Sunday, August 24, 2008
Times journalist comes out as a BTLer – who would’ve thunk it?
It all seemed so easy. I decided to let out my two-bedroom flat in Edinburgh when two years ago, when I moved to London. I enlisted the help of a letting agent – the one who said it could achieve the highest rental income. I was sanguine: this could put me on the road to riches. Since then, the rent has increased by a meagre £25 per month to £775, from which the agent takes a meaty 15% cut. That is unlikely to improve anytime soon. Supply has surged, as a vast number of sellers decide to let their property instead. Costs have mounted. Maintenance, repairs and factoring fees have set me back something approaching £5,000 in the past two years. Simply breaking even each month is a fortunate occurrence. House prices are plummeting at their fastest rate since the 1990s.