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  • Property-a-holics

    Who is a landlord?



    I've been giving a lot of thought as to where I fit in the world of 'landlording' and whether or not my aims are to be a landlord.

    There are many adjectives used to describe landlords, a few of which have definitions:

    • Portfolio Landlord - A portfolio landlord is a borrower with four or more distinct mortgaged Buy to Let UK rental properties
    • Resident Landlord - You’re a resident landlord if you let out part of a property which is your only or main home.
    • Rogue Landlord - The term 'rogue landlord' is widely understood in the lettings industry to describe a landlord who knowingly flouts their obligations by renting out unsafe and substandard accommodation to tenants, many of whom may be vulnerable.
    • Accidental Landlord - The Treasury defined consumer buy-to-let contracts, known as accidental landlords, as any contract the borrower has not entered “wholly or predominantly” for business purposes.
    • Professional Landlord - I can't find a definition, but there are many forum debates.

    I've picked out some interesting dictionary definitions:

    Landlord - a person or organisation that owns a room, building, or piece of land that someone else pays rent to use, a man who owns or manages a pub, bar, or small hotel, a man who owns or runs a lodging house, pub, etc

    Two interesting synonyms are Hotelier - a person who manages or owns a hotel and Innkeeper - a person who owns or manages an inn.

    A little research on the entymology of landlord, literally 'lord of the land', shows how these synonyms share the same origin. Hoteliers and Innkeepers are landlords of a specific property type.

      It's not difficult to find questions regarding what type of property to buy (house, flat, hmo, etc.) or how to buy it (sole trader, Limited Company, etc.) but there appear to be few questions on the pros and cons of different types of landlord.

      There are many variations in legislation and taxation between a lodger landlord, an airbnb landlord, a FHL landlord, a commercial landlord, a BTL landlord, an HMO Landlord, a serviced accommodation landlord and a hotelier.

      There are no clear boundaries on many of these definitions and it is quite possible to mix and match to a landlord's advantage.

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      A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions.

      Martin H. Fischer

      Indeed there are many types of LL

      The bottom line though is if the LL type fails to comply with legislative requirements or breaches lender conditions that LL could worse case find themselves in prison and bankrupt.

      Not many investors in shares etc could have that happen to them!!

      LL are a business despite what HMRC sometimes states.

      Being a LL brings with the role massive and onerous responsibilities.

      The term rogue LL is now incorrect.

      It should include any LL that breaches lender conditions as this will mean invalid insurance.

      The vast majority of rogue LL are breaching conditions while providing perfectly safe properties.

      But they are still rogue LL.


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      An interesting article by Ray Boulger of John Charcoal where he states "As long as mortgage payments are up to date, there is no way they would do that, and so a lesser penalty, along the lines of a rate increase or a fee, would be more likely."

      https://www.charcol.co.uk/news-opinions/...bnb-16825/

      The rogue landlord definition is from Barroness Williams of Trafford when asked for a technical or legal definition of a "rogue landlord"

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      A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions.

      Martin H. Fischer


      I'd suggest most AirBNB landlords fall into the Rogue Landlord category unless they've told their lender and insurer.

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      I have no idea of the proportion of mortgaged without consent/mortgaged with consent/unencumbered airbnb landlords. Your assumption may well be correct.

      As a mortgaged resident landlord I have written consent from my lender for a lodger. The only restriction is that I don't grant exclusive use. I also have appropriate insurance for a lodger. Neither the lender nor the insurer seemed concerned whether this was a long term lodger or an airbnb arrangement, both simply saying if the situation changes let us know but it shouldn't be a problem.

      As an unencumbered landlord I appreciate that I have even more freedom, I can let how I like and to who I like, as long as I conform to the little legislation required and have the appropriate insurance.

      Its a very different proposition to a mortgaged BTL landlord, but it is still legitimate if done correctly.

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      A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions.

      Martin H. Fischer


      True,  I just don't think in most cases it is done correctly.

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      Let how you like and to who you like - providing it is freehold and not leasehold

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      Planning? Lenders? Insurance? HMO Regs?

      It's not as simple as let how you like.

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      In the context of an unencumbered property let through airbnb it is that simple.

      Planning is unlikely to be an issue for a family sized property. Its more likely to fall into the FHL category than C1 usage if the landlord is not resident. I've not read of a council imposing C1 usage on a resident airbnb landlord although it is feasible.

      Lenders aren't an issue - there's no mortgage.

      Insurance is readily available.

      HMO regulations are very unlikely to apply to airbnb lets although a council could try the S260 route but I don't think it would apply.

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      A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions.

      Martin H. Fischer


      Absolutely,  people like yourself who know how to do it properly will never go rogue.

      But most people doing AirBNB don't follow what you've outlined,  so therefore are rogue in my book.

      Regarding planning,  it's a hot topic here in London if more than 90 days usage for AirBNB.

      https://urbanistarchitecture.co.uk/how-t...ge-of-use/

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      I'm vaguely aware of the issues in London and that the legislation is slightly different to the rest of England. My interests are in Wales where it differs slightly again.

      I found the attachment very interesting. If a London airbnb requires planning permission as a Guest House if they exceed 90 days then they will also qualify for business rates and small business rates relief. i.e. no council tax. If they are resident and only letting 1 or 2 rooms, using the VOA 'single bed space' calculation the council are probably going to lose income. If it is a second property and already registered as either a Holiday Let (second home) or Furnished Holiday Let for business rates does it still require planning permission?

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      A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions.

      Martin H. Fischer