Brexit and the Private Rental Sector

I have deliberately not made reference to the results of the Brexit Referendum on 16th June 2016; I don’t really feel my own politics should intrude on what I feel is my professional life and I hope readers would agree that I am equally scathing of all political persuasions.

I have not mentioned Brexit not because I am not interested, but because with the knowing opinions expressed by both sides, I have found it difficult to know who to believe, who I should be concerned for.

Will travel in Europe become more difficult and expensive? Will food increase in price? Is there a need to stockpile food now because of possible supply problems? I don’t know, but then the only ones that do, for certain, are those that have been through it before – which is, precisely nobody!

We are now only 6 months off the leaving date and if we have been totally bored with the amount we have heard about this before, it is safe to assume we will hear even more about it, on television, on radio and in the newspapers in the coming months, so I don’t know why I was surprised last week to see that the Manchester Metro, the weekday free newspaper, has started to print Brexit headlines and it seems, designed to scare.

As something in the region 60 per cent of the population are home-owners, pronouncements that property prices will fall dramatically could influence many into negative feelings about Brexit. These fears may be justified, but we can’t know for certain until it happens.

What was unjustified was the opinion expressed by the writer that this will mean more private landlords and – as though it was an obvious result of that – poorer standards in housing! By all means warn the readership of what is feared, but please keep the private sector landlord out of it!

Lower property prices mat be a problem for those who buy properties to renovate and not as homes, as they could find their profits reduced, but it may provide opportunities for Generation Rent to buy.

Prices may lower to such an extent that private landlords will extend their portfolios, others decide to enter private renting as an investment opportunity, but this does not mean that the private sector will have lower standards. There is sufficient legislation to ensure that new-comers to the sector do not enter the profession to bring it into disrepute. 

What happens over the next few months will be as it will be, whether we have a no-deal Brexit or a second referendum. Whatever happens, some will be unhappy, but the private sector should not be part of the threat, as they have for so long been a crucial player in housing those in need, of either short-term, temporary or long-term housing.

It is not so long since living in a private sector accommodation was a proud boast from tenants. We should get back to that, but it is difficult to do so when it seems that private sector landlords are always the whipping boys.

For advice on buy to let issues – Ask Sharon

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