A professional landlord from the North East is warning that many tenants will be evicted by their landlords now that cuts in the Housing Benefit scheme have been introduced.
Kevin Wilmot owns approximately 200 properties in the town of Hartlepool and says many of his tenants are being affected by the new benefit cap which sees single people under the age of 35 receiving just £55 a week. He says landlords too will suffer as they find more and more tenants slip into arrears with their rent.
Kevin said: “It’s like we’re going back to the Victorian times. I don’t know where they think people are going to live on £55 a week. It’s ridiculous. How are landlords supposed to pay mortgages and maintain houses to a good standard on £55 a week? Of course you can get property insurance that covers you for arrears and non payment but that is not the answer to this problem.”
He went on to add: “I’m fortunate because I have another business, but other landlords are going to start going bankrupt while tenants are going to be homeless. Where on earth are all these people going to go? The Government can’t keep hitting the poor. Homes will end up going back to squalor.”
He then went on to say that five of his tenants will have to be evicted because they can no longer afford the rent and warns that he, like other landlords, will now have to think twice before taking on a tenant who is under 35 and single. However, a spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said the changes have been brought about to encourage people on benefits to go out and get work. He added the country could no longer afford to pay the spiralling cost of housing benefit to the unemployed renting in the private sector.
As soon as the chairman of the IOC opened the envelope which revealed London as the host of the 2012 Olympic Games, homeowners and landlords with properties covered with landlord insurance were given a golden opportunity to make handsome profits from their properties. Property owners in London can expect a big cash boost from the world’s biggest sports event.
Even a year before the games arrive in the capital a seven bedroom property which is close to Greenwich Park, the venue for the equestrian events is being advertised online for a staggering £24,000 per week during the Games. At the same time a three-bedroom flat in Canary Wharf is available to rent for a whopping £12,000 per week.
The owners of these properties may not get many takers at those prices but visitors will be aware that demand for homes will be strong. Only the athletes will be staying in the Olympic Village, so their entourage along with close to one million visitors each day will be arriving in London needing somewhere to stay and not all of them will want to book into a hotel.
Nick Leeming of Property website Zoopla. said “Homeowners looking to let properties during the Olympic period need to strike a balance between trying to achieve an early let and leaving it till the last minute. During the run up to the Millennium, some very speculative prices were asked, demand didn’t live up to expectation and many properties were never let. First-time short-let landlords should work out what their target tenant is likely to be, i.e. corporate, family or someone linked to an athlete, and prepare for that market.”
Letting Agent Knight Frank have already had contact from wealthy families who want a property in a prime London location such as Mayfair, Kensington, Knightsbridge or Belgravia. Anyone can rent out a home or just a spare room either independently, or through an agent. Owners will need to draw up a tenancy agreement and provide gas safety and energy performance certificates.