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Is Covid forcing landlords to give up on HMOs?

A landlord group in a major city in the south of England says many are giving up on HMOs and converting their homes to cater for families. 

Reports in the local media in Portsmouth say the number of landlords changing their HMO properties has increased by almost 50 per cent over the last 12 months.

Martin Silman, chairman of the Portsmouth and District Private Landlord Association, says Covid and worries over health issues associated with living in close proximity to others have come on top of concerns about Capital Gains Tax and Brexit.


“We are in the middle of a downward trend … add it all together and it makes a significant trend” he tells the Portsmouth News website.

The city council says there are 4,471 HMOs in the area and it’s thought a third are student-occupied - meaning many landlords will also have lost income during the pandemic if students have returned to their family homes.

Silman says that while there are some 20,000 privately rented properties in Portsmouth, the issue for many families wishing to rent is not HMOs but an overall shortage of appropriate stock.

He adds: “I have heard this argument several times. I have heard it come from quite leftwing organisations, picking the ‘families good, students bad fight’.

“It plays to groups that think HMOs are bad – I don’t want to be disrespectful to the council, but there are a few that are against HMOs because the issue gets them re-elected.”


The piece also cites a letting agent saying that the relatively high price of buying a home in the city makes it less likely that landlords will invest.

You can see the story in full here.

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    Personally I've never got involved with HMOs, but I have to ask where are all the people that live in a room in an HMO going to live ?


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