Mary Latham’s articles are always worth reading. She has been a landlady for decades and is an NLA representative in the Midlands.

No surprise. What politicians don’t seem to understand is that Agency is a VERY time-consuming business, irrespective of our understandably low opinion of Agents. If we stop them making money by banning fees, then it will only result in higher rents. The media will complain about increasing rents, and how much tenants are being ripped off. More legislation will result because politicians just don’t understand market forces. This will probably mean rent controls (Labour already stupidly wanting to introduce these), and then Landlords will simply say there’s no profit & more financial risk so will sell up. What then happens to the Private Rented Sector, which the Gvmt relies on to provide housing?

Surprisingly, my mainly political/economic postings on the high profile Property Tribes website have propelled me to #18 in their Top Contributors list, despite the fact that I don’t post too frequently or read all their threads (as I don’t have the time). Presumably my posts have attracted “likes”.

Interesting statistics, but not surprising ones.

Do politicians realise the fact stated here by the NLA that three in 10 landlords with a single property only breakeven or make a loss? Seemingly from their electoral promises it appears not, as there’s easy votes to be won portraying Landlords as villains.

Again, this is a point that I’ve been making to investors for some time. Being a Landlord is not only hard work but the net profit is substantially less than people imagine, and if Landlords took out repayment mortgages instead of interest-only, and costed out their own labour in £’s per hour, how many would then be making a profit?

They are relying on capital growth, which is at the mercy of capricious markets.VERY risky.

This is excellent news and I would hope has the potential to greatly speed up the conveyancing process.
Admittedly the process in Scotland is MUCH better than here in England (and I wish we would replicate it as it would protect sellers from unscrupulous purchasers), but if they can get it working then it could make a positive impact in England.

My concern would be self-interested solicitors de-railing it in order to justify slow processing of documentation and larger fees in order to continue with the current, more labour-intensive process.

Well done to the Law Society of Scotland. I hope they can get it up and running quickly.

Government is introducing a restriction on landlords to stop them from preventing sub-letting.

This is so unbelievably stupid that it could have been Milliband introducing it. They have not consulted the industry on this. Gvmt patently do not understand the problems that Landlords already have around the country with dishonest tenants.

You cant allow tenants to sub-let someone else’s property. There are all sorts of liability issues, fire risks, illegalities, massive damages and no control of behaviour. There’s enough bad landlords out there already, but having tenants sub-letting when they know nothing will cause immense problems and the added risk along with all the additional legislation and compliance for landlords will ensure that more landlords will pack up. Result = fewer properties available for rent = the opposite of what the country needs.

I just despair at politicians. How can they be so educated yet so stupid?

This article written by the NLA explains more lucidly than I have time to write, the effects of rent control, which is currently being promoted by socialist politicians in order to win cheap votes.

As ever with politics, the results will achieve the opposite of what was intended, to the detriment of EVERYONE.,36LDQ,CADIQ4,BEHIL,1

Assinine politicians (Milliband & Balls immediately come to mind as they appear to utterly fail to comprehend how markets work) need to be questioned by the media and by voters around the country to explain the long-term consequences on the property market of rent controls, and what happens if they introduce 3 year minimum rent periods, but interest rates rise.

Whilst I am a menber of the NLA (National Landlords Association), I am not a member of the RLA (Residential Landlords Association)

I have today seen this article on the RLA website that explains why rent controls will have the opposite effect to that planned by socialists, notably the buffoons in Labour & Generation Rent. This is not self-interest, but as I have said before, it is a result of market forces, supply & demand.

So, I have provided the link and copied the content of the article below, because it is important.

Three out of five landlords would leave, or consider leaving, the private rented market if rent controls were introduced. New figures also reveal that the majority of landlords plan to freeze their rents in 2015.

The findings come as RLA Chairman, Alan Ward, will warn that proposals for rent controls will leave tenants worse off.

According to the results of a survey of over 1,000 members of the Residential Landlords Association, over 75% of landlords either froze or cut their rents in 2014.

In the current year, over 65% intend to do so again.

Speaking ahead of a debate on rent controls tomorrow, Alan Ward said:

“These results blow a hole through the myth that rent controls would be good for tenants.

“At a time when tenants need more choice over where they live, state-controlled rents would choke off supply, increase rents and reduce quality. It would be history repeating itself.”

Alan Ward will point to official figures showing that in the social rented sector, rent controls have seen rents massively outstrip inflation.

Data in the most recent English Housing Survey show that between 2008/09 and 2012/13 social sector rents increased by over 25%. In comparison, private sector rents increased over the same period by 6.5%. Inflation as measured by both CPI and RPI over this period was around 16%.

Mr Ward continued:

“The reality is that rent controls would leave many tenants paying more than they do at the moment.

“Rather than coming up with ideologically-driven ideas, proponents of rent controls need to address the root issues, namely the need to boost the supply of homes to rent.”

Property “Staging” is popular in the US and we have been seeing this sort of advice being given on TV here in the UK. It is where a business is called in to give advice to a home owner on how to achieve a higher selling price for their home. It can involve decoration, de-cluttering, cleaning (you may be surprised at how filthy some people are!), keeping pets hidden & that sort of thing.

When I refurbish properties and put them up for sale, I furnish them so that they look like a home rather than a clean property. This way it makes the property more desirable & aspirational, and can solve problems eg storage.

However, most refurbishers dont do this. In fact, along with my business partner I have just taken on 5 flats, buying them from a builder who was getting little interest in them. Our belief is that this was because he was selling them as plain white empty but carpeted boxes. Time will tell whether we are right about these.

Anyway, because I see so many properties that are badly presented, and badly photographed by Agents, I wanted to get some feedback as to why Agents don’t use Staging companies, because for a small investment they could achieve a higher selling price for their clients. I know its not an easy conversation to have with a seller because they are proud of their home, and its easy to take offence at what is tantamount to personal criticism!

So, I’ve asked this question in an Estate Agents forum in LinkedIn.

Mnay years ago, when I was training Estate Agents, it occurred to me that the valuation that is put on a property depends upon how quickly a vendor needs to move.

If they have no urgency and are prepared to wait say for example 12 months, themn the price that the property is advertised at can be somewhat higher because the vendor is looking for that one buyer who “falls in love” with the property and is prepared to pay more than its estimated value (people will pay more for perceived quality in any marketplace).

Conversely, if they need to sell their home quickly, maybe because of divorce, relocation, a death in the family, redundancy etc, then they need to find a considerable number of buyers who would be happy to pay that price. This is a market where property developers and investors inhabit. People who are looking for a bargain.

This is all simple economics. Supply & demand.

So, why then don’t agents seem to discuss this issue and price variation when they are do listing appointments (more commonly known as valuations).

Patently my training has been forgotten, so out of interest I have posted the question on an Agents forum in LinkedIn.

If it interests you, check it out at;