England: Quarter of private landlords planning to sell over next year

A quarter of private landlords in England and Wales are looking to sell at least one property over the next year, according to new research.

Of almost 2,500 landlords who responded to a survey by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), just over 25% said that they were planning to sell at least one property over the next year, the highest proportion since the RLA started asking this question regularly in 2016.

The same survey shows that 23% of landlords report an increase in the demand for rental property over the previous three months, with 57% reporting it to be stable.

Over a third of landlords reported low levels of confidence in the private rented sector over the next 12 months.

The results come following the publication of UK Government data earlier this year which found that that 10% of private landlords, representing 18% of tenancies, plan to decrease the number of properties they rent out, while 5% of landlords, representing 5% of tenancies, plan to sell all of their properties.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has warned that the imbalance between supply and demand in the rental market is expected to see rent increases averaging three per cent per annum over the next five years.

The RLA has seized on the figures to argue for landlords to be reassured that they will be able to regain possession of their properties in “legitimate circumstances”, amid discussion of new regulations to protect tenants.

David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association, said: “All the talk of longer tenancies will mean nothing if the homes to rent on not there in the first place.

“The Government’s tax increases on the sector are already making it difficult for tenants to find a place to live, with many landlords not renewing tenancies. If rushed and not thought through, planned changes to the way landlords can repossess properties risk making the situation even worse.

“Action is needed to stimulate supply with pro-growth taxation and a process for repossessing homes that is fair to all.”

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