Homes and Property, part of the Evening Standard, shares the struggles of “accidental landlord”, Victoria Whitlock, who writes a regular column on the trials and tribulations of renting out a property.
Earlier this month, Victoria shared her concerns about experiencing a void on her London flat, her first in 10 years:
“This is not the best time of year to be looking for new tenants. It has been six weeks since I first placed an ad online for my one bedroom flat, which will be vacant at the end of the month, and I have had just two enquiries.
These calls have led to only one viewing, which was a total waste of time as the guy was in and out of the flat in about three and a half seconds. The other call was from a young woman who had dropped out of university to have her baby, which was due any day. She intended to live alone with the child but had no job and no obvious means of paying the rent.
My heart wanted to give her a break, but my head said I shouldn’t be a fool. After a bit of a tussle with my conscience, I decided not to waste her time or mine showing her the flat.
I know that might seem heartless but I just couldn’t risk the worst-case scenario of this mother-to-be failing to pay the rent and me being forced to evict her, that would be just horrible. I would rather the property was empty for a few weeks while I try to find a more suitable tenant”.
It’s a sensible stance to take. The best way to never experience a delinquent tenant, is not to let one into your property in the first place.
On the other hand, leaving a property void is never a good idea because, not only are you losing rental income while servicing the mortgage, but empty rental properties mean that the landlord has to pay the Council Tax and standing utilities, and they can also attract asset theft.
With our Guaranteed Rent service, now in its 20th year, no landlord – accidental or experienced – ever needs to experience the dreaded void!
Our Guaranteed Rent service pays the rent on time, every month, whether the property is tenanted or not. It really is that simple.
Essentially, Northwood takes on the financial risk of lost rent.
Clearly, to do this, our Guaranteed Rent offer will be slightly less than market value however in comparison 100% of nothing is nothing. . . worse than nothing if you consider the costs like Council Tax and utilities.
If Victoria Whitlock had our Guaranteed Rent, not only would she not have experienced a void in the first place, but she would not have had to experience the worry and hassle of an empty property.
There are around 2 million landlords in the U.K. and a proportion of them are called “accidental”, in that they became landlords by circumstance – re-locating elsewhere for the medium term, unable to sell, inheriting a property, etc.
These landlords do not want the hassle of finding tenants, referencing them, collecting the rent, chasing late payments, evicting a tenant etc.
On the subject of eviction, the Government is proposing to increase Court fees. This will be the second hike in less than a year.
The respected Landlord Law blog has the following confirmation:
The fees for possession claims are currently £280 or £250 when using the Possession Claims Online service.
It is proposed to increase these fees again by £75 to £355 and £325 for PCOL claims.
Initially the impact of this increase will be on landlords (who will not be happy about it).
However ultimately the people who will be expected to pay for this increase are tenants – many of whom are being evicted because they cannot afford to pay their rent in the first place.
So for busy landlords who want to avoid the voids and rising costs of gaining possession, our Guaranteed Rent service is worth considering!
It is so simple, it can be explained in just two minutes!
With over 80 offices around the U.K., there’s sure to be a Northwood agent near you who would be happy to give you a quote for how much your property could achieve on our market-leading Guaranteed Rent service.
Northwood is a leading supplier of Guaranteed Rent across the UK, giving landlords complete peace of mind that their rent will be paid each and every month.
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