A leading agent has urged the government to support landlords if it wants to stop more from quitting the sector.
John Phillips, CEO of Spicerhaart and Just Mortgages, reports that it’s seen a worrying trend of landlords trimming their portfolios, or even disposing of their properties entirely, while tenants are queueing for a diminishing number of rental properties.
Landlords are coming up to remortgage and facing a rate shock – leaving them to make tough decisions, says Phillips. “You could hardly blame those who take all the risk for turning their backs and putting their money in the bank – especially in the current savers’ climate.”
The stabilisation of swap rates has enabled lenders to reassess prices and become more competitive and the hope is for this to increase the momentum of improvements to mortgage rates.
“The government shouldn’t be relying on lenders to do the heavy lifting,” he adds.
“Whether it’s a potential Labour government or the Conservatives looking to win votes with pre-election gimmes, evaluating the current tax regime feels like a no-brainer.”
Phillips believes the upcoming budget presents a fantastic opportunity for a government lagging behind in the polls and desperate for support to win favour with landlords, particularly when a Labour government isn’t expected to be pro-landlord.
He says while the political parties are focused on increasing supply, many landlords are wondering when those in charge will wake up and give some much-needed support to the sector.
“Landlords have needed thick skins and nerves of steel to overcome the deluge of challenges they face,” says Phillips. “Nevertheless, the government shouldn’t rely on this resilience – action is needed urgently, otherwise the much touted ‘mass exodus’ will continue to become a reality, good rental properties will become a rarity and rental prices will only continue in one direction.”