More than half of landlords have lost confidence in the buy-to-let market as uncertainty around home working, property prices post Covid-19, concern about future tax hikes and fear of rent arrears when the furlough scheme ends in September have kicked in.
Rentround’s survey of 20,000 landlords shows 20% are looking to leave while 33% are unsure about their future.
It says landlords worry that prices could dip due to the exodus away from London and the big cities, as well as companies embracing working from home policies.
Rentround found that letting agent fees – the biggest expense for landlords – is the most important factor when choosing an agent (28%), followed by the agent’s ability to quickly find tenants and fill void periods (27%) and to give a hands-off, headache-free landlord life (20%).
While 28% of landlords find agents on the high street, 27% use Google as their main source.
Tenant find-only services is what 39% of landlords want from an agent, while 30% report they’ll be looking for a guaranteed rent service next time, according to Rentround, which says this fits with a similar rise in guaranteed rent searches it has seen on the site since the first lockdown in March 2020.
Rentround founder Raj Dosanjh (pictured) believes it will be interesting to see how the number of landlords choosing letting agents with a high street presence changes as more agents adopt online or hybrid approaches.
He adds: “Guaranteed rent continues in popularity. The uncertainty brought about by eviction bans, the future ending of furlough and changes in tenant behaviour is pushing landlords for safer approaches where their rental income is concerned.”