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Buy-to-let loan sizes jump £20k in one month

Buy-to-let loan sizes jumped by 13 per cent last month, meaning the average maximum loan available to prospective and existing landlords is now £421,053.

In December, this figure stood at £401,053, pointing to a £20,000 increase. This means loans for landlords are at their highest level since August 2020, according to research published by adviser platform Mortgage Broker Tools today (February 28).

The buy-to-let sector remained buoyant last year, despite some reports of landlords exiting their portfolios. Purchase activity reached £18bn, up 83 per cent on 2020, according to UK Finance.

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But while the average maximum loan size available to buy-to-let investors is approaching a two-year high, the spread between the average maximum and minimum loan sizes available to landlords has also “never been wider”, according to Tanya Toumadj, chief executive at Mortgage Broker Tools.

“For investor clients who want to maximise their leverage, it’s vital that brokers are able to easily identify those lenders that will offer larger loan sizes based on their individual circumstances,” she explained.

Legal & General Mortgage Club data also published today found searches for landlords with gifted equity grew by 82 per cent last month. This suggests that those in the buy-to-let market may be benefitting from financial support from family members to boost their borrowing power as the loan sizes available to them continue to increase.

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Richard Merret, head of strategic development at mortgage club SimplyBiz, told FTAdviser the pandemic has shown people “the robustness of houses as an asset”.

In 2021, the price of a typical UK home grew to £254,822, up nearly £24,000 over the year.

Merret also said an interest in holiday letting has increased, due to the tax benefits and the “ease” of arranging it via an app. “Airbnb has made being a holiday-let landlord more accessible,” said Merrett.

A series of regulatory changes to the buy-to-let sector has, however, made it harder to enter the market. So advisers can better understand these regulatory changes – which include a 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge, more stringent affordability tests and reforms to mortgage relief – SimplyBiz has launched a series of virtual academies.

Meanwhile, some investors are now looking to make gains off cryptocurrency rather than off a housing portfolio.

One investor told FTAdviser in December that with property producing average gains anywhere between 5 and 10 per cent a year, he was drawn to the minimum advised return of around 30 per cent to be made from cryptocurrency in just three to six months on less money.

By Ruby Hinchliffe

Source: FT Adviser

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Buy-to-let sector has increased by £239bn since 2017

New research conducted by the property lending experts, Octane Capital, claims that over the last five years the buy-to-let sector has increased by around £239 billion.

By analysing the level of privately rented stock across all UK regions the lending experts were able to obtain the worth of the buy-to-let sector. This was then compared to values during 2017 to uncover changes over the past five years.

Current buy to let market value

The findings show that based on current market values within the UK rental sector, the current value of the UK’s buy-to-let stock is £1.7 trillion.

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The capital of England makes up 19% of the UK buy-to-let properties as this has the highest total worth of the UK buy-to-let sector. It is estimated that around 1 million private rented homes are in London and these are worth more than £500 billion.

The second most valuable buy-to-let market is in the South East of England as the buy-to-let market has a value of £247 billion. This is then followed by the East of England which has a value of £168 billion, the South West is valued at £156 billion, and the North West is valued around £110 billion.

The property lending experts estimate that the UK’s buy-to-let market has increased by 16.8%. This means it has climbed by £239 billion since 2017.

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Buy to let market uplift

The figures show that London had the largest uplift in buy-to-let market value as it jumped by £57 billion. The South West increased by £34 billion and the East of England jumped £27 billion.

While the level of privately rented homes has remained low across the UK over the last five years, the total value of the buy-to-let sector has risen sharply because of house price growth.

Chief executive officer of Octane Capital, Jonathan Samuels, concludes: “The government has tried its hardest to dampen investment into the private rental sector in recent years, with a string of legislative changes around tax relief, stamp duty and tenant fees reducing the profitability of buy-to-let investments.”

“The pandemic has also proved problematic for some landlords who have suffered lengthy void periods due to factors such as the tenant eviction ban and a reduction in rental demand across our major cities, in particular.”

“Despite all of this, the sector has stood tall and continues to provide the vital rental market backbone that so many are reliant on.”

“At the same time, the nation’s landlords have benefited from a considerable level of capital appreciation on their buy-to-let investment and the value of the sector as a whole has increased substantially.”

“Let’s just hope that whisperings of a higher rate of capital gains tax remain just that, as any further increase could spur a reduction in available stock, causing the total value of the market to decline in the process.”

By Yasmin Watson

Source: Introducer Today

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2022 set to be a strong year for BTL

It is hard to make predictions for the coming year without considering the impact of the pandemic. With vaccination levels increasing and hope that new COVID variants are less aggressive, light is appearing at the end of the tunnel as we hopefully transition back to normality. Looking back, the past year has been one of the most turbulent for the buy-to-let market with the pandemic causing some landlords and renters to struggle financially.

Despite the challenges, the buy-to-let sector has been incredibly resilient in 2021 and looks set to achieve around £41bn of loans in 2021.

The market is predicted to be relatively stable with IMLA forecasting £40bn of loans in 2022, and one of the key drivers will be the expected increase in rental yields.

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Rent looks set to rise

When considering the direction of rental prices in 2022, it is useful to look at the recent trends. According to Zoopla, a combination of high demand and landlords exiting the buy-to-let sector pushed rental price growth to a 13-year high during Q3 2021.

Zoopla also reported that rental growth across the UK reached 4.6% between July and September, with particularly strong markets in the South West, Wales, and the East Midlands.

But the more difficult question to answer, is which direction will rents take in 2022? Zoopla’s rental market forecasts have predicted average rental prices across the country could rise by another 4.5%, and growth in London is forecast to reach 3.5%, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. It also has predicted rents could rise above earnings in areas of the country where it’s currently cheaper to rent.

These rises in rents are fuelled primarily by an imbalance in supply and demand, with far more people looking for rental properties than there are places to accommodate them.

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Energy efficiency

Outside of rent prices, three letters will likely dominate landlords’ thoughts in 2022. No, not VAR, we are of course referring to EPC.

The government’s plans to increase minimum energy efficiency standards has certainly impacted some landlords plans for the future.

The signs have all been pointing in one direction for some time, as since April 2020 it’s been illegal for landlords to let properties with an EPC rating of F or G, unless they have an exemption.

These measures will be ramped up in the coming years. From 2025, the minimum standard will be increased to C for new tenancies and this will be extended to existing tenancies from 2028.

Government estimates suggest that over three million rental properties currently have an EPC rating of D or below. As a result, many landlords will need to start begin the process of improving their energy efficiency ratings in 2022.

Tied to this push for more environmentally friendly housing is the trend for green mortgages, which is almost certainly set to continue in 2022.


With house prices rising at unprecedented levels, some of those looking to invest in a buy-to-let are being priced out of the market.

Therefore, some landlords who are either handy themselves, or have a team of tradespeople on speed-dial are looking for more affordable properties that need some refurbishment. Whether this is a new bathroom, modernising a kitchen or even converting a property into a House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO).

For more ambitious landlords, the high-street may present some opportunities. As we are transitioning away from the traditional shopping experience with more and more people choosing to shop online, there will be commercial spaces that could be converted into residential properties.

Specialist sectors set to grow

This brings us on nicely to another area of interest for 2022, specialist properties. Despite doubts at the start of 2021 about the viability of HMOs due to concerns around the coronavirus, HMOs have been popular throughout the year.

The motivating factors behind renters choosing HMOs will still be highly relevant in 2022, with the social and financial benefits still applicable.

From the landlords’ perspective, HMOs offer increased yields with slightly less risk attached as if one tenant leaves, others will still be paying rent.

Alongside HMOs, holiday lets have been increasing in popularity as well, partly in response to the staycation boom. With international travel looking set to be restricted again in 2022, this trend should continue and more landlords may jump on this bandwagon.

5-year fixes coming to maturity

In 2017 new underwriting standards were introduced by the Prudential Regulation Authority and this resulted in a spike in borrowers opting for longer term products.

As 2022 marks five years since the new standards were introduced, a notable number of these longer-term mortgages may mature in the next 12 months, presenting a great opportunity for lenders and brokers.

There is hope on the horizon for an end to the pandemic and the restrictions it imposed. This wave of optimism extends to the buy-to-let sector, as rents are expected to rise, there are new opportunities for specialist properties and remortgages, therefore 2022 looks to be another strong year for the buy-to-let market.

By Andrew Ferguson

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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UK buy-to-let has ‘defied gravity’ through Covid-19, says S&P

The UK buy-to-let (BTL) market remained resilient through the Covid-19 pandemic and has features that could help it remain buoyant, says S&P Global Ratings in a new report.

Amid the pandemic-related lockdowns, private sector UK rental arrears reached 9.0 per cent by the end of 2020, but the S&P RMBS post-2014 originations buy-to-let (BTL) index recorded total delinquencies no higher than 0.5 per cent.

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“Diversification in terms of property and borrowers, the increasingly professional nature of BTL, and generally high debt servicing ratios has helped buy-to-let performance remain resilient,” says S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Alastair Bigley.

For post-2014 originations, approximately 50 per cent of properties at a portfolio level could be in rental arrears in the short term before it would affect debt service and cause a significant spike in arrears.

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Ultimately, Covid-19 represented a shock to only one risk factor that determines BTL performance – tenant affordability – while other factors such as the prevailing interest rate environment and house prices were supportive.

“Looking forward, although peak stress for landlords may be argued to be over, the recent prominence of 95 per cent owner-occupied lending may facilitate some renters to become buyers and change the supply-and-demand dynamics for certain properties, and make some properties harder to rent,” says Bigley.

Source: Property Funds World

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Confidence in buy-to-let business continues to grow among brokers

In Q2 2021, the proportion of brokers forecasting a rise in buy-to-let mortgage business over the next 12 months has increased.

Despite the tapering of the stamp duty holiday, a survey by Paragon reveals 53% of mortgage brokers expect buy-to-let business to increase over the next year. This is compared to 50% in the first quarter of 2021. At the same time, the proportion of brokers forecasting declining levels of business stayed consistent at 10%.

Moray Hulme says: “These figures suggest that the strong levels of buy-to-let business witnessed over the last six to nine months wasn’t just as a result of the Stamp Duty stimulus, but down to more fundamental shifts in where and how people want to live.”

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Buy-to-let demand is high

During the second quarter of 2021, brokers reported that demand for buy-to-let was high. Specifically, 42% of intermediaries said demand was “strong”. And 8% stated demand was “very strong”. In the second quarter of 2020, which was at the height of the pandemic, there were only 26% who felt this way.

Additionally, only 10% of those surveyed reported buy-to-let demand to be weak. That is compared to 30% during the corresponding quarter last year.

Overall, the confidence among brokers is generally high. In the survey, 91% said they were confident about the outlook for their business over the next year. This was especially prevalent for those seeing high levels of buy-to-let business with 97% among that cohort.

“There has certainly been a growth in tenant demand for family homes, for example, and landlords are reacting accordingly.”

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Investing in buy-to-let

With demand in the private rented sector at high levels across the UK, this is providing a boost to the buy-to-let sector. Recently, many landlords have seen a drop in void periods and higher yields.

Additionally, the number of buy-to-let mortgages reached the highest level since March 2020. Investors and landlords have been welcoming the additional choice. With the increased competition, interest rates are still historically low.

Many landlords are locking in competitive mortgage deals. This is leading more buy-to-let investors to expand their property portfolio. Additionally, this year, more first-time landlords have even entered the buy-to-let sector due to the enticing market conditions.

By Kaylene Isherwood

Source: Buy Association

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The Best Areas in London for Buy-to-Let Yields This Year

Buy to Let – Since the onset of COVID-19, investors have turned away from many of the asset classes whose presumed security and capacity for long-term value creation were once thought unimpeachable. With international lockdowns accelerating existing trends towards flexible working practices and e-commerce, investors have seen billions wiped off the value of commercial property assets.

However, while commercial property has suffered, the value of residential assets has fared well during the pandemic. Thanks to the extended stamp duty holiday, the sales market is buoyant and price growth has exceeded expectations, while a surprisingly robust lettings market benefited from permission to continue operating during later lockdowns and a flurry of activity as renters seek out housing that more closely aligns with their post-COVID priorities.

At Home Made, we have analysed data from thousands of property listings across London to create an up-to-date guide on buy-to-let rental yields for investors in the capital. Here are the top 10 postcodes in London offering investors the best rental yields for 1, 2, and 3-bedroom properties.

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1-bedroom properties

  1. IG11 (Barking, Upney) – 6.12 per cent
  2. N9 (Lower Edmonton) – 5.89 per cent
  3. TW13 (Feltham, Twickenham) – 5.65 per cent
  4. EN8 (Cheshunt, Waltham Cross) – 5.57 per cent
  5. IG1 (Ilford) – 5.56 per cent
  6. EN3 (Enfield) – 5.50 per cent
  7. RM6 (Chadwell Heath, Goodmayes, Marks Gate, Little Heath) – 5.46 per cent
  8. RM1 (Romford) – 5.43 per cent
  9. RM7 (Romford, Dagenham, Hornchurch) – 5.39 per cent
  10. IG2 (Gants Hill, Newbury Park, Aldborough Hatch) – 5.35 per cent

2-bedroom properties

  1. UB1 (Southall) – 5.93 per cent
  2. IG11 (Barking, Upney) – 5.64 per cent
  3. EN3 (Enfield) – 5.52 per cent
  4. RM6 (Chadwell Heath, Goodmayes, Marks Gate, Little Heath) – 5.48 per cent
  5. N9 (Lower Edmonton) – 5.42 per cent
  6. TW5 (Hounslow) – 5.39 per cent
  7. N18 (Upper Edmonton) – 5.39 per cent
  8. IG1 (Ilford) – 5.37 per cent
  9. IG3 (Ilford, Cransbrook, Loxford) – 5.35 per cent
  10. RM1 (Romford) – 5.33 per cent

3-bedroom properties

  1. RM8 (Dagenham, Beacontree) – 5.13 per cent
  2. RM9 (Dagenham, Beacontree) – 5.01 per cent
  3. RM10 (Dagenham, Beacontree) – 4.90 per cent
  4. IG11 (Barking, Upney) – 4.80 per cent
  5. EN3 (Enfield) – 4.76 per cent
  6. RM3 (Harold Wood, Harold Hill) – 4.64 per cent
  7. N9 (Lower Edmonton) – 4.61 per cent
  8. CR0 (Croydon) – 4.56 per cent
  9. N18 (Upper Edmonton) – 4.54 per cent
  10. CR7 (Thornton Heath) – 4.54 per cent


  1. IG11 (Barking, Upney) – 5.13 per cent
  2. RM10 (Dagenham, Becontree) – 4.97 per cent
  3. RM9 (Dagenham, Becontree, Castle Green) – 4.94 per cent
  4. RM8 (Dagenham, Becontree, Becontree Heath, Chadwell Heath) – 4.91 per cent
  5. SE28 (Thamesmead, Greenwich, Bexley) – 4.88 per cent
  6. E13 (Plaistow, West Ham) – 4.59 per cent
  7. RM3 (Harold Wood, Harold Hill, Noak Hill, Harold Park) – 4.54 per cent
  8. N9 (Lower Edmonton) – 4.44 per cent
  9. E6 (East Ham, Beckton, Barking) – 4.40 per cent
  10. RM6 (Chadwell Heath, Marks Gate, Little Heath, Goodmayes) – 4.35 per cent

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What does the data show and why?

As the data indicates, the most attractive investment prospects right now are mainly clustered in London’s outermost Eastern boroughs: Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge, and Havering. A review of our previous yields analysis (published in late 2019) suggests that there has been a sustained eastwards shift in the location of postcodes offering the best potential ROI for buy-to-let landlords.

There are several likely reasons why this is the case, with trends established both before and during the pandemic responsible for the continuing eastwards shift.

Improvements to transport infrastructure

As was the case in our original 2019 analysis, improvements to London’s transport infrastructure mean that residents in high-yield areas can commute into the major economic hubs of the city centre with relative ease. The forthcoming Elizabeth line will drastically improve transport connections between many of this year’s best performing locations to the rest of the TfL network, with stations opening in Ilford, Goodmayes, Chadwell Heath, and Romford. We know that rental prices react more quickly than sales values to infrastructural improvements, so investors should expect to see an even greater spike in rental yield value in these East London suburbs.

The impact of urban redevelopment

Urban redevelopment schemes that introduce thousands of units of high-specification housing and modern amenities tend to change the profile of tenants, making them more attractive to working professionals on higher incomes. This increases the value of nearby property, leading to a sustained rise in rental yields over the medium term as rental price growth outpaces the growth in sales prices.

East London’s outer boroughs are currently further behind in their redevelopment journey than many of the more central neighbourhoods that have already been transformed by various urban renewal projects (e.g Stratford, Royal Docks). Ambitious redevelopment plans underway in the East, particularly in Havering, are set to have a similar impact, and investors should expect to see consistent growth in rental yields along with significant appreciation in the sales value of any property.

Consumer and renter behaviour

Tenant migration patterns have been altered significantly by COVID-19. Since the onset of the pandemic, the widespread adoption of flexible working practices has meant that renters have had more freedom to move across the city without as much concern for the impact on their daily commute. When we analysed enquiry data for rental properties in TfL travel zones 4, 5, and 6, we found that 40 per cent of the renters enquiring on properties in these areas were currently based in zones 1, 2, and 3, suggesting a significant spike in the number of tenants moving towards London’s suburbs. Similarly, 64 per cent of the renters logged in our database in 2020 were moving to a completely new area of the city, with an average travel time of 44 minutes between their previous property and prospective new home.

As well as having the flexibility to stray further away from the workplace, tenant priorities have changed drastically following our collective experiences of successive lockdowns. The so-called ‘race for space’ is well documented, with many tenants moving to the suburbs or leaving the city altogether in search of larger properties with more access to green space and better suited to pet ownership – features which are now a higher priority for many than proximity to the workplace.

Many have also moved further away from the centre to reduce costs during a period of sustained economic upheaval. For many of London’s working professionals, it no longer makes financial sense to pay a premium for expensive central property when there is no need to maintain a daily physical presence in the workplace. Properties in high-yield areas are able to satisfy both the post-COVID lifestyle priorities and affordability criteria of London’s renters.

Overall, the residential lettings market has proven remarkably adaptable when faced with unprecedented economic and social circumstances, along with various existing trends that disrupt the way people rent and let property. As a result, buy to let rental yields in outer zones have remained high, and even increased in the last 18 months, as renters expanded their search radius to include the new areas that they would now consider living in.


Source: Property Wire

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Falling buy-to-let rates make property a ‘tempting’ investment

Interest rates for buy-to-let mortgages are beginning to decrease, according to the latest data from

Its figures revealed, since the start of May, the average buy-to-let two and five-year fixed rates for all loan-to-values (LTV) have fallen by 0.04% and 0.05% respectively.

What’s more, since March 2021 they have tumbled by 0.10% and 0.11%. At 2.95% and 3.30%, both rates are now the lowest they have been since January 2021 when rates were at 2.89% and 3.27% respectively.

According to Moneyfacts the largest reductions since the start of this month have been seen at 65% LTV.

In this tier the two and five-year fixed averages have dropped by 0.20% and 0.15% respectively to 2.68% and 3.17%, since the start of the month.

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This, said Moneyfacts, was great news for landlords with the required level of deposit or equity.

However, for those landlords with lower levels of deposit or equity the news is not so welcoming as the average two-year fixed rate at 80% LTV has slightly increased over the course of this month to sit at 4.20%.

There are more options available to borrowers in this tier, though, where rates are traditionally higher due to the higher level of risk, have also risen.

And those happy to lock into a five-year fixed rate at 80% LTV will benefit from average rate drops of 0.04% since the start of the month.

Eleanor Williams, finance expert at, said: “As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, the prevailing sentiment in the UK seems to be that of optimism.

“For a sector that has been beset by various changes and challenges over the last five years or so, the buy-to-let market is exhibiting remarkable resilience.

“While it goes without saying that the last year has presented great challenges to many investors in the sector, the latest Lettings Index from Hamptons illustrated that rents have risen by 5.9% in Great Britain in April 2021, the fastest rate of growth it has recorded since January 2015.”

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Williams added that the rate drops demonstrated an appetite from lenders to cater to borrowers who are keen to invest.

She revealed, as providers continued to tweak their ranges, Moneyfacts had seen rate reductions of as much as 0.90% from TSB, while Virgin Money made cuts of up to 1.06% on a selection of its products this month.

“Hampton’s indicated that the rise in rental growth may well be linked to the fact that there were 45% fewer homes available for rent in April 2021 compared to April 2019,” Williams added.

“For investors contemplating an expansion into the buy-to-let sector, demand from tenants is booming and while it remains difficult to earn a decent return on many forms of investment, it’s understandable why rental property could be a tempting option.”

Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette

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Govt’s proposals on renting reforms expected to improve BTL reputation

Government proposals on renting reforms could improve the buy-to-let sector’s reputation, brokers have said, although a warning has been sounded on their effect on the investment appeal for landlords.

In yesterday’s Queen’s Speech (May 11) the government said it would ‘enhance’ the rights of those who rent, in addition to helping more people own their own home.

Measures proposed by the government in its policy paper included bringing forward reforms this year to drive improvements in rented accommodation standards, well targeted enforcement that drives out criminal landlords, and exploring the merits of a landlord register.

The government also said the reform package was expected to require all private landlords to sign up to a redress scheme for tenants.

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Ben Beadle said the government’s proposals amounted to some of the biggest changes in the private rented sector in 30 years.

Beadle added: “We welcome the government’s ambitions to drive out bad landlords from the sector without penalising those who do the right thing. We want to root out all those who bring the sector into disrepute.”

Bob Young likewise said “proportionate and fair” measures would benefit both tenants and ‘good’ landlords.

Young said: “For decades now a small minority of landlords have effectively got away with properties that are not suitable for habitation and as a buy-to-let lender we’ve seen some appalling examples of this.

“This minority is damaging the reputation of the vast majority of landlords who look after their properties and are responsive to their tenants’ requests.”

In its policy paper the government also said it would publish its consultation response on abolishing ‘no fault’ evictions and strengthening repossession grounds for landlords when they have valid cause.

Paul Brett commented: “There is an absolute need for landlords to be able to retake possession of their properties when circumstances dictate that they need to, but tying this with changes to drive up standards is the right thing to do.

“This will support responsible landlords, which in turn will enable them to help more tenants.”

In 2019 the then-government announced proposals to prevent private landlords from evicting tenants at short notice and without good reason before launching a consultation.

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Under section 21 of the Housing Act, private landlords can repossess their properties from assured shorthold tenants without having to establish fault on the part of the tenant.

Angus Stewart said: “Landlords have been bracing themselves for the Renters Reform Bill for some time now, so we welcome the fact we now have a way forward.”

Stewart added: “Landlords need to know they can take back properties when they have a legitimate reason for doing so and tenants need to be able to plan their futures.

“We should not forget mortgage lenders who will be looking for reassurance as to their rights as creditors. Getting the balance right will be crucial and as ever the devil will be in the detail.”

But Bulent Kandemir said the renters’ reforms come after private landlords have been “hit very hard” in the past few years, such as with restrictions to income tax relief.

Kandemir added: “I would question whether these landlords have the appetite to keep doing this going forward, as the profitability of owning a property to let is arguably no longer there.”

By Chloe Cheung

Source: FT Adviser

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Brokers warn of buy-to-let issues with new fire safety law

Mortgage brokers have warned of difficulties for buy-to-let landlords in selling and remortgaging flats, after a majority in the House of Lords voted against an amendment to the new Fire Safety Act.

The amendment sought to prohibit tenants and leaseholders from being liable for the remedial costs of meeting fire safety requirements if they exceeded £500, until a statutory scheme is implemented.

MPs disagreed to four versions of the amendment, as the issue of remediation costs was “too complex to be dealt with in the manner proposed” by the Lords.

The act, which clarifies where responsibility for fire safety lies in multi-occupied buildings in England and Wales, became law last week.

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Amid a ban on evictions, which is currently due to end on May 31, brokers have warned that without this amendment, the act will prevent buy-to-let landlords from refinancing – particularly if they are leaseholders in a block of flats.

Hiten Ganatra said this was particularly due to the fact many lenders now insist on an EWS1 form, which is an industry-agreed way for a building owner to confirm that an external wall system on residential buildings has been assessed for safety by a suitable expert.

Ganatra said: “This is an incredibly delicate situation, which will negatively impact many buy-to-let landlords who have invested in flats, especially if these landlords are already facing financial challenges from non-paying tenants as a result of the Covid eviction ban.”

He added: “Their investments could become unsellable and the problem could be exacerbated even further with tenants being worried about moving into flats in the absence of having confirmation that remedial works have been completed.

“This could also severely hinder buy-to-let landlords’ ability to refinance, as most buy-to-let lenders are insisting on EWS1 forms giving the building a clean bill of health, before allowing the mortgage to go through.”

Dominik Lipnicki questioned the fairness of buy-to-let landlords potentially being required to cover remedial costs of any affected leasehold properties.

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Lipnicki said: “How can it be right that innocent buy-to-let landlords who have invested in leasehold properties will now be responsible for a huge potential liability to correct fire and safety issues that they were simply unaware of, rendering many of these properties unsellable and impossible to remortgage?”

In February the government announced it would fully fund the cost of replacing unsafe cladding for all leaseholders in residential buildings in England that are at least 18m high.

Meanwhile, a scheme was announced to enable leaseholders of lower-rise buildings (between 11m and 18m) to pay for any necessary cladding removal through a long-term, low interest, government-backed financing arrangement.

But in a report published last week (April 29) the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee said proposals to fund cladding remediation on buildings below 18m through a loan scheme should be “abandoned”.

It called for an “enhanced” fund open to all buildings with existing fire safety issues, without barriers based on height, types of tenure or the nature of fire safety defects.

By Chloe Cheung

Source: FT Adviser

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Buy to let – Rental yields reach three year high

During the first quarter of 2021 average rental yields have increased to 6.0%, the highest recorded in three years, research from Paragon Bank has revealed.

Rental yields have climbed by 0.2% from 5.8% in Q4 2020 to 6.0% in Q1 2021. This represents a year-on-year increase of 0.7% after landlords said they were able to generate average yields of 5.3% in Q1 2020.

As part of a survey of just under 900 landlords, carried out by BVA BDRC on behalf of Paragon Bank, landlords were asked what rental yield they currently receive, taking into account rental income as well as any mortgage, maintenance and other costs associated with running their letting portfolio.

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The highest average rental yields are currently achieved by those managing lettings businesses in the South West (6.7%) and North East (6.6%). Landlords with property in Central London continue to achieve the lowest yields at 5.4%, due to higher average property prices in the capital.

Correlation between typical yields generated and portfolio sizes were also identified after single property landlords recorded average yields of 5.7%, while landlords who operate portfolios containing 20 or more properties responded saying they are able to generate average yields of 7.1%.

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Richard Rowntree, managing director for nortgages at Paragon said: “Rental yields are a key measure for landlords so it’s encouraging to see them indicate being able to generate average yields of 6.0%.

“The fact that this is a 3-year high and is being reported alongside continued high levels of tenant demand suggests that the private rented sector has bounced back well from the Covid-19 pandemic and is actually stronger as a result of providing stable homes for tenants during the challenges of the past year or so.”

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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