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LANDLORD INVESTOR

WRITTEN BY INDUSTRY EXPERTS COVERING ALL ASPECTS OF BUY-TO-LET

LANDLORD | PROPERTY | INVESTMENT

54TH EDITION | 2020

LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE II IN THIS ISSUE... Weathering the Covid-19 Storm as Landlords

What is the truth about un-paying guests?

How to be productive when working from home

What is modern slavery?

Impact of Covid-19 on the rental market

Mortgage needs and Covid-19


MAGAZINE NOW AVAIL ABLE


A warm welcome to the 54 Edition of Landlord Investor Magazine, and the second Landlord Survival Guide. TH

First and foremost we hope you are all keeping safe and well. Steve and I already know of Four great people who have been taken by this awful virus, so please, please, keep well and stay safe.

have to say about the subject, so we can really understand how it impacts the plight of the private rental landlord. Please email your submissions to landlordguide@landlordinvestmentshow. co.uk and we may publish your article in the coming weeks.

Last Friday (3rd April) we published our first edition of our Landlord Survival Guide under the LI Magazine masthead. The response was nothing short of spectacular, with a consensus from our audience that the guide brought a welcomed voice to the private rented sector during this uncertain time. The information on offer - which is free to access – being paramount, and if you have questions for any of our guest columnists then please do not hesitate to get in touch via our dedicated email: help@landlordinvestentshow.co.uk

As mentioned previously, we had to postpone our London Olympia Show on 19th March. However, we came-up with the idea of taking our seminars online, and have launched an online seminars section of our website. Here you can view industry experts delivering advice in the form of video. The service is completely FREE and we'll be updating them constantly over the coming weeks, visit www.landlordinvestmentshow.co.uk/ online-seminars to see more.

This issue features article's from industry experts, offering a wealth of experience and information. We'd also like to hear what Landlords have to say regarding their challenges and concerns during the Covid-19 crisis. If you're a landlord and wish to write a 400 word article detailing your concerns, and how you feel about the market, please get in touch. Furthermore, we'd like to know what you may be doing differently, and anything else you

We have other great ideas in the pipeline for the coming months. We exist to deliver content and are reviewing the myriad options on offer, as we want to keep our audience upto-date, and remain a beacon of information for our industry. As we always say here at LIS: 'it's a tight ship and we all have to row together'. On that note, enjoy reading this issue of our Landlord Survival Guide. Stay Safe. Keep Well. TH

IN THIS ISSUE...

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Weathering the Covid-19 Storm as Landlords

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What is modern slavery?

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What is the truth about un-paying guests?

12

Impact of Covid-19 on the rental market

8

How to be productive when working from home

14

Mortgage needs and Covid-19

LANDLORD INVESTOR MAGAZINE

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Statements and opinions expressed in articles, reviews and other materials herein are those of the authors; the editors and publishers. While every care has been taken in the compilation of this information and every attempt made to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Tenants History Limited and our contributors will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through the promoted links.


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LANDLORD INVESTOR 54TH EDITION


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LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE II

JOHN HOWARD JOHN HOWARD PROPERTY CONSULTANTS

Weathering the Covid-19 Storm as Landlords

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LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE II

Property Consultant John Howard share's his thoughts on dealing with residential and commercial landlords through this difficult period.

Let’s start firstly with the Residential Tenants, most Landlords I think have been pleasantly surprised that most of their residential tenants have paid their monthly rent, despite the Government virtually telling them they don’t have to! For the ones who haven’t, I’ve tried with mine to be sympathetic and supportive, but explain to them that even if I were to defer the payment of rent, it still has to be paid in the future, so they should make a serious effort to pay now if at all possible. I’m sure many other Landlords are saying the same. With regards to Commercial Tenants this is a completely different story. With the smaller tenants I’m doing my very best to support them through what is an incredibly difficult period for them. However, of course they have had all their Rates written-off for 12 months and depending upon what business they run, there needs to be a judgement call on whether or not you think they should be paying their rent rather than deferring it. As for the larger, Nationial Tennants, I have little sympathy. Many have not paid this quarter's rent, just assuming that Landlords will allow them to write-off the rent for at least 3 to 6 months, rather than just defer it. I’m personally holding firm with my own, and asking them to please pay their rent. The consequence of course of them not paying is that in most leases the Landlord can enter the premises after 21 days and take back possession. LANDLORD INVESTOR 54TH EDITION

I’m sure there’s not one Landlord in the country that wishes to do that, but ultimately that’s what just might get your rent paid! Looking towards the future I’m sure the residential market and rents will remain the same, and pretty stable going forward. The commercial investment market may look completely different. With so many people now working from home efficiently and confidently, you do wonder whether some of the larger companies in the UK will be more comfortable with more of their staff working remotely. I think most people's answer to that will be yes, therefore there's likely to be an excessive supply of vacant offices for landlords to deal with.

This will cause huge pressures on the investor. Not only will they be paying empty rates on the premises, they are also likely to be getting less rent eventually - while in the meantime still having to pay interest on their loans against the building. More people shopping online while shops are closed will ultimately mean more vacant shops, plus the ones that are being let again being let at a lower rent than Landlords are currently getting. Whatever commercial building Landlords own, if it becomes vacant and you are trying to re-let, then most will be renting it out for less rent; therefore the value of your property will be reduced.

With so many people now working from home efficiently and confidently, you do wonder whether some of the larger companies in the UK will be more comfortable with more of their staff working remotely.

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LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE II

PETER LITTLEWOOD IHOWZ

What is the truth about un-paying guests?

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LANDLORD INVESTOR 54TH EDITION


LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE II

Many landlords think they use of Section 21 (S21) and/or Section 8 (S8) has been withdrawn. This is not the case, they are both valid, but both have temporarily (hopefully) have been amended to be a minimum of a 3 month notice; they can still be used.

Let us remind ourselves what a notice is. Currently only two bodies can cease a tenancy – the tenant, or the courts (the exception is if the tenant loses their Right to Remain). A Notice is request for the tenant to cease the tenancy; if they don’t, the landlord can apply to the courts for them to cease it. This is still the situation. A Notice to Quit (S21 and/or S8) can be still served on a tenant, and if they chose the tenant can vacate as a response to this. The landlord can still apply to court, but this is where the main difference comes in. Courts will now not hear any applications for S21/S8 until after the end of September, and this could be put back further if necessary. But the main difference is that this whole procedure must be preceded by a series of steps intended to resolve the problem before it gets to the courts. This is known as the Pre-Action Protocol, originally only to be used by Social Landlords, but now to be used by all landlords. More details can be seen on our web site, iHowz.uk, open to all landlords and tenants. Personally I wouldn’t be surprised if this protocol, or a version of it remains after the virus has gone away. Landlords still have the possibility of a separate claim for rent arrears via the MoneyClaim on-line scheme.

suffering financial problems because of the Coronavirus. So if told the tenant cannot pay the rent because of ‘Coronavirus’ the two questions to the tenant are:prove the problem is Coronavirus driven, not a longstanding problem; what is the tenant doing to take advantage of one of the schemes I outlined last week? If the tenant is genuinely affected by the current problems, and are doing everything to mitigate their circumstances then tread very

carefully, both for a moralistic point, and also because the courts will not take kindly to precipitous; unfeeling action against a genuine case. Be prepared to negotiate and help as much as you can, especially if they have been a good tenant in the past. Better an excellent, pleased tenant in the future rather than poor, unknown tenant. But, if they are trying it on, using Coronavirus’ as non-genuine reason (and many are) pursue legal options, but follow the new rules very carefully and keep very good records.

If the tenant is genuinely affected by the current problems, and are doing everything to mitigate their circumstances then tread very carefully, both for a moralistic point, and also because the courts will not take kindly to precipitous; unfeeling action against a genuine case.

But, and it is a big BUT. Landlords must be very careful perusing tenants who are tenants who are generally

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SIMON ZUTSHI

How to be productive when working from home

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LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE II

As most people are now stuck at home, I thought it would be useful to share 4 simple tips to help you be more productive with your time.

Find a place in your home where you can work undisturbed and let everyone know that this is your workspace. When you are there, you are at work, when you move away from that location, you are at home. This will help keep the boundaries between work and home clear.

and work colleagues. However, this should be planned and scheduled to make sure you do not get interrupted when focusing on work. One thing I do is arrange to have a skype coffee whereby you agree to have a skype call with someone at a set time, but make a drink just before so you can turn your camera on and have a drink at the same time. Make sure you limit the time of these calls.

Keep to your routine

Focussed sessions

To avoid falling into bad habits such as staying up late (and then getting up late) get up at the same time as you would for work, get dressed as you would for work, and start work at the time you would normally start. Be in your designated work area for the full day, of course taking breaks and lunch as you would normally do if you were at work. Time you would normally spend commuting could be used to do some personal development or some property training to get up to speed on the latest strategies.

One of my coaches taught me to do this and it has helped me to achieve far more every day than I would normally. Basically, you schedule in blocks of time into your diary (ideally 55 minutes) where you block out all distractions and focus on the most important task for a set amount of time. Turn off your email alerts, put your mobile phone on airplane mode and just focus. It’s amazing what you can achieve.

Set up a designated workspace

I do hope these simple tips help you when you are working from home.

Have planned social interaction You can feel very isolated when working from home on your own, so it is really important to make sure you keep connected to your friends

Invest with knowledge, invest with skill

To avoid falling into bad habits such as staying up late (and then getting up late) get up at the same time as you would for work, get dressed as you would for work, and start work at the time you would normally start.

Simon Zutshi Founder property investors network Author Property Magic

If you would like to learn more about this and many other property related topics why not check out Simon Zutshi’s weekly Property Magic Podcast available on itunes, GooglePlay or Spotify.

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LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE II

DCI RICHARD MCDONAGH METROPOLITAN POLICE

What is modern slavery?

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LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE II

Most people think Modern Slavery only occurs overseas but slavery is here in the UK – and it’s thriving. Most commonly, people are forced into sexual exploitation or forced labour in industries such as manufacturing, car washes, construction and hospitality. Others are forced into criminality such as cannabis production, theft and begging.

The common denominator with all victims of Modern Slavery is that they all need to be housed – and why not your house? Perpetrators do not exclude high-end properties, nor do they just want to pay the cheapest rents. The role of the police and other lawenforcement agencies is fundamental in the fight against modern slavery but the importance of a cohesive approach from the public cannot be underestimated. We all have a part to play – we must all ensure that legitimate businesses can thrive and are not undermined by those engaged in slavery. It is the prolific use of rental properties that puts landlords in a unique position when it comes to helping victims and tackling this horrific crime. Is my property being used to house victims? What should I look for? Long gone are the chains and shackles that kept people in slavery. These have been replaced by other control methods such as threats, beatings, blackmail and withholding money and food. Look more closely and you may spot the signs.

Different types of exploitation require different types of properties. Perpetrators will try to house as many people as possible in one property so signs could include; •

Communal rooms being turned into bedrooms. A perpetrator will have his own room which will be much grander the victims.

A lack of personal belongings.

Numerous ID documents being held collectively.

Occupants looking drugged, ill, injured or malnourished.

Avoiding eye contact and a reluctance to engage.

Stockpiling of medicines – often to be sold on the black market.

Complaints from neighbours of occupants coming and going at all times of the day and night.

Modern Slavery and the Law - what you need to know. In July 2015, Parliament passed a ground breaking piece of legislation called The Modern Slavery Act. It gave

law enforcement agencies greater and wide-ranging powers to combat modern slavery. A provision of the act is that all businesses that trade in the UK and have a turnover of £36,000,000 must publish an annual statement, disclosing the steps they have taken to ensure slavery is not taking place in their supply chain. But that’s not all, Landlords could be prosecuted under Section 4 of the Act if they turn a blind eye to slavery offences taking place in their property, and some landlords have already been prosecuted for allowing their premises to be used as a brothel. What should I do if I suspect someone is being kept as a slave in my property? If you think someone is in immediate danger you should phone 999. If there is no immediate threat then you can call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. For more information please see the local government advice https://local. gov.uk/tackling-modern-slavery-guidelandlords or helene.miller@met.pnn. police.uk DCI Richard McDonagh Richard.mcdonagh@met-police.co.uk

We all have a part to play – we must all ensure that legitimate businesses can thrive and are not undermined by those engaged in slavery.

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ROCHELLE TRUP ARTHUR ONLINE

Impact of Covid-19 on the rental market

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LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE II

Like with most other industries, the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is having a dramatic impact on the rental market and will continue to do so for some time.

Many elements of property management have been affected including finding new tenants, tenants moving in and out, securing buyto-let mortgages and carrying out maintenance work on your properties. As the situation is constantly evolving it can be hard to know how to tackle these issues, so it is important to stay informed. New legislation Legislation has been introduced in an attempt to protect renters and landlords as both parties come under financial strain. The measures ensure landlords have to give 3 months’ notice if they intend to seek possession, suspend all ongoing housing possession action for at least 90 days, and give buy-to-let landlords a three month mortgage holiday.

Along with worries over financial uncertainty, there is a practical element to these withdrawals, however, as most lenders are currently overwhelmed with requests for payment holidays and can’t arrange valuations. Additionally, with the government’s stricter distancing guidelines, the viewing process is impeded. Agents are trying to plan around this as the introduction of video viewings online via Facetime and Skype. However, how successful this will be against the backdrop of buyer and mover caution is yet to be seen. The UK rental market is inevitably going to face a slowdown, so it’s important

for both tenants and landlords to work together to make sure the impact is minimal for both parties. Can maintenance repairs be carried out? In short, yes. The latest update from the government advises: “Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms.” This is on the condition that social distancing guidelines are followed and that neither the occupants or contractors display any symptoms, no matter how mild.

Moving homes In regard to moving homes, new government guidance states: “Given the situation in the UK with regard to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), we urge parties involved in home moving to adapt and be flexible to alter their usual processes. For those who have a move scheduled during the stay-at-home measures, the advice is: “Homebuyers and renters should, where possible, delay moving to a new house while measures are in place to fight coronavirus (COVID-19).”

LANDLORD INVESTOR 54TH EDITION

The UK rental market is inevitably going to face a slowdown, so it’s important for both tenants and landlords to work together to make sure the impact is minimal for both parties.

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ROBIN FAWKE HAWKE FINANCIAL SERVICES

Mortgage needs and Covid-19

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LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE II

During these unchartered times, many landlords will be unsure and uncertain of how their current mortgages will be affected. The media does not always paint an accurate picture with some of our clients believing that lending has stopped during these challenging times.

This is not the case and mortgage borrowers need to understand their options be it for Buy to Let or Residential lending. Unlike the financial crisis in 2008 banks do not have liquidity issues. The reported restrictions in higher loan to value lending is operational, due to not being able to physically visit and value a property during this lockdown period. Banks are working hard to find solutions to this problem and have enabled the use of automated valuation models and desktop reviews where possible, for both purchase and re-mortgage applications. Each week we see positive moves back towards normality. As of the 8th April, we can work with banks at 85% for residential purchase and re-mortgages and up to 75% for Buy to Let.

in the current lockdown situation the government has advised against completing a purchase unless contractually necessary. Some lenders are giving 3-month extensions to mortgage offers to allow transaction to complete once we can socially interact again.

lender has its own process, but many are offering online requests to save customers waiting on phone lines. We would not recommend you cancelling your direct debit unless instructed to by your lender.

Payment Holidays

Our advisor team are all working from home but connected to our office resources. Hawke Financial Services is unlimited in the mortgages it can offer from Accord to Zephyr Home Loans. If you have any mortgage need and would like advice from a professionally qualified mortgage broker, you are welcome to contact us on 0208 660 8613 or by emailing info@hawkefs.com

Mortgage payment holidays for those suffering financial difficulty due to the pandemic is one of the proposals made by the government to support homeowners and landlords. A payment holiday is not an automatically granted option and lenders do have criteria for borrowers to conform to. Each

Fees free Mortgage Advice

Re-mortgages Lenders are suffering additional service issues with staff off sick or working from home and we would recommend starting to review your current mortgage at least 4 months in advance. Our advisers at Hawke Financial Services will be able to assess options with your current mortgage provider and look at the market at large to enable you to meet you borrowing objectives.

Lenders are suffering additional service issues with staff off sick or working from home and we would recommend starting to review your current mortgage at least 4 months in advance.

Purchasing property Whether moving to a new house or buying a new investment property

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