It’s taken me years to say, but I’m happy to be a landlord

It’s taken me years to say, but I’m happy to be a landlord

Next week it will be two years since I started writing the Secret Landlord column in The Telegraph. That time has just zipped away, and I’m afraid so has my number of posts on this blog.

If you’ve missed my columns, you can see them all here

You’ll notice in the last few months I’ve become increasingly vocal. This is because the pressure now facing landlords is ramping up as this housing crisis reaches levels not seen before.

There are so many changes on the horizon – with the removal of Section 21, EPC regulations, bank stress tests, to name but a few; this environment is becoming a health and safety hazard all of its own.

I’m delighted as a landlord I have a voice in a national newspaper. I know I cannot speak for all of us when I write, but I always try to put the other side across: the truth the other side of the door.

Being a landlord can be a difficult and lonely job. I know many people (mainly non-landlords) don’t see it as a job, but if you want to run a decent buy-to-let business you treat it like a job.

As the Bank of England have ramped up their pressure on interest rates, far quicker and far higher than many of us (including the ‘experts’) expected, it has thrown Section 24 into a whole new ball park. We all knew the low rates wouldn’t last forever, but the speed and the intensity of the increases have left many with not enough time to plan for the pain.

I can understand why so many landlords are getting out.

Last year I had a year of pain.

It was the execution of my restructuring of the property portfolio I had built over the last two decades. Trying to dismantle a business is stressful. I had many sleepless nights and there were times when I felt like throwing in the towel completely and declaring: I’ll sell the lot.

But I didn’t.

I believe there is still a future in buy to let. The future may be different to what I thought and planned, but I know the demand for rented properties will always be with us, so I’m not prepared to sell out. But I am prepared to change.

Change is what you need to do if you want to survive.

I’m not saying I have all the answers – or if indeed any of them are the right ones – but I can only share that being a landlord is still one of the best jobs around.

This period will pass. There will be rule changes, there will be rate changes, there will be so many changes I haven’t even contemplated, but the facts remain: people need somewhere to live and they are prepared to pay for that.

I still enjoy providing homes for people to live in. I still enjoy providing a service – and it is a service – whereby I maintain and manage properties for people to enjoy.

I can only remain in this business because I still enjoy what I do.

I’m passionate about what I do.

And that’s what gets me through.

The market for buy to let may not be as financially attractive as what it once was, but there’s still ways of making money. Demand has never been higher.

No matter what the doomsayers claim, there will always be landlords and tenants. And I’m happy to be a landlord.

Why I Hate Property Educators.

So I read in the news today that allegedly some uber successful businessman is buying the UK’s “largest” property education network.

I use alleged and air quotes freely as I have no clue as to the veracity of these claims.

And I wonder about the rest.

Anyway, if I’m to believe what I read then said successful businessman has decided to capitalise more on his company’s success and bought said company from the property educator.

Now, I don’t know what you have to do to bag the title of ‘property educator’, I wrote a book – The Secret Diary of a Landlord, and so I’m wondering does that get me into this hall of fame?

I think not.

You know the reason why not?

Because I tell the truth.

I do not share any secrets (apart from life in property is way less glamourous than what any sucker will have you believe) and I do not charge any subscription fee. I also have no course to sell.

I have no retreat for you to holiday at.

I have no deal to spin you.

I have no secret knowledge to impart other than the words on the pages of that book – which you can read for free if you have Kindle Unlimited. There is no further upsell.

Seriously, I have nothing to sell you other than the experiences in that book.

You see, dear reader, I am a real property investor.

I do not make money by selling smoke and smiles and promising you really big things that you dream about and will make your life great.

No, I present to you the reality of property. The battles and the fights, the legal wrangles, the fuckwits you will have to deal with and the stress that will likely see you want to top yourself at some point in your career.

Because, in all honesty, that’s how this business is.

It is not all smiles and holidays and jamborees and sexy deals over dinner.

No, running a property business is much like any other business. It’s fucking hard work.

It takes time, it takes money, it takes effort, it takes sleepless nights, it robs you of joy, family time, friends and peace of mind.

In short: there is no quick win to being a property millionaire.

But that, dear reader, is not what man on the street wants to hear. He wants to hear how easy it is, how you just have to cross a palm (any palm will do) with gold and breathe three times and do a twirl and some other NLP shit and everything will be alright.

Do you know what: WAKE UP!

It’s because people are not willing to put the work and effort and understand the truth about this business why property educators continue to flourish.

When you decide to finally build a property business you want to be proud of and that will make you money: Start it.

Take action. Understand life will be hard. Really hard. Then get over it and learn to work your business.

Business means business, treat it as such and stop looking for an easy answer and a quick buck.

Get Ready To Learn The Truth Behind Buy-To-Let

‘Parasite? The Secret Diary of a Landlord’ is set to take the property world by storm – sharing the truth the other side of the door.

Publication date 15th October. Buy your pre-order copy here

Buy your pre-order copy here