Advisers urged to help landlords with HMO licencing changes

Ryan Bembridge

November 1, 2018

Advisers need to help landlords who may be receiving letters from lenders about their mortgages due to HMO licencing changes, two lenders urged at FSE Midlands in Coventry today.

The changes are thought to mean 177,000 properties now require a HMO license.

David Whittaker (pictured), managing director of Keystone Property Finance, and Adrian Moloney, sales director at OneSavings Bank, highlighted how some landlords are already receiving letters from their buy-to-let lenders regarding properties which may now require a license.

Whittaker said: “Landlords are punch-drunk from the regulatory changes of the last few years.

“This is the law of unintended consequences in full effect and you would expect some common sense from lenders.

“Lenders should say that, as long as there are no changes to the property or that the landlord doesn’t want a further advance, that they can keep the loan.”

Before the Budget there was a suggestion that landlords might be able to get capital gains tax relief if they sold their properties to long-standing tenants.

Both Whittaker and Moloney were not surprised that this didn’t happen.

Whittaker said: “It was never going to fly. Anything that would line the pockets of landlords is not going to happen.

“HMRC and the Chancellor see the landlord community as a group that traditionally hasn’t paid its wedge.

“Landlords do not draw any empathy in the corridors of Whitehall.”

Moloney said: “If your investment is good why would you get rid of it?

“Sales of property investments have not been really picked up in the main by first-time buyers anyway, they’ve been picked up by other landlords.”

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