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LANDLORD INVESTOR

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

LANDLORD | PROPERTY | INVESTMENT

56TH EDITION | 2020

LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE IV

IN THIS ISSUE... The world’s locked down, but technology isn’t...

74% of landlords contacted by tenants regarding rent payments.

How Covid-19 is affecting Tenancy Deposits... and what to do about it

Most asked questions by portfolio landlords PART ONE

Property is all about time, not timing

The Propaganda of Property Landlords Voice


N AT I O N A L L I S AWA R D S 2 0 2 0 T H U R S DAY 1 9 T H N OV E M B E R G rosve n o r H o u se H otel , Pa rk L a n e, Lo n d o n W 1 K 7 TN

RETURNING

C E L E B R AT I N G

FOR THE THIRD

EXCELLENCE

CONSECUTIVE

I N T H E P R I VAT E

YEAR

RENTED SECTOR

Brought to you by the National Landlord Investment Show, the National LIS Awards celebrates excellence & professionalism in the private rented sector for both landlords, property investors and services throughout buy-to-let. To find out more please visit our dedicated LIS Awards website: www.national-lis-awards.co.uk


A warm welcome to the 56 Edition of Landlord Investor Magazine, and the Fourth Landlord Survival Guide. TH

Welcome to the Fourth edition of LI Magazine Landlord Survival Guide. I trust you are in good health and that this issue brings you a degree of assistance at this troubling time. There's still no clear timeline on the government lock-down, or definitive policy for landlords and tenants, so to fill the vacuum we'll be publishing weekly editions of our Survival Guide with features, articles and opinions from key industry experts, offering a wealth of experience and information.

IN THIS ISSUE...

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The world’s locked down, but technology isn’t...

The response to the Survival Guide and our Online Seminars has been nothing short of spectacular, with a consensus from our audience that both bring a welcome voice to the private rented sector during this uncertain time. With regards to our Online Seminars, we have a dedicated 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 constantly over the coming weeks, visit www.landlordinvestmentshow.co.uk/online-seminars to see more. With regard to our shows calendar, we remain optimistic and will let you know a revised show schedule as soon as we can.

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74% of landlords contacted by tenants regarding rent payments.

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How Covid-19 is affecting Tenancy Deposits... and what to do about it

We'd also like to hear what Landlords have to say regarding their challenges / concerns during the Covid-19 crisis. If you're a landlord and wish to write a 400 word article detailing your specific 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 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. You can find digital copies of all back issues at www.landlordinvestmentshow. co.uk/li-magazine 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

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Most asked questions by portfolio landlords

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Property is all about time, not timing

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The Propaganda of Property

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Landlords Voice

We have other great ideas in the pipeline for the coming months. We exist to deliver content to the Private Rented Sector and are reviewing the myriad options on offer, to keep you up-to-date, and remain a beacon of information for our community. 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

LANDLORD INVESTOR MAGAZINE

Editor Tracey Hanbury

Editorial Contributors Tom Woollard Paul Shamplina

Debbie Davies Chris Bailey Paresh Raja Paul Mahoney

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PART ONE

@LandlordInShow

@LandlordInvestmentShow

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Printing

Contact

Marc Riley

IOP Marketing

Telephone: 020 8656 5075 landlordinvestmentshow.co.uk Published by LIS Media, 27 Stafford Road, Croydon CR0 4NG

Statements and opinions expressed in articles, reviews and other materials herein are those of the authors; the editors and publishers and do not under any circumstances constitute investment or legal advice. 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. LIS Media, 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 Magazine is the publishing platform for the National Landlord Investment Show. Publishing digitally it covers a host of topics relating to buy-to-let and the private rental sector. Subscribe today to ensure you don't miss-out on the latest news, views and content. Subscription is completely FREE, visit landlordinvestmentshow.co.uk/li-magazine

LANDLORD INVESTOR 56TH EDITION


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The UK may be in lock-down, but the show must go on. We’re positively brimming with helpful content from exhibitors and speakers, which are available as online videos.

Find out more and register at landlordinvestmentshow.co.uk/ online-seminars


LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE IV

TOM WOOLLARD CO-FOUNDER & CEO, BUNK

The world’s locked down, but technology isn’t...

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LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE IV

How you can still let and manage your properties during COVID-19

Despite current government restrictions on daily life, the rental market is still alive and kicking with tenant enquiries. Our landlords are using tech to overcome the challenges of the market - and some of our best performing properties have received over 35 tenant leads in the last week alone. To help you adjust during the UK lockdown period and generate as many leads as possible, our Bunk letting experts have summarised some useful tips for letting your property.

In no way does this mean that you shouldn’t make efforts with your property photos. Tenants want to see as much of the property as possible. We also recommend adding a floor plan with your listing, which will help tenants get a better feel for the layout and size of each room and pairs well with the virtual tour. Setting up a Tenancy The UK Government is temporarily allowing digital Right to Rent checks

- which means the entire move-in process can now be handled remotely. Once you’ve found tenants who are ready to put in an offer, there are a variety of online tools available to help you carry out checks, references and sign a digital tenancy agreement, without needing any face-to-face contact. If you’re a Bunk user then you will be able to advertise your property, perform all tenant checks and sign tenancy agreements as part of your subscription.

Advertising your Property In these uncertain times - advertise with as much information as possible. Don’t hold back on writing a detailed description of your property and let tenants know if you are offering any additional support. The best resource to replace in-person viewings is a virtual walkthrough. You (or your current tenant) can easily record a video of your property on any smartphone, tablet or camera. Bunk can then help you get this listed to all major portals. Here are some top tips for recording your tour: •

Plan out the best route through the property beforehand.

Utilise bright natural light to help show off the rooms to their best.

Make sure to film in landscape format to provide a fuller view.

Scan slowly across each room from various angles.

Keep it short and sweet, between 2-3 minutes long to make the most out of the viewer’s attention.

We are seeing an increase in enquiries for properties that include a virtual viewing - these properties qualify for the new ‘Online Viewing’ label on Rightmove, which helps your advert stand out.

LANDLORD INVESTOR 56TH EDITION

Once you’ve found tenants who are ready to put in an offer, there are a variety of online tools available to help you carry out checks, references and sign a digital tenancy agreement, without needing any face-to-face contact.

Bunk is the all-in-one platform for Landlords and Tenants that offers all of the above and more. Backed by the likes of Nationwide, it's a hassle free, low cost service that could help you save thousands. To learn more visit rentbunk.com.

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LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE IV

BEST SEMINAR SPEAKER

PAUL SHAMPLINA FOUNDER OF LANDLORD ACTION BRAND AMBASSADOR OF HAMILTON FRASER STAR OF CHANNEL 5

74

%

of landlords contacted by tenants regarding rent payments.

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LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE IV

A survey carried out by Landlord Action, has revealed that since government measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were introduced on 23 March, 74% of landlords have been contacted by tenants saying they will struggle to pay their rent.

This comes as renters’ unions are calling on the Government to suspend rents for the duration of the coronavirus crisis. But Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, says there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach, as landlords too have bills to pay and families to feed. He comments: “This is a nightmare scenario for everyone - landlords and tenants alike. It is really important that landlords do what they can to sustain the tenancy if possible, bearing in mind the court system is suspended and if a tenant vacates, there is a worry the property could be empty for a while. It is about working together in a practical way, understanding each other’s limits and supporting one another as best we can to get through this. I know of landlords who are in a privileged enough position to hold their tenants’ rent and have done so. However, the vast majority of private landlords own one or two properties, many with mortgages, and they too will be facing the same challenges of job losses.” In the survey, 36% of landlords said they would struggle to pay their mortgage if their tenant did not pay rent this month. Although landlords can apply for a up to a three-month payment holiday on their mortgage if their tenant’s income has been affected by this crisis, with proof, Paul says some landlords are worried about asking for this, because they think it will affect their credit rating. Also, landlords who had already fallen behind with mortgage payments due to rent arrears prior to the crisis may struggle to access a mortgage holiday.

Speak to your tenants. Understand how they are financially impacted; explain how you will be financially impacted. Where possible try and come to an arrangement with them, understand what government support they are asking for. Having something to help cover the mortgage is better than nothing.” Landlord Action has also drawn up Rent Repayment Agreements for landlords providing a template which enables them to set out agreed terms of the repayment with their tenant. Perhaps more reassuring for tenants, is that nearly 70% of landlords who were asked if they could hold off serving an eviction notice if their tenant falls into arrears within the next three months responded yes. “Good tenants do not become bad tenants over-night. These are extraordinary circumstances, and everyone is impacted in some way. Those landlords who work with their tenants throughout this difficult time will strengthen their relationship and be far more likely to maintain the

tenancy in the long-term. We must all do a little more and give a little more where we can” concludes Paul. *Survey responded to by 537 landlords

About Paul Shamplina Paul Shamplina is one of the key founders of Landlord Action with 25 years’ experience in the legal field. He has previously worked as a legal clerk, private investigator, debt collector and certified bailiff. He has appeared regularly on TV and radio and lectures across the UK at landlord seminars and events and still works full time in the office, heading up the team of advisors. Paul believes passionately in the rights of the landlord and is always available for comment on any landlord/tenant matters. Landlord Action run a free advice line to help landlords and property professionals understand their rights: 0333 321 9415 www.LandlordAction.co.uk

Good tenants do not become bad tenants over-night. These are extraordinary circumstances, and everyone is impacted in some way.

“We’ve been inundated with phone calls from landlords concerned about rent payments and our advice is this:

LANDLORD INVESTOR 56TH EDITION

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How Covid-19 £ £ £ is affecting Tenancy £ Deposits £ £

{ and what to do about it { £

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LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE IV

With the social distancing measures introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, many landlords have found it difficult to carry out normal processes associated with tenancy.

As a leading tenancy deposit protection (TDP) provider, Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) have received many questions from the private rented sector (PRS), since the lockdown came into force, on how to manage tenancy deposits from a distance.

What about delays to check-out inspections and deposit returns?

Tenancy Deposit Scheme is supporting landlords, letting agents and tenants with a dedicated TDS Covid-19 FAQ web page. Our online resources help to answer some of the more frequently asked questions surrounding pretenancy, mid-tenancy and end-oftenancy situations.

It may be that the landlord and tenant agree to do a virtual walk-round of the property via video to complete the check-out before the tenant leaves the property. It’s certainly not ideal but it will give a general sense of the property’s condition that will suffice for the return of the deposit. Again, TDS advise the landlord to keep details of how the check-out was conducted remotely and what it covered.

Will the deposit cap be an issue? Many landlords are confused about how the deposit cap legislation will affect them if they offer a temporary reduction in rent to tenants suffering financial difficulties as a result of Covid-19. You should be clear with the tenant whether this is a temporary or permanent measure. If you intend to absorb the shortfall of the temporary rent reduction, the deposit amount is still based on the original annual rent value when the agreement commenced. The deposit cap affects any new or renewed tenancy agreements at the time the agreement is made, which means that you wont fall foul of the legislation in this circumstance unless you agree a new rent amount under a new tenancy agreement. TDS recommend, in many of these cases, to keep a comprehensive audit trail of communications between landlord and tenant. The aim is to protect yourself from a dispute down the line, so be crystal clear about the action you have taken and the motivation behind it. Collate as much evidence as you can to support any future claim.

LANDLORD INVESTOR 56TH EDITION

Landlords are naturally concerned about how and when to conduct check-out inspections when they can’t easily be carried out during lockdown.

If there are delays to the end-oftenancy check-out inspection, this will affect when a deposit is returned, too. It is clear that agents/landlords should not be conducting checkout inspections with tenants in the property and the landlord/agent will need to consider whether it is safe to conduct a property inspection of the empty property. The Government’s guidance suggests that inspections of empty properties are possible in urgent cases. TDS suggest that any such inspection should only take place sometime after the property has been vacated to minimise the possibility of any virus transmission.  Agents will also have their own health and safety policies to consider. If there is a dispute between the landlord/agent and the tenant about the condition of the property where there is not yet a checkout report, TDS will review what evidence, if any, is available.  In recent weeks we have been successful in negotiating a settlement between the parties in the absence of a checkout report.

These are just some of the many questions being answered each day by the customer operations team at TDS from landlords, letting agents and tenants. They are keen to stress that the answers may well change as new government guidance is issued on a day to day basis, and that they can only offer guidance. As an impartial organisation, TDS can’t give any advice beyond which is clearly stated by the government or law. It is ultimately up to the parties in the tenancy agreement as to how they wish to proceed in any given situation. Tenancy Deposit Scheme advises all parties to visit the TDS Covid-19 FAQs web page regularly for updates. #AskTDS To support the FAQs, TDS are running a series of #AskTDS blogs about each stage of tenancy in light of Covid-19.

It may be that the landlord and tenant agree to do a virtual walkround of the property via video to complete the check-out before the tenant leaves the property.

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LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE IV

CHRIS BAILEY GROUP DIRECTOR LESS TAX 4 LANDLORDS

Most asked questions by portfolio landlords { PART ONE {

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LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE IV

As the Coronavirus Pandemic continues to grow and the UK enters a further 3 weeks of lock-down, adapting your business processes and re-visiting your business plans is something all businesses have had to do.

Last week we hosted an online client event with many landlords seeking clarity about what help is available to them and what they should be doing to protect their future. The Question and Answer session proved to be an invaluable part of the event. Here, in Part 1 of this 2 Part article, we share the most asked questions: Q. What are the possible grants for the self-employed, and presuming I qualify, how can I be assisted to access it? The self-employed grant is for individuals or a member of a partnership. HMRC will look at the last 3 years tax returns. (Tax returns from 2016/17, 17/18, 18/19) They will add these up, average them and multiply it by 80% then divide by 12 to get a monthly amount, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. It is only payable if NONE of the following conditions are met:- 1) Your trading profit is more than £50,000, 2) Your self-employment income is less than 50% of your total income 3) If on your tax return you haven’t paid any tax. Having done the calculations, HMRC will contact you by mid May 2020 so there is nothing you need to do. Obviously HMRC will not have your bank details, so there will be a portal of some kind for you to input these details and a lump sum to cover the three month period will be paid. The money is likely to arrive in June. Q. If a tenant is claiming statuary sick pay, is there anything they can claim in addition to this to help them pay rent during this time? They should be able to claim housing benefits as well as council tax benefit and it is in the landlord’s interest to assist the tenant or at least keep on top of the tenant to ensure they have done this. Q. My local landlord association has said that if you believe your tenant can pay but is not paying, you can pursue a claim for rents through the courts?

LANDLORD INVESTOR 56TH EDITION

The difficulty here is that the courts are not functioning properly and what you are doing is ignoring the governments guidance on trying to come to an arrangement with your tenant directly if you can. There is a need to be forbearing and accommodating on both sides. The best thing to do is to communicate with your tenant and be as neutral as possible because everyone is encountering difficulties during COVID19 and exploring the different sources of income or any benefits that they could receive is the best way forward. Often tenants who are employed or self-employed are just unaware that they are entitled to benefits and the key thing is timing. If they make a claim now or in the next few days and it takes months to sort out, they will still be entitled to the benefits from the date they made the claim. Q. Will taking a mortgage holiday affect my ability to re-mortgage or borrow money in the future? Lenders have agreed to allow people with buy to let mortgages to apply for a threemonth mortgage holiday. As it stands, we have been reassured that it will not. Your credit file is typically affected by unauthorised (missed

payments) or voluntary debt plans. The mortgage holiday is neither. As a note of caution though, interest will continue to accrue so you should expect to make higher payments afterwards. Q. I am still in the process of purchase however have not agreed a completion nor exchanged contract. Should I proceed as normal? Will the lender still follow through with their mortgage offer? We would suggest that you still proceed to allow yourself to be able to exchange and complete for when the Government restrictions have been lifted. Most mortgage lenders are extending all offers that are currently issued. We would also suggest that until the restrictions have been fully lifted then simultaneous exchange and completions are how you should proceed to reduce risk. We will be covering more questions in next week’s article and if you have a question of your own then please get in touch by emailing events@ lesstaxforlandlords.co.uk and we will do our utmost to include it in next week’s Part 2.

There is a need to be forbearing and accommodating on both sides. The best thing to do is to communicate with your tenant and be as neutral as possible because everyone is encountering difficulties during COVID19.

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PARESH RAJA CEO, MARKET FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS

Property is all about time, not timing

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LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE IV

2020 has been an unpredictable year for the UK property market.

In January, spirits were high. Boris Johnson’s victory in the previous month’s General Election had triggered a surge in investment activity across the UK; domestic and international investors were optimistic that with a majority government in power, Brexit would go ahead and there would be greater certainty about what the future might hold. As a result of this positive sentiment, at the start of the year research by Zoopla recorded an annual rate of house price growth of 3.9% – a 33-month high. Fast forward a few months and we now find ourselves in challenging, unprecedented times. COVID-19 has had direct and indirect implications on the UK real estate market, while some lenders are pulling products off the market and not accepting new inquiries. The questions beckons – how will COVID-19 affect the property portfolios of investors? Putting things in perspective One cannot downplay the significance of this health pandemic. However, from an investment perspective, there are good reasons to be optimistic about the future performance of real estate. Separate indexes released by Halifax and Nationwide revealed that house prices had increased by 3% in the 12 months leading to March 2020.

resoundingly strong. And while selfisolation measures will make it difficult to process further transactions in the immediate future, there is nothing to suggest that the buyer demand recorded in Q1 2020 will disappear. It’s about time, not timing Put simply, real estate is an attractive asset due to its capital appreciation. In the 2000s, house prices increased by an impressive 117%. And even in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, residential real estate was able to recover and post a 33% increase in house prices during the 2010s, even amidst Brexit uncertainty and a string of elections.

These figures demonstrate that despite political and economic events, real estate is a resilient asset able to hold its value in the long-term and recover from volatile periods. This principle should give relief to property investors and homeowners. After all, even taking into account the current pandemic, Savills is anticipating house prices to rise by 15.3% over the next five years. The point is clear. At this point in time, property owners and prospective buyers need to the look at the bigger picture and recognise the long-term capital growth on offer from bricks and mortar. Paresh Raja, CEO, Market Financial Solutions

One cannot downplay the significance of this health pandemic. However, from an investment perspective, there are good reasons to be optimistic about the future performance of real estate.

Of course, these figures do not take into account the impact of COVID-19 lockdown measures on property sales. Yet, the data shows that demand for real estate across the UK was

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LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE IV

PAUL MAHONEY MANAGING DIRECTOR NOVA FINANCIAL GROUP

The Propaganda of Property

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LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE IV

In these uncertain times, it is very easy to pay far too much attention to mainstream media.

Now of course the term “far too much attention” is subjective however when talking specifically about property and the direction of the property market, mainstream media and general popular opinion has consistently proved itself to be absolutely wrong. For example, the last financial crisis. In 2017, just prior to the last financial crisis, if listened to mainstream media as to whether it was a good time to invest in property or in general listen to popular opinion, the answer you would’ve received, was a resounding YES. Property prices were never going to stop rising and we were in a golden economy that was never going to stop. In hindsight that has been proven to be very wrong and in fact if you were trying to time the market, that was the worst possible time to buy. Moving on 2 to 3 years as the market troughed and started to recover, if you listed to mainstream media or popular opinion that is usually determined by mainstream media, if it was a good time to buy, the response you got would’ve been a resounding NO. Everybody was depressed and we’ve just seen a fall in the market, why would you buy now? Of course in hindsight, we know that was the best possible time to buy because you would’ve bought at the bottom of the market and done extremely well.

“time the market” because most will be unsuccessful. In my opinion, it doesn’t really matter because if you are buying good properties in good locations for the mid to long-term with all of the right fundamentals in place, you can be quite confident in doing well regardless of the direction of the economy or the property market. The point here though is do not turn to the media for information on the direction of the market as they are guessing the same as everyone else and quite often sensationalise information to sell papers and create clickbait for adverts. The late great global investor John Templeton said “The time of maximum

pessimism is the best time to buy and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell”. One way to have confidence in what you are reading, is to pay attention to who has written it. If the person writing the article is experienced and knowledgeable in that area and in doing your background checks, you agree with their approach, then perhaps you can rely more upon their opinion. If you would like qualified, frank and honest advice about a mid to long term property investment strategy, contact Nova Financial Group on 0203 8000 600, www.nova.finanical or info@nova.financial

The old cliché of “buy low, sell high”! Doesn’t necessarily apply to property and I certainly don’t think that anybody should be trying to “time the market” because most will be unsuccessful.

The old cliché of “buy low, sell high”! Doesn’t necessarily apply to property and I certainly don’t think that anybody should be trying to

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LANDLORD SURVIVAL GUIDE IV

A huge thank you to everyone who responded to our call to action for UK Landlords to voice their concerns re the Covid-19 crisis. Choosing what to publish was really hard and after careful consideration we decided to publish the three unedited responses adjacent.

Landlords Voice

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My brother and I own an industrial building in Mid Wales which is held within our SIPP and has 3 tenants, one in timber manufacturing, one in distribution of giftware and one offering training services. All 3 have closed down their operations and are in tight cashflow situations. We have offered to defer 50% of the rent pending an outcome to the current situation, one has taken our offer and paid half of the quarterly rent whilst another has made an interim payment that will cover one month’s rent (until end of April). The other had fortunately paid a quarter in advance just before the crisis hit. My biggest concern is if these companies are unable to survive the crisis forcing their businesses go under which will mean we will have no income and I think it will be very difficult to relet the properties in a post coronavirus world. I currently rely on the rents for my retirement income and not only will I lose my income but will be liable to cover rates, insurance, maintenance, security etc. costs on the empty or partially inhabited building. I believe that sales of such buildings at a sensible value will be difficult after the crisis. I think it is important for Landlords to do whatever they can to help their tenants survive but I am very concerned that the Government seems to be happy to allow private landlords to effectively become bankers and act as a buffer in the current situation. I think that there are a lot of pensioners that rely on their retirement income from property rental that are being very badly (and unfairly) hit by the current situation. Regards Mark Margetts

Hello and thank you for giving me a platform to raise my concerns. I an worried that my small amount of money in my bank account won't be enough to cover my living costs. I am 62yrs old and rely on rental income to pay for all my living expenses, not just the mortgages. I have a property ready to let and a tenant waiting to move in but, due to current restrictions, isn't able to.

LANDLORD INVESTOR 56TH EDITION

I have two other houses, one with a single mum, the other with a young family. I am worried that these tenants won't be able to continue to pay their rents if the country continues in a lock down. Apart from getting mortgage holidays, which would be of some help, the Government isn't offering private rental landlords like myself any help. I wrote to my MP to ask whether the Government might pay 80% of lost rental income, like they are offering to the selh employed and people on PAYE. He simply replied "no that will not happen" and suggested I apply for Universal Credit. I most certainly wouldn't want to even think about evecting tenants who couldn't pay their rent due to Covid 19. However if my tenants are unable to pay their rent then I won't be able to cover my daily living costs, even if I did get Universal Credit. I don't understand why the Government, and other Parties, are so pro tenants at the cost of landlords? It seems so unfair. Many thanks for taking the time to read this email. Best wishes Mary Weir

I am writing in response to the "Calling all landlords - we need your thoughts" email. I support the current lockdown measures, and I believe that they are necessary in order to save lives and prevent the NHS being overwhelmed with cases of Covid-19. At the same time I am deeply concerned about the long term economic fallout from the current lockdown and any ongoing infection control measures which will continue

after the immediate crisis has passed. I fear that we may be facing a global depression such as we have not seen in our lifetime, and history shows that prolonged economic depression tends to lead to deepening global conflict and instability. While I am naturally concerned about the short term impact of the Covid-19 crisis on my lettings business, I believe that the fundamental driver of the UK property market remains strong, namely a population which is growing faster than the supply of homes. However, a deep and prolonged economic depression will cause a reduction in personal incomes which will inevitably have a chilling effect on both the rental and resale markets, particularly in the regions away from big cities, which could last for some time. I let all of my properties through agents with full management service. Since the lockdown measures were imposed, I have been in frequent contact with my agents and they are closely following the advice and guidance provided by the MHCLG. So far my tenants have been able to keep up their rent payments and I am continuing my BTL mortgage payments as normal. However I am ready and willing to respond to any requests for flexibility from my tenants should they need it. Prior to the Covid-19 crisis I was planning to expand my property portfolio with one or two more BTL purchases this year, but I have now put those plans on hold indefinitely. If I could speak directly to the government I would ask them how they plan to avoid a prolonged economic depression and promote international stability in the medium to long term after the acute phase of the current crisis has passed. I would be happy to discuss any of the above points in more detail if it would be helpful to you. Regards James Hall

If you'd like the chance to voice your concerns here, please email 400 words on the subject of your concerns to help@ landlordinvestmentshow.co.uk

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Li Magazine 56th Edition  

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