.

Whether you are a landlord, homeowner or tenant, it’s always important to keep an eye on the Tamworth property market, not just from your point of view, but also from every player’s point of view. Over the last 12 months, 1,165 properties have sold (and completed) in Tamworth, worth £223.8m. Interestingly the number of properties changing hands in Tamworth has also dropped when compared to a decade ago.

It might surprise you that first time buyers in 2017 will benefit from a slight decline in Tamworth buy-to-let investors.

Those looking to buy a home in the spring and summer of 2017 will face a far less competitive Tamworth property market than the same time of year in 2016, when the urgency to beat the buy-to-let stamp duty hike was in full swing.

Many landlords brought forward their purchases to beat the tax, and since then, the number of buy-to-let purchases has dropped slightly. First time buyers have taken advantage of that and have increased their buying. In fact, looking at the Bank of England figures, this is what UK lenders have lent on buy-to-let properties versus first time buyers over the last 12 months  …

Q4 2015 – £1bn buy-to-let mortgages vs £1.31bn for first time buyers

Q1 2016 – £1.35bn buy-to-let mortgages vs £1.08bn for first time buyers

Q2 2016 – £760m buy-to-let mortgages vs £1.28bn for first time buyers

Q3 2016 – £827m buy-to-let mortgages vs £1.42bn for first time buyers

When looking at the figures for Tamworth itself, first time buyers have borrowed more than £55.9m in the last 12 months to buy their first home. This is a ringing endorsement of their confidence in their jobs and the local Tamworth economy. Those 20 and 30 something’s who are considering being first time buyers in 2017 will find that the number of properties on the market has never been as good as it has for quite a while, meaning you have more choice of properties and less competition from so many buy-to-let landlords than a year ago.

Rightmove announced nationally that new seller enquiries are 26% up on the same time last year giving the stoutest indication that we may see a slight ease in the lack of properties on the market. When I look at the Tamworth market, at this moment in time there are an impressive 300 properties for sale, so lots of choice. All this will be welcome news amongst Tamworth first-time buyers with a combination of a proportional reduction in new investors and landlords.

2017 will be an interesting year for all homeowners, be they buy-to-let landlords, existing homeowners or future homeowners.  For more thoughts on the Tamworth property market like this, you might want to visit the Tamworth Property Market Property Blog www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

If you are looking for an agent with experience that can help you find the right tenant for your property, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

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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:

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🙋 Landlord’s Question: 

Dear Lorraine,

I rent out my property and only realised  last week that my Gas Safety Certificate expired in November 2016.

I know being a  landlord that the accountability sits with me, but I would like to know if my tenant can insist on a rent refund or compensation.

 

Lorraine’s Answer

Following the recent deregulation act rules, you may find that if you had wanted to, you could not have issued a Section 21 notice to your tenant. You have left yourself in a vulnerable position and I would strongly recommend you get the certification carried out as a matter of some urgency.

I think as long as everything is checked and certified and there have been no accidents while the gas certificate was out of date, you should be okay. You are required to keep full  records for 2 years.

Many Gas Safe Engineers will text or email landlords to remind them that annual Gas Safety  checks are due, so why not ask you engineer if this is something that he automatically does.

Your tenant may not even be aware that they should receive a copy of the annual Gas Safety Certificate, even if they are, they are not entitled to a rent refund or compensation.

Until next week.

 

 

 

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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