Landlord Blog: Make love not war

Published: 13/06/2014

Landlords have been the proverbial punching bag in recent months but Alan Ward, Chairman of the Residential Landlord Association (RLA), is fighting back with his recent Telegraph column – Rather than bashing buy-to-let landlords, we should help them flourish – much to the applause of Rob Denman:

“I’ve read so much negativity about landlords in the press recently that it made a refreshing change when someone actually gave a more factual account of things. While there are unfortunately a select number of tenants in poor accommodation, the truth is the majority of private renters are happy with their homes. Likewise landlords aren’t hiking rents at every given opportunity; rents are actually increasing less than the rate of inflation.

“But the point that resonates most strongly with me is that landlords are instrumental in addressing the supply and demand imbalance within the housing market.

“As Alan Ward rightly points out, the apparent war on landlords is serving little purpose (other than perhaps providing the odd soapbox sound bite). Instead if this energy was redirected into supporting landlords, and in turn supporting quality and therefore tenants, we would find ourselves in a much better place.

“At the minute the demand vs. supply imbalance is a bit like sticking Dawn French on the scales with Kate Moss and we need landlords to address it.

“There are a number of ways in which we can do this; from a flexible tax regime and VAT relief as the RLA chairman mentions to ongoing legal support for landlords when faced with difficult tenants, the primary aim of our dedicated landlord division, GW LET (Landlord Empowerment Team), here at Goldsmith Williams.

“There are a number of financial risks associated with letting property and all too often a landlord faces a lengthy, and therefore costly, wait when trying to resolve them. It is not unheard of for an eviction process to take up to 12 months. A quick calculation using the average UK rent sees a landlord over £10,000 out of pocket.

“This kind of experience alone could easily deter a landlord from expanding their property portfolio. Throw in all the recent allegations and we could actually see the situation worsen with landlords getting out of the buy to let game altogether. Now that would be disastrous and the finger pointers would only have themselves to blame.”

Rob DenmanRob Denman is a solicitor and Head of GW LET (Landlord Empowerment Team), specialising in such landlord legal issues as rent arrears, tenant eviction and tenancy deposit disputes. In his spare time Rob enjoys watching football and running and has recently successfully completed his second half marathon.

Content correct at time of publication

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