On Sunday morning I watched a sermon, by the honourable Pastor Apollo C Quiboloy, whom I met many years ago, on the hunt for a pastoral mansion in the UK; it seemed natural to start in and around Bishops Avenue, named after the number of Bishops who lived on the street in the past. He wasn’t phased by the price tag of £15M; and why should he be? It’s probably the price of one of his jets.
He has his own theory on the Covid19 crisis. In his sermon, he states that it is a punishment sent from God, in the same manner as the flood was sent many thousands of years ago; he likened the rise of cases daily to the rising level of the flood.
He sees himself as the modern-day Jonah or Noah, and claims that the cause of Covid19 is his opposition, defamation against him and the general sinful nature of the population. He claims that belief in his word, and therefore God’s word, and repentance will ensure safety for the believers. Relevant passages from the Bible were quoted to draw parallels and give credence to his theory.
The pastor is close friends with the controversial president of the Philippines; and has millions of followers all around the world.
This is one theory, amongst many that are being thrown around about the cause of Covid19.
Whatever the real cause, the effect on the property market is dramatic. We have never had as many empty properties as we have had during this period. They are being let as London is London; however, currently the tenant is King – they are dictating the rent they will pay. Landlords who are being stubborn regarding the rents they wish to achieve will likely be sitting on empty properties for several months, and overall will likely lose more than with a realistic haircut to begin with.
In principle it is better to take a haircut for a short term tenancy and be realistic regarding the market price. The other possibility worth considering is council tenants, shunned and avoided like the plague previously, they may be the saviour in the current climate.
We are presently in negotiation with them to fill up several units, as their income could be argued as being more Covid19 proof than a working person’s income.
With the threat of another wave, you could be looking at a potential loss of rent in months to come. This is less likely to be the case for a council tenant. However, there are pros and cons to everything, and when it comes to eviction the process is elongated and painful.
In my opinion, for the long term it should be seriously considered, as you have the possibility of a long term and secure tenant.