My Life in Property: Steve Kelsey (Crown Rentals)

My Life in Property: Steve Kelsey (Crown Rentals)
  • What inspired you to get into the property industry?
I worked in the construction industry with my father as a teenager, but had no other involvement in property until becoming a landlord and property investor in my mid-fourties when leaving the civil service. I had long desired to start and grow a business and this gave me a great insight into what landlords really want and expect from the service professionals they work with.
  • What is the most inspiring part of your job?
The private rented sector is undergoing significant change, becoming more professional, and attracting a lot of people to choose property as an asset class for investments and retirement income. These investors need professional advice and guidance more than ever before. Becoming a valued, long-termĀ  “partner” to professional landlords, supporting the success of their property business, is the most inspiring part of my job.
  • What do you see as the biggest challenge facing your profession at the moment?
Poor policy decisions made by governments have created problems in the housing market. Supply and demand imbalances are likely to be tackled by increasing and complicating regulation in the short and medium term. These changes will increase the workload of property managers and reduce profitability for landlords, requiring further innovation and productivity improvements in the lettings sector.
  • If you became Prime Minister for a day what would you change?
Reverse Section 24 of the Finance Act 2015, removing restrictions on the tax relief that landlords receive on their finance costs.
  • What makes the perfect property project for you?
A project that creates a win-win situation for everyone involved. Taking an old, large, unloved property and developing it into a modern, attractive place to live – possibly a luxury HMO or co-living project. Bringing better quality accommodation to more people and enhancing the local environment at the same time.
  • After a long working week, can you describe your perfect weekend?
Weekends usually start with a Park Run for me. This would be followed by coffee and brunch, then maybe a round of golf in the afternoon. A day trip somewhere in Britain’s beautiful countryside would round off a perfect weekend.
  • What is your property prediction for the coming year?
If I could get predictions right, I would already be wealthy enough not to work. However – as you have asked, the main prediction (and hope) is for the Bank of England base rate, and mortgage lender interest rates to fall slightly, relieving pressure on landlords and putting the brakes on continuing rent rises.