Is it fair to Blame The Walsall Landlord?

Is it fair to blame the Walsall Landlord?
Is it fair to blame the Walsall Landlord?

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.

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£90,348 spent in Rent by Walsall Millennials Age 35

Walsall Rent Inreases Outstrips Inflation Since 2005
Walsall Rent Inreases Outstrips Inflation Since 2005

Millennials were born between the mid 1980’s and late 1990’s making them between the age of around 22 to late 30’s. They are the imaginative, artistic youngsters who grew up with the newest tech and computers and who are huge enthusiasts of music festivals, gourmet pizzas, emoji’s, selfies and old school nostalgia AKA…generation rent.

Countless Millennials have discovered that renting is a good choice for their shelter and accommodation needs without the hassle that comes from buying a home. Nonetheless, that is not the only reason they don’t buy property. When they should be concentrating on their profession, putting down roots and starting a family, Millennials are still going through the pressures and constraints on their finances of student loan liabilities whilst, at the same time, finding it hard-hitting to pay rent.

The hot topic at the moment is the cost of renting, as both our main political parties have seen mileage in wooing these Millennial Generation Renters. The average rent in Walsall is currently £618 per month making this a big-ticket item on the monthly budget. I was inquisitive to find out exactly how much Walsall Millennials will spend on rent by the time they reach their mid 30’s. The average age people leave home in the UK is 22; so looking at a Walsall 22-year-old (or Millennial) who left home in 2005 then between 2005 and today that Walsall Millennial will have shelled out £90,348 in rent.

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GDPR & Walsall Landlords

GDPR and Walsall Landlords
GDPR and Walsall Landlords

Don’t know about you but I had heard so much about the new GDPR laws which came into force towards the end of May 2018 that I thought many of my Blog reading friends wouldn’t wish to hear another word on the matter!!  On the contrary…I’ve received several requests to clear matters up for you guys especially, around your personal responsibility when it came to staying on the right side of the law.

If you are letting a property in Walsall or indeed the UK for that matter, GDPR for landlords certainly affects you in a few key ways.  Before I address these major changes, let’s take a quick look at how we got to this point.

A brief history of UK data protection

In essence, data protection regulation has been enforced in the UK as a way to ensure that businesses and business owners do not abuse or misuse the data of their customers.  The purpose is to ensure it is not just used correctly but also stored safely.  In the UK, the first Data Protection Act was introduced in 1984.

It has been subsequently revised over the years and in 1993, a famous case was brought forward which saw PC Brown being prosecuted for mishandling data.  Though the ruling was eventually overturned, it was a landmark case and UK businesses seemed to start taking data protection more seriously.

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Today’s Buy To Let Deal 3 Bed Terraced, Walsall, WS2. Yields 6.30%.

A good looking traditional terraced house on the Darlaston Road, Walsall, WS2. It has a decent sized and low maintenance rear garden. Overall it looks like it doesn’t need anything major doing to it. Obviously a closer inspection would be the final arbiter. So, it possibly could be lout out as is. There are two double bedrooms and a single, though the size of the single means you could get a double bed in there, but that wouldn’t leave much room for anything else. Sadly, no photos are on the listing.

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Buy To Let Deal Of The Day Via Auction Yields Over 10%

This one bed roomed  apartment is situated at Bridge Lofts, Leicester Street, Walsall, WS1.  On the market with Cottons chartered surveyors (0121 396 0665).  Priced at £52k, which is a guide price as the property is up for auction on 27/03/2018. The full details can be found here.

A yield of 10.61% was what caught my eye, which is based on an already achieved rent of £460.00 pcm. It really is a steal for anybody wishing to invest as a part of their extensive portfolio or as a first investment.  Situated in the heart of the town centre the property is ideal for the single professional.

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Rents in Walsall Set to Rise to £714 pm in Next 5 Years

Rents in Walsall Set to Rise to £714 pm in Next 5 Years
Rents in Walsall Set to Rise to £714 pm in Next 5 Years

A good 18 months has passed since annual rental price inflation in Walsall peaked at 10.7% (June 2016).  Since then we have seen increasingly more humble rent increases to 7.3% in November 2017.  In fact, in certain parts of the Walsall rental market over the autumn, the rental market saw some slight falls in rents.  So, could this be the earliest indication that the trend of high rent increases seen over the last few years, may now be starting to buck that trend?

Well, possibly in the short term, but in the coming few years, it is my opinion Walsall rents will regain their upward trend and continue to increase as demand for Walsall rental property will outstrip supply, and this is why…

The way I see it is this…the counterbalance to that improved rental growth would be to meaningfully increase rental stock (i.e. the number of rental properties in Walsall).  However, because of the Government’s new taxes on landlords being introduced between 2017 and 2021, that means buy-to-let has (and will) be less attractive in the short term for certain types of landlords resulting in fewer new properties being purchased to rent out.

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WALSALL LANDLORDS – THREE THINGS I’ll be doing over Christmas 2017!!

WALSALL LANDLORDS - THREE THINGS I’LL BE DOING OVER CHRISTMAS
WALSALL LANDLORDS – THREE THINGS I’LL BE DOING OVER CHRISTMAS 2017

My Blog reading friends and existing clients will know that at some point over the Christmas break I get fed up of all the eating, drinking and partying.  “Bah! Humbug!” I hear you say…but in reality I think it’s simply that as a busy business owner, my mind and body can’t take the change in pace from mad and hectic to practically a vegetative like state.

So it’s usually around this time of the year, when I hit that point and I need to re-engage my brain, this is what I plan to do…

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