Politicians and lobby groups are likely to continue blaming private landlords for the housing shortage largely created by the hostile regulatory environment imposed by the same politicians who want even more draconian laws, finds a new report.
One of the most bizarre aspects of this increased regulatory burden is that both politicians and lobbyists seem oblivious to the fact that the resulting costs will ultimately fall on tenants, according to the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA).
Its report reveals that the cumulative effects of regulatory and tax changes affecting landlords' business models - together with the recent current sharp rises in buy-to-let mortgage rates - risk putting increasing numbers of private landlords out of business.
The report points to the fall-out from rent controls in Scotland, where many landlords have expressed a desire to quit, remarking: 'While such discriminatory policymaking continues, the outlook for the PRS and the tenants who depend on it to put a roof over their heads will be bleak indeed.'�
With two-year fixed-rate BTL mortgage rates above average net yields, producing negative gearing, it explains: 'The relatively sudden increase in funding costs is causing a significant proportion of buy-to-let landlords to fail affordability assessments when seeking to refinance loans.
"Some may seek to exit the market altogether, while others may be obliged to sell some properties and re-balance the debt on their portfolios.'�
Kate Davies (main picture), executive director at IMLA, adds that over the next few years we can expect landlord costs to keep on rising.
She says: 'The focus now needs to be on prompting increased investment in the sector and supporting landlords, whose operating costs risk becoming unaffordable. "If we don't get the balance right, the result will be higher rents, and lower availability of properties '� both of which are bad news for tenants and landlords.'�