Over the last couple of decades, the rise in the number buy to let properties in Walsall has been nothing short of extraordinary. Many in the “left leaning” press have spoken of a broken nation, the fact many youngsters are unable to buy their first home with the rise of a new cohort of younger renters, whom have been daubed ‘Generation Rent’ as landlords hoover up all the properties for their buy to let property empires. Government has been blamed in the past for giving landlords an unfair advantage with the tax system. It is also true many of my fellow professionals have done nothing to cover themselves in glory, with some suspect, if not on some rare occasions, downright dubious practices.
Yet has the vilification and unfair criticism of some Walsall landlords gone too far?
It was only a few weeks ago, I read an article in a newspaper of one landlord who had decided to sell their modest buy to let portfolio for a number of reasons, one of which being the new tax rules on buy to let that were introduced last year. The comments section of the newspaper and the associated social media posts were pure hate, and certainly not deserved.
Like all aspects in life, there are always good (and bad) landlords, just like there are good (and bad) letting agents… and so it should be said, there are good tenants and in equal measure bad tenants. Bad letting agents and bad landlords should be routed out… but not at the expense of the vast majority who are good and decent.
But are the 3,983 Walsall portfolio buy to let landlords at fault?
The Tories allowed people to buy their own Council house in the 1980’s, taking them out of the collective pot of social rented houses for future generations to rent them. Landlords have been vilified by many, as it has been suggested by some they have an unhealthy and ravenous materialism approach to make cash and profit at the expense of poor renters, unable to buy their first home. Yet, looking beyond the headline grabbing press, this is in fact ‘fake news’. There are seven reasons that have created the perfect storm for private renting to explode in the 2000’s.