The decline of the family rental home?


With the extra 3% stamp duty now on buy-to-let properties, many people who would usually let out their old house when they buy another will now be considering selling.  The would-be ‘accidental landlord’ may be looking to buy a new house due to the need to upsize, relocate, or perhaps because they’ve met a new partner and they want to purchase a home together but still keep one or both of their former homes that they’ve worked hard to buy.  It is just not worth them retaining it now though in some circumstances, or they can’t if they don’t have the funds available at that crucial point to cover the extra tax.


This fact, coupled with the increasing comfort of the idea of so-called ‘rent 2 rents,’ which is the renting out of properties room-by-room and which is often more profitable for larger properties than the standard single let, means that very quickly we could start seeing less family homes for rent on the market.  As landlords are squeezed on taxes and look to maximise their profits they are more inclined to rent even their beloved former homes to 3 or more individuals with a guaranteed rent company than to rent to the nice family who are stop-gapping in London or saving up to buy a home of their own.  Renting in London is generally seen, although common and it is said that there are more renters than homeowners now, as temporary.  There are though still many families who rely on the private rental sector for housing because they can’t or don’t want to rent from the Local Authority and they can’t get a mortgage, but who need to remain in a certain area due to schools etc.  Taxes aside as we cannot unfortunately change these, other means of filling properties are simply businesses trying also to make a living, along with landlords who are trying to get the most out of their asset.


There is an interesting rise I have discovered in community rental living which are rental properties purpose-built for families, such as the one which is just popping up in Greenwich.  These come with facilities such as buggy storage, play areas and communal gardens and which will obviously not see professionals or students taking over, or be sub-let.


I would be interested to know though if others have seen a drop in tradition family rental homes on the market and / or who have families on their books looking for homes, on behalf of whom they are struggling to satisfy-?

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