Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bright Young Things; for a New Generation of Landlords, Buying to Let Is a Profitable and Sociable Business, Says Claire Murray

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bright Young Things; for a New Generation of Landlords, Buying to Let Is a Profitable and Sociable Business, Says Claire Murray

Article excerpt

Byline: CLAIRE MURRAY

THE buy-to-let frenzy has given birth to a new property phenomenon: The Young Landlord (or landlady) renting to tenants only a few years younger than they are. Forget images of Rigsby from Rising Damp, or the fearsome Blackpool landlady with her curlers and fluffy slippers. The Young Landlords may not have been homeowners for long, but they have spotted the chance to make a better longterm investment than a classic pension.

Most report that their rental payments only just cover their mortgage repayments, especially on London property, but they are willing to forego a short-term income in favour of a lump sum in 25 years time.

Some let their own flat or house when they move in with a partner.

Others are now choosing to let rather than sell their first city home when they want to trade up to a bigger place. But many simply buy to let from the start.

Thirty-year-old PR executive Kim O'Rourke and her partner fall into the latter category. They started looking for a two-bedroom flat in Twickenham early last year, but soon realised their budget would not stretch to their ideal home.

So, mindful of the need to get on the property ladder, they bought a one-bedroom flat near the station. They lived there for a year while saving a deposit for a three-bedroom house in leafy Sydenham, which they moved into last month.

The Twickenham flat has been let. "It does feel like a real responsibility," says O'Rourke. "We had to pay two mortgages for the two months while everything was sorted out, and we paid an estate agent [pounds sterling]850 to find tenants and do credit checks on them. But I'm happy we've done the right thing.

"You get so little interest on savings at the moment; this feels like a great way to save for a pension."

Long-term investment was also the motivation behind Sarah McDonald and Andrew Baker's purchase of a threebedroom flat in Edinburgh last June. …

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