Accidental Landlords - Time to Move On or Expand Your Holdings?

During the recent and unlamented recession, I took on quite a few of what others and we came to call “accidental landlords”.

These were people who either couldn’t sell their property at all, or at the price they wanted, even some who had bought new builds off plan (hoping for a quick turnaround before they had to fully pay for the property) and had been left high and dry when the property was completed and they didn’t have the money to pay the builder and couldn’t sell.

All in all there was a wailing and a gnashing of teeth, which and I’m sorry to sound selfish about this led to an increase in landlords for me and a number of landlords who never wanted to nor envisaged being a landlord in their lives.

Indeed some had a very ‘hackneyed’ view of lettings, landlords and of course agents, mostly garnered from the press the bloke or blokete down the pub. Over the years since then most have stayed with us and even developed a taste for it. However all have now realised that residential property letting was much more complicated e.g. sit back and watch money role in but also that (and I know not everyone will agree with this) the legislative boot is generally on the side of the tenant and even where it isn’t you will still lose. An example would be some time ago where a tenant of ours reported the property to the local council for a damp issue, the council attended and basically said it was not damp it was condensation and was a ‘lifestyle issue’ e.g. the tenant wasn’t heating or ventilating the property properly, which was something we had already explained to them and we had also given them a written guide. The reason I say that you lose anyway is that whilst there the council then proceeded to note several things that they thought needed fixed e.g. loose kick board, but at the same time saying that these in no way made the property unliveable and that they couldn’t ‘force’ us to get them repaired, needless to say we did anyway.

Either way I digress and ramble off into the distance; after all I am a Dachshund of mature years and have started to worry that its early onset something or other and that I might end up the mental equivalent of a spaniel. Editors note: Apologies for the on-going references to Spaniels, Miss Toots has a case of “Aurem Invidia” or ear envy regarding them.

So back to my Accidental Landlords, as I said most have stayed the course but now that the sales market is seeing a fairly consistent upswing increasing numbers are selling. Some with real regret because they actually came to enjoy it or looked at is (as you should) as a long term investment or addition to the pension pot, but things change, children come along and they need larger properties or in more expensive parts of the world or other life changing events like illness, redundancy etc, and we have said goodbye to some truly excellent landlords that we are sorry to see go. However some are staying on and even taking the opportunity to add to their portfolio and its this that has if you like generated this piece. If one of my landlords needs to sell then they will get nothing but my thanks for their business and any assistance I can offer them in easing the process.

For those landlords who are unsure which way to jump all I can say is that property remains one of the best long-term investments in this country. Of course it can go up as well as down, just like the stock market, but overall its still somewhere I would be happy putting my money. If you are considering buying more property then please remember that research is key so please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to talk through the local market or even give a free opinion on any specific properties you might have in mind. Love Miss Toots.