A new survey has downplayed the scale of landlords ready to quit the sector due to heavy-handed government regulations and upcoming legislation.
Leaders Romans Group's poll of 271 landlords found that only 7% plan to sell up in the next year while 12% aim to reduce their portfolio. In contrast, 71% hope to hang onto their portfolio and 10% will expand it.
Of the 51 landlords planning to sell, most cited changes in policies including increased smoke and CO detector requirements and the imminent Renters Reform Bill. The economy - interest rates, energy costs, lack of disposable income - and personal circumstances unrelated to income were also blamed.
A recent NRLA survey found that 30% of landlords planned to cut the size of their portfolio this year, the highest level of planned disinvestment seen in more than six years, many blaming government tax measures and red tape. The Bank of England also revealed that government tax and other policies were forcing out investors.
Allison Thompson, Leaders' MD of lettings (main picture), says the government must realise that the housing crisis, specifically the under-supply of rental units, can't be resolved by penalising the already stretched PRS.
Instead, it should reconsider proposals to require rented properties to have an EPC rating of C, plans to ditch Section 21 and assured shorthold tenancies.
'It has been suggested that tenants might be permitted to serve notice of two just months at any point - this would create considerable uncertainty for landlords, which is unwelcome in an already challenging market,'� adds Thompson.