Do you have a retirement plan? I asked myself this question twenty years ago, and back then the answer was NO. When you’re in your twenties this is the last thing you think about, you justify it by say “I’m young, I have enough time to think about my retirement”.


Haven’t you notice that as we get older, time seems to be getting shorter, then the next thing you know your in your forties fast approaching your fifties and there it is, you start to think about retirement. WOW!! how age has caught up with you. Now you panic all those questions you should have thought more deeply about in your twenties has just come full circle “what is my plan for retirement? How much do I need to live on? Will I be able to afford my bills when I retire?


When I made the decision in my twenties to use property as my vehicle to fund my pension the first thing that I did was research and educate myself, I dug deep into my research and went back to the start of property investment in the UK.


To really understand the Buy-to-Let phenomenon we need to go back to the peek in 1996- when mortgage lenders loosen the requirements on borrowing allowing people to buy properties without living in them.


This allowed individuals with surplus cash to start investing in property and renting them out, which we know today as the “Buy-to-let market” and generated an income from doing so from the profits after all property expenses were all paid. Although mortgage prices where not as favourable then as they are today this did not discourage the would-be investor as social housing was in high demand much like it is today, so -supply and demand of the private rental market was needed.


Let’s be honest here if you think getting into property investment is going to be a walk in the park think again, its hard work, you need a cashflow to start and you have to a strong resilience for all the up-and downs, but if you can hang on in there the rewards are great.


Over the years there has be a plethora for landlords in the UK some are genuine and adhere to a standard and guidelines set out by government and keep their properties in great standing, however what has also come out of this is the rogue landlords who are just in it to make a fast buck.


This has forced the Government to hit back and over the years they have tighten the rules on the Buy-to-let investor. The truth is the Government has no respect for this type of landlord they keep their properties substandard and are amateur. According to the Economist 2017 “six out of ten landlords own one property” which in fact is more hindrance than helping the economy grow. So many changes start to come into force to try and push these types of landlords out of property investment market.



Sapphire Gray

The Changes

2015 -Section 24-finance bill abolishment of mortgage tax relief for landlords

2016 -Stamp duty raised by 3% for those who already own a property

HMRC announced the wear and tear allowance is abolished from 6th April

2017 Tougher lending criteria on Buy-to-let mortgages

April 2017, mortgage interest will no longer be deductible when calculating your rental profits.

2018 HMO licensing will be any property occupied by five or more people, forming two or more separate households.

Local authorities have introduced the local licence scheme for landlords


The traditional landlord with a portfolio of older properties and with all the different tax changes, they may be feeling the pinch in their profits margins but will still invest. Some advanced property investors are now Building to rent (BTR) going into the space of commercial investment where they see higher returns, also to accommodate the shortfall of social housing, making this quite profitable.


Riding the storm

Demand for privately rented properties is on the increase being a savvy investor is the key to weathering the storms that comes with property investing. Three key pieces of advice is to;

  1. Budget carefully
  2. Be hands on
  3. Do your research.


According to letting agent Knight Frank “The private rental properties will actually grow to one in four households renting privately by 2021”. According to their figures that’s 579 million properties would be required to meet the demand.


Even though there have been great shifts in property investment since 1996 it still remains to be the best asset class you can start when considering a healthy retirement fund.



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