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Letting agents flag huge worries over landlords leaving market

nathan emerson landlords

Letting agents are concerned that increasing numbers of landlords are exiting the market.

So says Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, the trade association for the industry, within his organisation’s regular update on the private rental market.

“The reasons for [the] exit are multifaceted although ongoing legislative uncertainty is undoubtedly playing a role,” he says.

“We continue to work with policymakers across the UK to highlight the critical role the private rental sector plays in the wider housing system and to encourage policies that can stabilise the sector’s investment patterns.”

But one of his members is more forthright, pinning the ‘exit’ on higher mortgage rates.

Feeling the pinch

Robert Ulph (pictured) of East Anglian agency Pennington says more landlords are beginning to feel the pinch as more fixed-term buy-to-let mortgages come to an end with some finding their rates “quadrupling compared to what they have been paying”.

“This has been a delayed reaction from the market as we have seen more and more landlords just not looking ahead and seeing when their fixed rates end,” he says.

“Some have confirmed to me that with the interest increases and the extra taxation that has been imposed on them, they are subsidising the rents and therefore have to sell as it’s now a flawed model.

“The government must realise that landlords are a big source of housing stock and without the private sector, the lack of stock and the continued high demand for private rental properties this will lead to mass homelessness in an already difficult market.”

The report also reveals that tenant demand for homes to rent continues to outstrip supply with nine renters chasing every property that comes onto the market, although this is lower than last year, when it was 14.

Member of Propertymark also reveal that tenant arrears are shrinking and are currently 2% of all managed properties, suggesting that financial pressures on renters are easing.

Five ways to cope with losing mortgage interest relief.