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Wave goodbye to winter property woes

17 November 2023 1942 Views
Wave goodbye to winter property woes

It’s not just the weather that’s wet and dreary – the outlook looks bleak for landlords too as we head towards the end of 2023.

Although inflation is finally on a downward spiral, hopefully signalling the end to interest rate rises, the damage is already done for a lot of landlords.

Despite the government backtracking on minimum energy efficiency standards and the proposed abolishment of Section 21 being scrapped, the general feeling is that a lot of investors have simply had enough.

This is probably why we have seen a significant increase in landlord enquiries at Open Property Group from those who want out of the market.

The majority of the private landlord population own just one property, likely inherited or retained after living in it themselves, and all they were trying to do was keep an appreciating asset for the future while providing other people somewhere to live.

The legislative and financial burden that now exists means that these landlords are exiting the sector in their droves. They are, as our recent landlord survey showed, closely following by older landlords who have brought forward retirement plans.

Such an exodus will only put further pressure on the private rented sector, constricting supply while pushing up demand and rents. And only those cash rich landlords will survive (and possibly prosper when ex-rental properties come back on to the market).

Should you sell now to save Christmas?

Unfortunately, in the lead up to Christmas, our problems seem to come to the surface as we think about all the things in our lives we want to set straight, sort out and make better for the following year.

In property, this usually throws up numerous maintenance and repair issues that are only exacerbated in winter.

  • Broken roof tiles?

  • Damp and mould?

  • Draughty doors and windows?

  • Poor insulation?

  • Boiler breakdowns?

  • Storm damage?

  • Leaks and burst pipes?

If those issues alone weren’t enough to encourage a buy-to-let sell off, then the current market conditions could sway you. Although, as already stated, some of the major legislative changes proposed will now not go ahead, if history is anything to go by, then there’s undoubtedly more to come.

Lenders may have dropped their borrowing rates recently, but we may never experience the cheap mortgages that we have been used to for the last 15 years.

To add to that, anyone who moved properties into a Limited Business face higher corporation tax and just £500 in tax free dividend allowance from April 2024.

At the same time, Capital Gains Tax allowance will be at its lowest rate in over 40 years, meaning now could be the time to sell.

Problems with the open market

Depending on what you read, Christmas is not traditionally a great time to put a property up for sale on the open market.

From an owner-occupier perspective, there are generally less people looking and less stock to consider for an onward purchase. Of course, this might mean that the buyers who are out there have serious intent, but with less competition comes less of a likelihood that you’ll get the asking price.

There are then the potential delays to an already lengthy transaction process to consider while solicitors, conveyancers and estate agents (to a degree), shut up shop for the holidays.

All of this is potentially far more stressful for landlords, who have to think about evicting tenants before they sell or ringfencing the pool of buyers to existing investors if selling with tenants in situ – when market conditions are less than favourable.

Just the simple task of arranging viewings over the Christmas period is a pain, particularly for tenants who will already feel the strain of potentially having to find somewhere else to live, or what surprises a new landlord might bring!

The alternative

Professional cash buyers like Open Property Group will buy any rental property, in any location and any condition, at any time of the year.

We guarantee to buy the property for cash, tenanted or vacant, and can complete within a timeframe that suits you – either in a matter of days or on a delayed date.

Either way, we offer a certainty of sale that no other method offers.

If you want to save yourself the stress this Christmas by selling your buy-to-let, get in touch.

Contact Open Property Group

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