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Are we heading for a buy-to-let exodus?

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The number of homes for rent in Britain could drop dramatically, as landlords leave the market thanks to higher taxes and stricter rules.  

Almost a million landlords, more than a third of the total, will review their property portfolios in the next year, according to the Nottingham Building Society, and the number planning to sell homes outnumbers those planning to buy new ones.

A fifth plan to sell some or all of their portfolio, it said, while 16 per cent plan to buy more. 

While those homes going to first-time buyers or families would help more people climb onto or up the property ladder, it could also lead to a shortage of roperty to rent. In some popular parts of the the country a lack of rental homes has recently led to bidding wars.

Letting go: There are more landlords considering selling their buy-to-lets than there are new ones wanting to buy them, according to two reports

Letting go: There are more landlords considering selling their buy-to-lets than there are new ones wanting to buy them, according to two reports

Meanwhile, a new report by the University of York and the Nationwide Foundation found that a large cohort of baby boomer landlords were now ‘ageing out’ of the market –  and were not being replaced at the same rate by younger landlords due to diminished returns and more stringent regulation.

This, it said, could mean that there are not enough rental homes to go around in future – especially for those tenants on lower incomes and who receive benefits.

It added that across the entire sector, there was a fall of 30 per cent in the volume of buy-to-let mortgages between 2014-15 and 2018-19.

Both reports noted that tax changes have been one of the main factors making buy-to-let less attractive for some. Previously landlords got tax relief on mortgage interest, but this ended in April 2020.

There are also new restrictions on private residence relief, which reduces the capital gains tax due on homes which people rent out after living in them.

Dr Julie Rugg, lead author of the report, said: ‘Letting property looks altogether different to landlords now: it looks like a much risker proposition, delivering a lower level of return and with a lot more hassle.

‘As one landlord said to me, ‘stocks and shares may not deliver the same level of return, but they don’t phone me on a Sunday morning because the boiler’s bust”.

‘We feel we’re being picked on’: Landlords have their say 

 The University of York report features interviews with landlords, who gave an insight into their thoughts about the buy-to-let market. 

One smaller portfolio landlord who self-managed with his wife said: ‘We want to wash our hands of the whole thing and take the money out. 

‘It’ll mean that we won’t have an income but we think we might have enough capital to carry on to, well, the rest of our lives. We’re 72 now so, being realistic, we might only have another few years left.’ 

On Universal Credit, one landlord said: ‘It’s another nail in the coffin because the legislation’s getting tighter, the mortgage interest rate change was a massive thing, the loss of Section 21 that’s on its way. 

‘It’s just, yes, we feel like we’re being picked on and must be top of the list, someone doesn’t like us sort of thing’ 

A Leeds-based landlord said that people in receipt of benefit carried too many disadvantages compared with other tenants: ‘If I can get somebody who can pay on the day he walks into the house, pay a month in advance plus a month deposit, why would I bother taking someone who can’t pay for five weeks and I can’t get insurance on? It really doesn’t make any sense’.

However, another was more lenient: ‘Personally, I’ll take a good-as-gold tenant on benefits over probably like a normal tenant, because if you treat them right and make sure the house is all looked after and stuff, they stay a long time. They’re happy. 

‘I’ve got plenty of DSS tenants that take pride in their houses and they’re always asking me, ‘Can I paint? I can do this? Can I change the carpet?’

Rugg also mentioned the ‘regulatory burden’ which landlords felt they were faced with thanks to stricter Government rules on how they managed their tenancies.  

They are now open to possible criminal convictions and fines of up to £30,000 if they contravene the Housing Act, for example. 

Restrictions on landlords’ ability to serve section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction notices also meant that some landlords were worried that they would be unable to evict problematic tenants, the York report noted. 

Some landlords interviewed in the report said they had ended up paying such tenants to leave. 

Denise Wells, head of mortgage operations at The Nottingham, said: ‘Our research suggests sellers currently outnumber buyers in the buy-to-let market with regulatory issues and tax changes among the reasons persuading landlords to pull out of the market.’

Some landlords complained about the 'hassle' of managing tenancies in a climate of diminishing returns (picture posed by models)

Some landlords complained about the ‘hassle’ of managing tenancies in a climate of diminishing returns (picture posed by models)

Interest still remains in property investing 

But despite these changes, The Nottingham also found that 11 per cent of people who have never been landlords want to purchase a buy-to-let in the next five years.

‘It remains the case that there are potentially strong returns to be earned in the buy-to-let market and we continue to see landlords buying rental properties whilst our research indicates that many more potential landlords are considering going into the market too,’ Wells added.

According to The Nottingham, their main reason for potentially investing in buy-to-lets was the low rates available on cash savings. 

More than half (55 per cent) said they wanted to put their cash into property to earn a better return while 48 per cent saw buy-to-let as a good way to diversify their investments and 42 were confident buy-to-let would generate a good income.

Most landlords interviewed in the York report were of the view that new entrants to the market could make it ‘stack up’, if they bought the right property in the right place. 

However they also questioned whether – given what they regarded as a ‘hostile environment’ for landlords – it would be wise to take the risk. 

Landlords' reasons for buying and selling homes, according to The Nottingham

Landlords’ reasons for buying and selling homes, according to The Nottingham

Low-income tenants could be hit particularly hard 

The York study found that many landlords had a ‘No DSS’ policy and would not rent to benefit claimants.

Of landlords that had been in the market for three years or less, only 9 per cent said they rented to tenants receiving housing benefit, along with 28 per cent of those in the market for more than 11 years.

The landlords said they were unhappy about the long delays with initial payments of housing benefit and problems with managing Universal Credit, and found it easier to deal with tenants who didn’t need help paying the rent.

Larger landlords renting to tenants receiving benefits were much more likely to be planning to reduce their properties or exit the market than to increase their lettings.

However, it noted that there were some locations where increases in the housing benefit rates combined with low house prices mean that landlords can achieve better returns by letting to benefit recipients, compared with letting on the open market.

And it said that some landlords were increasingly targeting the housing benefit claimants with the greatest additional needs, where rent is paid directly to the landlord.

Rugg added: ‘It’s a real concern that many good, professional landlords are no longer letting to housing benefit claimants because of the way that Universal Credit is administered’.

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Green mortgages may leave owners of older homes unable to sell

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Estate agents warn owners of older homes, rural houses and listed properties could struggle to sell under green mortgage plans

  • Boris Johnson has unveiled his plans for turning Britain green by 2050 
  • The plans include proposals on how to make the housing stock greener 
  • The plans would see lenders disclose the energy performance of properties










Homeowners living in older, rural and even listed properties risk being unable to sell if strict green finance targets are introduced, estate agents have warned.

The warning comes after Boris Johnson unveiled his plan for turning Britain green by 2050 this week, with mortgage lenders having targets for the energy performance of properties in their portfolio.

A body that represents estate agents across Britain claimed that the property market could be distorted as a result of the measures and called for Britain’s historic housing stock to be taken into account.

Boris Johnson revealed proposals on how to make the housing stock greener this week

Boris Johnson revealed proposals on how to make the housing stock greener this week

Timothy Douglas, of Propertymark, said: ‘Incentivising green improvements to properties via lending creates risks of trapping homeowners with older properties, those who live in rural areas, listed buildings or conservation areas, making their homes difficult to sell and therefore reducing the value.’

Propertymark said that those living in older properties could be left with homes that they could not sell if buyers were unable to secure finance on them due to their lower energy efficiencies.

The effect would be likely to be felt more by less wealthy owners, as deep-pocketed buyers would be more able to overlook mortgage restrictions and high-end older homes would continue to be desirable.

Mr Douglas said: ‘The use of targets could distort the market and sway lenders towards preferential, newer homes in order to improve the rating of their portfolio.

‘Stopping a large portion of housing stock from being able to enter the market could cause havoc for home buying and selling as well as the wider economy.’ 

He added that improving the energy efficiency of homes should be reliant on consumer choice and not something enforced by mortgage lenders, with all the knock-on effects this could entail.

He said: ‘We would be concerned if lenders raise rates and limit products because fundamentally, improving the energy performance of a property is reliant on consumer choice and it is not the core business of mortgage lenders.’

Mark Harris, of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: ‘The green agenda is not new but there is increasing impetus behind it. There are more green mortgage products aimed at those purchasing more energy-efficient properties – A-C rated, and not just from specialist lenders but the high street banks too.

‘However, there is a real danger that green initiatives could create the next round of mortgage prisoners if homeowners are trapped in older homes that can’t be improved, so they can’t move because they can’t sell them on.

‘Without changes or improvements, lenders may restrict lending to lower loan-to-values, higher pricing, or not lend at all. This could penalise those who are unable to adapt to or adopt new efficient technologies economically.’

A UK Finance spokesperson said: ‘Greening our housing stock is vital if we are to meet our climate change obligations and banks and finance providers are committed to helping achieve this goal and making sure consumers are not left behind.’

Ways to boost energy efficiency  

Propertymark recommends three measures to improve the energy efficiency of homes without negatively impacting the housing market.

1. Improvements linked to an EPC

These include linking a plan for energy efficiency improvements to the recommendations on a property’s Energy Performance Certificate.

It could demonstrate the ‘most suitable route’ to a warmer home, regulatory compliance and zero carbon, according to Propertymark.

2. Tax breaks

It also recommends using tax breaks to incentivise homeowners to finance energy efficiency improvements.

For example, these could include making energy improvements exempt from VAT or offering lower rates of council tax for homes that have been made more energy efficient.

3. Adjustable tax rates

An adjustable rate of property tax that is tied to energy performance is also being recommended by Propertymark.

This could be done in two ways, it suggested. First, by applying the adjustment as a reduction on more energy-efficient properties. And second by offering rebates to buyers if energy efficiency improvements are made to less efficient properties within a certain time period after purchase.

Propertymark said that by linking energy performance with property taxes, this could help introduce increased saleability for more energy-efficient properties. In addition, it suggested that improvements would become standard for homeowners seeking costs and improve the desirability of their homes.

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Johnson rules out face masks as UK’s daily Covid cases rise above 50,000

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Daily coronavirus cases in Britain have risen above 50,000 for the first time since July, but Boris Johnson said he will not bring back compulsory face coverings or introduce vaccine passports.

Speaking in Northern Ireland, the prime minister said his government was holding firm to its policy of no legal restrictions introduced in July, but was watching the numbers carefully.

“The numbers of infections are high but we are within the parameters of what the predictions were,” he said. “We are sticking with our plan.”

Mr Johnson acknowledged the “patchiness” of Britain’s vaccination programme, urging people to come forward for their booster jabs as soon as they are invited to do so. But Labour leader Keir Starmer said the government should beef up the programme, ensure that more children were vaccinated and aim to deliver half a million jabs a day.

“The government said that the vaccine would be the security wall against the virus and now the government is letting that wall crumble,” he said.

“We’ve seen those that most need it not able to get the jab they need. Only, I think, 17 per cent of children have got the vaccine. And the booster programme has slowed down so much that at this rate we’re not going to complete it until spring of next year. So the government needs to change these, it needs to get a grip. I think it needs to drive those numbers up to at least 500,000 vaccines a day.”

Vaccine passports

The British Medical Association (BMA) accused the government of “wilful negligence” in not bringing back some restrictions, and of failing to learn the lessons of a parliamentary report last week about its handling of the pandemic. The association’s chairman, Chaand Nagpaul, said doctors could say categorically that it was time to bring back compulsory face masks and to introduce vaccine passports.

“By the health secretary’s own admission we could soon see 100,000 cases a day, and we now have the same number of weekly Covid deaths as we had during March, when the country was in lockdown,” he said.

“It is, therefore, incredibly concerning that he is not willing to take immediate action to save lives and protect the NHS. ”

Health secretary Sajid Javid warned this week that some restrictions could be introduced if the public failed to exercise caution and to take up vaccination offers. He acknowledged that Conservative MPs could show an example by wearing masks in the House of Commons, but house leader Jacob Rees-Mogg on Thursday rejected the suggestion.

Crowded spaces

“There is no advice to wear face masks in workplaces. The advice on crowded spaces is with crowded spaces with people that you don’t know. We on this side know each other,” he told the SNP’s Pete Wishart.

“Now, it may be that he doesn’t like mixing with his own side, wants to keep himself in his personal bubble. He may find the other members of the SNP – who I normally find extraordinarily charming…but we on this side have a more convivial fraternal spirit, and for our calling the guidance of her majesty’s government.”

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Britney Spears and fiancé Sam Asghari are spotted house hunting at Jeffree Star’s mansion

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Britney Spears and fiancé Sam Asghari have been spotted house hunting – and the $16.5million mansion in the upscale Hidden Hills neighborhood in Calabasas they’re considering belongs to none other than makeup mogul Jeffree Star. 

Britney continues to make strides in regaining her freedom and was seen by DailyMail.com Tuesday arriving at the private entrance to the Hidden Hills estate, only accessible to its A-list residents, including Drake, The Kardashians and Miley Cyrus

Britney, 39, drove her white Mercedes-Benz to the gates while 27-year-old Sam, dressed in short camo shorts and and a tight-fitted blue t-shirt, got out of the car and went to the gatehouse. 

They were greeted by a real estate agent who gave them access, arriving at the property at 2pm and viewing the house for about 35 minutes.

The house, purchased by Jeffree in 2019 for $14.6 million, has seven bedrooms, 13 bathrooms and boasts sweeping views of the Southern California hills. 

DailyMail.com spotted Britney Spears and fiancé Sam Asghari house hunting Tuesday in the upscale Hidden Hills neighborhood in Calabasas, California

DailyMail.com spotted Britney Spears and fiancé Sam Asghari house hunting Tuesday in the upscale Hidden Hills neighborhood in Calabasas, California

Sam, dressed in short camo shorts and and a tight-fitted blue t-shirt, got out of the car and went to the gatehouse

Sam, dressed in short camo shorts and and a tight-fitted blue t-shirt, got out of the car and went to the gatehouse

The house, purchased by Jeffree in 2019 for $14.6 million, has seven bedrooms, 13 Bathrooms and boasts sweeping views of the Southern California hills

The house, purchased by Jeffree in 2019 for $14.6 million, has seven bedrooms, 13 Bathrooms and boasts sweeping views of the Southern California hills

They were greeted by a Real Estate Agent who gave them access, arriving at the property at 2pm and viewing the house for 35 minutes

They were greeted by a Real Estate Agent who gave them access, arriving at the property at 2pm and viewing the house for 35 minutes

Britney drove her white Mercedes-Benz to the gates while Sam, dressed in short camo shorts and and a tight-fitted blue t-shirt, got out of the car and went to the gatehouse

Britney drove her white Mercedes-Benz to the gates while Sam, dressed in short camo shorts and and a tight-fitted blue t-shirt, got out of the car and went to the gatehouse

Britney drove her white Mercedes-Benz to the gates while Sam, dressed in short camo shorts and and a tight-fitted blue t-shirt, got out of the car and went to the gatehouse

Sam, 27, has been by Britney's side throughout her conservatorship battle and as her soon-to-be husband it's only right he accompany her on her house hunting adventures

Sam, 27, has been by Britney’s side throughout her conservatorship battle and as her soon-to-be husband it’s only right he accompany her on her house hunting adventures 

The engaged couple were seen arriving at the private entrance to the Hidden Hills estate only accessible to its A-list residents, including Drake, The Kardashians, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Lopez

The engaged couple were seen arriving at the private entrance to the Hidden Hills estate only accessible to its A-list residents, including Drake, The Kardashians, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Lopez

The house hunting comes days after Britney wrote a scathing Instagram caption, in which she told her relatives they should be worried if she ever gives an interview

The house hunting comes days after Britney wrote a scathing Instagram caption, in which she told her relatives they should be worried if she ever gives an interview

The Jeffree Star Cosmetics founder listed his mansion in July this year with plans to move to Wyoming full-time. 

Jeffree Star listed his mansion in July this year with plans to move to Wyoming full-time

Jeffree Star listed his mansion in July this year with plans to move to Wyoming full-time

The YouTuber has had a career embroiled in controversy and made the move to his 70-acre ranch in Wyoming, where he’d already been living part-time, to focus on his mental health.  

‘I need to get away from California and its day-to-day atmosphere,’ he said in a YouTube video. ‘I think I’ve gotten all that I can out of this state.’ 

And while he’s ready to start anew, so is Britney, after her father Jamie was removed as conservator of her multimillion dollar estate  last month. 

According to the listing, the 21,000sqft French Normandy Estate sits on 2.82 acres and is nestled at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac.  

The home boasts ‘superior quality amenities throughout’ which include a home theater with custom seating, large game room with wet bar, two story gym with steam & sauna, complete home spa, and a wine tasting room & refrigerated wine cellar. 

According to the listing, the 21,000 square foot French Normandy Estate sits on 2.82 acres and is nestled at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac

According to the listing, the 21,000 square foot French Normandy Estate sits on 2.82 acres and is nestled at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac

Outside, the grounds feature a sparkling pool, spa, fire pit, two barbecue centers and two covered patios

Outside, the grounds feature a sparkling pool, spa, fire pit, two barbecue centers and two covered patios

A sunken outdoor living room with a fire pit in the middle is surrounded by the luxurious pool and fits at least a dozen guests

A sunken outdoor living room with a fire pit in the middle is surrounded by the luxurious pool and fits at least a dozen guests

The home boasts a  large gourmet kitchen with two islands that opens to the family room, two beautiful custom offices, large game room with wet bar, craft room, home automation system, safe room

The home boasts a  large gourmet kitchen with two islands that opens to the family room, two beautiful custom offices, large game room with wet bar, craft room, home automation system, safe room

The home movie theater is beyond and impressive and perfect for entertaining guests who visit Britney and Sam

The home movie theater is beyond and impressive and perfect for entertaining guests who visit Britney and Sam 

The home has an expansive wine cellar with a two-seater table for any wine-loving connoisseurs to enjoy

The home has an expansive wine cellar with a two-seater table for any wine-loving connoisseurs to enjoy 

The listing states, ‘Additional features include a large gourmet kitchen with two islands that opens to the family room, two beautiful custom offices, large game room with wet bar, craft room, home automation system, safe room, and sculptural glass elevator.’

The main house has five bedroom suits, including the luxurious master suite, perfect for Britney and her new fiancé. 

Outside, the grounds feature a sparkling pool, spa, fire pit, two barbecue centers and two covered patios. 

The house hunting comes days after Britney wrote a scathing Instagram caption, in which she told her relatives they should be worried if she ever gives an interview.

As she continues to adjust to life as a free woman, the star sent a clear message to those who profited from her ‘abusive’ conservatorship, controlled by her father Jamie, for the past 13 years. 

‘Lord have mercy on my family’s souls if I ever do an interview!!!’ she told her more than 35.4 million Instagram followers on Friday. 

The huge mansion even has a sculptural glass elevator to take you between floors

The huge mansion even has a sculptural glass elevator to take you between floors 

The home also offers a 4,700-square-foot underground garage for more than seven cars

The home also offers a 4,700-square-foot underground garage for more than seven cars

The home boasts ‘superior quality & amenities throughout’ which include a home theater with custom seating, large game room with wet bar, two story gym with steam & sauna, complete home spa, and a wine tasting room & refrigerated wine cellar

Huge doors from an elegant seating area lead out into the pool area for indoor and outdoor fun

Huge doors from an elegant seating area lead out into the pool area for indoor and outdoor fun 

An entire area is dedicated to gaming, with classic gaming machines seen in an elegant room with an oversized chandelier

An entire area is dedicated to gaming, with classic gaming machines seen in an elegant room with an oversized chandelier 

If Britney moves to the estate in Hidden Hills, she'll be neighbors with other A-listers the likes of Drake, The Kardashians and Miley Cyrus

If Britney moves to the estate in Hidden Hills, she’ll be neighbors with other A-listers the likes of Drake, The Kardashians and Miley Cyrus 

For more than a year, Britney has been calling for her father to be fired as her conservator and for an end to the conservatorship which she's called 'abusive'

For more than a year, Britney has been calling for her father to be fired as her conservator and for an end to the conservatorship which she’s called ‘abusive’

In addition to stating she is ‘staying clear’ of the entertainment business for now, Britney confessed navigating her independence has been hard. 

‘I’ll just be honest and say I’ve waited so long to be free from the situation I’m in… and now that it’s here I’m scared to do anything because I’m afraid I’ll make a mistake!!’ she said.    

For more than a year, Britney has been calling for her father to be fired as her conservator and for an end to the conservatorship which she’s called ‘abusive.’

She has said that she’s ‘afraid ‘ of her dad and declared that she would not perform again until he was no longer in charge of the conservatorship he’s been overseeing since her much-publicized breakdown in 2008.

One of her most heart-wrenching revelations came during a tearful phone appearance at Judge Penny’s court last June when she said that she wanted to have a baby with her fiancé, personal trainer Sam Asghari, but the strict conservatorship wouldn’t allow her to remove her IUD birth control.

‘I feel ganged up on and bullied and alone,’ Britney told the court during that emotional statement. ‘I just want my life back.’

She also told the judge that she felt ‘enslaved’ by her dad, whom she, added, ‘should be in jail.’

Britney and Sam are looking forward to starting their lives together now that her father Jamie has been removed as conservator of her estate

Sam has spoken out about Britney's conservatorship and denounced her father Jamie's right to control his pop star daughter

Britney and Sam are looking forward to starting their lives together now that her father Jamie has been removed as conservator of her estate  

For more than a year, Britney has been calling for her father to be fired as her conservator and for an end to the conservatorship which she's called 'abusive'

For more than a year, Britney has been calling for her father to be fired as her conservator and for an end to the conservatorship which she’s called ‘abusive’

Fans hold signs that read 'Fry Jamie Fry' and 'I want my life back' outside of the courtroom last month as Jamie was removed as her conservator

Fans hold signs that read ‘Fry Jamie Fry’ and ‘I want my life back’ outside of the courtroom last month as Jamie was removed as her conservator 

Last year, at her father’s request, the conservatorship (the one dealing with Britney’s personal affairs, not the conservatorship controlling her finances) was temporarily transferred from Jamie to her long-time caregiver Jodi Montgomery.

While he blamed his stepping down on health issues, Jamie’s decision came amid accusations that he had gotten into an altercation with Britney’s then 14 year-old son Sean Preston, now 16.

Kevin Federline – Britney’s ex and the father of Sean and his brother Jayden James, 15 – made a police report and took out a restraining order against his former father-in-law after the incident in which, reportedly, a ‘very angry’ Jamie broke down the door of a room Sean had locked himself in and ‘shook’ the frightened teen.

Finally last month, a judge  suspended Jamie as the conservator of Britney’s personal life and $60 million estate after 13 years, appointing accountant John Zabel as a temporary conservator. 

The suspension comes as allegations of his mistreatment of his daughter – including secretly recording her calls and messages – have ramped up the furor over his conservatorship.

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