Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Letting Fees & Landlords

I see the Chancellor has banned landlords from charging letting fees. I own a number of properties in London and outside. I am also the Chairman of the Residents' Committee in two blocks of flats and I can tell you the vast majority of landlords have absolutely no regard and little respect for their tenants - preposterously high deposits, charging for the renewal of tenancy agreements and sky high rental payments charged; while at the same time always procrastinating, or downright refusal, when it comes to necessary repairs and refurbishment.

I remember a time when a couple could live in rented accommodation - even here in the capital - and afford to save up for a home of their own at the same time. Not any more. Rents are forbidding and the tenants have no choice other than to pay off the landlord's mortgage and then some! It leads to so much stress.

The landlords bleat that they have to charge inflated rents because they have to pay exaggerated mortgage payments on their properties. My answer to this is: then don't buy a 2nd/3rd/4th property.

The number of households with sky high rents in order to stuff the pockets of landlords is now running at about four and a half million, which has been a massive increase over the past 20 years.
I regularly deal with these grasping, unscrupulous landlords and I find the vast majority utterly selfish/self-serving.

As an example, where I live in Osterley our service charge has just risen to an annual £2,400 payment because we have to have all our rear fire exit stairways refurbished or replaced. My neighbours have consequently had their rent raised by the landlord to £1,400 per month (for a two bedroomed flat in Zone 4) - i.e. they have borne the full brunt of the increase. The landlord himself has avoided any extra charge.

Is this fair? Is it moral? No, on both counts.

Most people just want a place to live. No one seems to care that an increasing number of landlords have effectively got together, aided and abetted by the equally unscrupulous estate agents, to rob desperate tenants of their hard earned cash. And no one does anything about it.

Simon Warr (who charges £600 a month for a one bedroom property, up to £750 for a three bedroomed property). It gives me grateful, reliable, non problematic, friendly tenants, as well as a healthy profit).

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