With almost a quarter of existing buy-to-let landlords thinking about exiting the private rented sector and many more planning to increase rents to cope with recent policy changes, including the existing phasing out of mortgage tax relief and higher stamp duty cost for those acquiring additional properties, more needs to be done to help landlords and offer them better representation.
Thankfully, Nationwide has set up an industry alliance to lobby on behalf of landlords, after a survey of 1,000 landlords commissioned by the lender’s buy-to-let arm, The Mortgage Works, revealed that 44% are now considering increasing rents, while 22% are thinking of selling their properties.
Additional findings from the study, which was carried out by YouGov, found that 14% are planning to manage the property themselves, instead of using an agent, while 10% want to save money by reducing maintenance spending.
The cross-industry partnership board, which will meet for the first time later this month, is designed to support landlords and is backed by the National Landlords Association (NLA), the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), Shelter, Countrywide and The Nationwide Foundation.
The research also revealed that the mean monthly profit from renting out property, after deducting typical costs, is £610, with 56% making £500 or less a month, a third earn less than £300, 22% less than £200, while 15% said they made £100 or less monthly profit from renting out their property.
Joe Garner, chief executive of Nationwide Building Society, said: “Being able to find a decent affordable home is one of the most pressing issues many people face today. Landlords play a vital role in providing homes and choice, where they might not otherwise exist.
“Our research suggests most want to manage their property well and look after their tenants. However, because letting one or two properties is often not a landlord’s full-time job, many are left struggling to keep up with the ever-growing list of responsibilities, as well as the personal financial impact the recent changes may bring.
“It’s a tough ask to expect small landlords or their tenants to face these challenges alone – we must work together as an industry to better support and inform those providing housing and their tenants.
“With a Draft Bill on letting agent fees already in progress, and greater powers for local councils beginning to take effect, it is clear that reappraising the private rental sector is already firmly on the government’s agenda and so we look forward to working with the Housing Minister to help influence a future that works for all.
“By coming together we can help deliver somewhere decent for everyone to call home.”