Property Hawk the landlord's homepage since 2006
Free Tenancy Agreement FREE tenancy agreement
Free Landlord Software FREE landlord software
Home | Property Manager | Free ASTs | Landlord Forms | Mortgages | Insurance | Inventory | Magazine | Landlords Bible | Directory | Forum | Training | News / Blog |

Friday, February 22, 2013

Buy-to-let Is Morally Wrong!

Our old friends at the Guardian are at it again.  This time claiming that buy-to-let is morally wrong!

They say:

1. It is morally wrong because landlords are hoarding and ramping up the price of a scarce commodity i.e. residential property.
2. We are scared because our pension pots are inadequate.
3. Landlords are after a quick killing and constantly hike up rents
4. Landlord are barred from renting to social security tenants by their mortgage companies
5. We ignore notices of inspections

I say:

I am a fervent believer in the right of free speech so I absolutely respect your right to print this misinformed diatribe.  Perhaps next time you might rather than employing a jobbing reporter get somebody who understand just a tiny bit about property and the private rental market?

1. Landlords don't hoard anything.  We have merely responded to demand from more people who want to rent rather than buy property.  If the commodity was so scarce why hasn't there been a boom in property prices.  In many ways landlords ability to fund new purchases has prevented a house price crash that could have been so devastating for home owners and the wider economy.  If our banks were in trouble without a sustained housing crash, imagine what it would been like with a Spanish style property slump!

2. Yes we are all scared that our pensions are going to be insufficient.  That's because returns from most forms of investment have been haphazard if not precarious under successive governments and so called safe investments such as government bonds' yield diddly squat.  So for many of us without a gold plated public sector pension a property pension is the next best thing.

3. Quick killing.  I wish!  The average length of time a landlord holds a rental property for is something like 22 years.  Hardly an over night killing.  As for massive rental hikes.  Outside London most regional landlords are lucky if they see increases above inflation in the last 10 years.

4. Landlord being banned from taking social security tenants by mortgage companies.  Not my experience but if this is true you have to ask yourself why.  Perhaps it because of crazy ideas like the Local Housing Allowance which made direct payments to landlords so much more difficult and increased the risk borne by the landlord and their mortgage company by unacceptable levels.

5. What is a notice of inspection?  Does anybody know?

I don't know about buy-to-let being morally wrong.  I think what is more wrong is letting journalists who know nothing about the subject but have a left leaning London centred liberal axe to grind go off on one.  But being a true liberal...I totally respect the Guardians right to spout RUBBISH!

Landlord insurance - professional rates

Free property management software, Free tenancy agreements
Bookmark and Share


Adrian said...

I'm not sure that the perfect response to an incorrect knee-jerk article is an incorrect knee-jerk blog piece.

First off, it's a "Comment if Free" piece, not a "Guardian article". CiF is pretty much an opinion-essay umbrella, not "journalism".

The writer doesn't seem to be such a neophyte as you imply, either - have a click on their name on the article, and read their profile. Most of their pieces are on letting, and she also writes a letting blog.

Yes, she comes from a very different viewpoint as you. But does that make her _wrong_? Just as it's wrong to tar all landlords as Rachmann-lite, it's equally wrong to label all landlords as paragons of social harmony. Some _are_ money-grubbing gits with no sympathy or empathy for their tenants. This is not news.

With all that in mind, read the article again with fewer preconceptions. You might find something of interest.

The Editor said...

Adrian, the points you make are fair. I have spoken to rentergirl in the past and we are probably not as far apart in our views on the PRS as my comments might suggest. We both agree on the need for the creation of new class of tenancy that gives tenants greater security of tenure but which also allows landlords to obtain possession at the end of the tenancy. Having said all that; I would still say that it annoys me that landlords get blamed for making property unaffordable for first time buyers. The real culprits were the banks who were making unrealistic loans which forced up prices to unsustainable levels. Landlords now act as under pinners of the housing market by making rational economic buying decisions based on: cost / value / rental returns; not just how much money they can borrow.