No pork allowed: How to lose money and alienate tenants

Landlord bans pork in rental property
Click here to see a full-sized picture of the list.

The start of a new year, the start of a new wave of flat-hunting. But buy-to-let investors can learn from one London landlord's example, who issued a prospective tenant with a bizarre list of strict rules, including a ban on overnight guests, long showers and pork.

Actress Laura Evelyn went straight to Twitter to share the regulations with the world. "Need a room to rent? I was given this upon a recent viewing. This is not a joke!" Laura (@Lauraevelyn) tweeted with the hashtag #heseemedsonormal.

The typed list of 31 "house rules" included:

-          "No Pork EVER IN HOUSE or fridge"

-          "No using other peoples [sic] things (shampoo, hand wash or anything I buy this will be charged to you)"

-          "Not [sic] more than 2 visits a month and visitors must be in your room and CANNOT stay the night unless discussed with me before hand [sic]"

-          "Showers cannot last longer than 15mins in morning and evenings between 6am and 10am also between 7pm and 11pm"

The strange catalogue of demands was retweeted by 2,700 people on Twitter, where it was meted with incredulity.

"It was reasonable. Oh so reasonable. And then he kindly offered me some light reading for my journey home…" Laura continued to tweet.

"The pork sanction was the deal-breaker," she added in response to another user's tweet. "I could've handled the shower/sleep/cooking/existing allowances."

@SimonSaunders77 commented : "I'd of [sic] eaten a bacon sandwich after 10am in the shower with my friend (who'd stayed over) whilst using his shampoo."

Laura chose not to move in.

Landlords may be equally unpopular with other tenants around the UK, though, according to new research by , with one quarter of them planning to raise rents this year.

24 per cent of British buy-to-letters will increase their rents by over 3 per cent, unwelcome news for those trapped in the private rented sector and unable to climb onto the property ladder.

Indeed, a recent report from Belvoir Lettings predicts that the cultural shift towards renting property will continue beyond 2013:

"The private rental sector (PRS) is likely to remain a popular choice for 2013, with demand for rental property unlikely to slow and newly formed households continuing to choose the rental market as opposed to buying. We also predict that renting will continue to offer good value for money for tenants and advise landlords to seek specialist advice and adopt a realistic approach to rental increases to ensure that they are in line with inflation and any void periods are minimised."

Other landlords are planning to increase their portfolio rather than their rent: 55 per cent of them want to do so this year, Mortgages for Business' research revealed , thanks to the attractive yields of 6.7 per cent available from residential buy-to-let investments.

The figures all point to a strong year for landlords in the UK – as long as they keep the typed lists to a minimum.

Not got a beef with pork? Become a landlord.

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