In this month's edition we have some heavyweight analysis on page 16 from Carl Bayley, our hugely experienced property tax specialist, on using a company (SPV) to hold rental properties. It's clearly a complex subject as Carl's article underlines and for those of you considering this route due to the government's implementation of Section 24 it will certainly provide 'food for thought'.
We also have two articles this month addressing the new PRA led regulations for buy to let lending, with some detailed analysis from Simon Allen on page 24 while John Corey offers his opinion on page 42, on what we need to consider in a broader sense. One key point that John makes in his article reinforces what I have been saying for a few years at event talks about the need these days to treat property investing as a business and not a hobby.
This should be reinforced by any of you who have seen the recent television programme about landlords and tenants swapping their lives for a week, who will be well aware that sadly there are too many people out there who have no real understanding of their responsibility as a landlord towards their customers. This commentary may not sit easily with some of you I am sure and I am more than aware that for every poor landlord there probably are at least ten times more 'dodgy' tenants of the same ilk but there is no excuse at all for treating your customers badly and in particular, exposing young children to health and safety hazards.
One programme I saw demonstrated a landlord with 22 rental properties blaming his agents for his ignorance of health and safety issues in two of his properties. The bottom line is that the property is the landlord’s asset and the buck ultimately stops with you and not your appointed agent. This landlord was quoted as saying he paid a 6% full management fee and had clearly not visited these properties for a while. On a personal note, I am quite happy to pay double that for some of my own rental properties which are many miles from my own home but with time proven agents who do take their responsibilities seriously and ensure my properties are kept in good order. This is exactly the type of national media coverage which reinforces the public perception of greedy 'rogue' landlords that the likes of Shelter regularly use to reinforce their lobbying towards government.
Our investor interview this month is with Thierry Lemaire, and the account of his property journey over the last 15 years is a fascinating one with some ups and downs along the way as the article on page 32 shows. There is an old adage about 'no man is an island', and it's one that Thierry has obviously absorbed and adapted his approach to progress his ambitions with property investing.