Accidental and single-property landlords are poised to offload up to 150,000 properties onto the market within the next two years, says the boss of lettings platform MakeUrMove.
MD Alexandra Morris (pictured, above) predicts that those who didn’t choose to enter the sector will be the first people to jump ship if the opportunity comes up.
But Morris says this won’t create an imbalance within the market as short-let Airbnb properties returning, in particular, will fill the gap along with new-build investment properties.
She tells LandlordZONE that this ‘professionalisation’ of the sector is good for tenants, who will get a better landlord, typically with good tradespeople contacts for speedier repairs and a handle on keeping up with new regulations.
MakeUrMove was the first online letting agent and picked up 920 new clients over the last two years, with most of them – reflecting the overall market – independent landlords owning between one and five properties.
They’re happy to let the firm handle lettings online, such as answering enquiries, arranging and recording viewings and producing compliant tenancy documents. The proptech also arranges property management and rent collection.
Although the majority are 45-55, many older, retired landlords are comfortable using the technology, something Morris expects to grow.
“We won’t see the death of the high street agent as some landlords prefer them, but there’s definitely a move online as that’s how people find agents,” she predicts.
A landlord herself, who’s shortly to take on another four properties, Morris believes the biggest challenge over the next 12 months is rent arrears, particularly as the furlough scheme ends.
She adds: “We hope that landlords have a dialogue with tenants who, if they can afford it, could then decide to let them out of the contract. We won’t be losing these tenants from the market, just moving them through it.”