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More than half of BTL landlords to offload properties, says Property Partner

Over half of private landlords plan to sell some of their buy-to-let properties this year, it has been claimed.

Some 54% of landlords said they would reduce the size of their property portfolios as mortgage interest relief changes continue to hit, research by Property Partner suggests.

Restrictions to mortgage interest relief started in April last year and analysis of landlords by the crowdfunding platform claims that many landlords have now had enough and are planning to offload properties.

The study found that 64% of landlords have had their finances negatively impacted by the mortgage interest relief changes, 59% have had their finances negatively impacted by increased stamp duty on second homes, while 44% have had their finances negatively impacted by tougher mortgage affordability checks .

The now former chancellor George Osborne’s attempts to create what he described as a “level playing field” between landlords and those buying homes to live in may have cooled the buy-to-let market, but the research suggests that the changes are having an adverse impact on tenants, as landlords are left with little choice but to pass increased costs on.

Almost half - 47% - have already increased or are considering increasing rents in the face of new buy-to-let rules.

Mark Weedon, head of research at Property Partner, said: “The government’s plan is to cool the buy-to-let market in order to increase access to property for potential first time buyers. Unfortunately it’s clear many landlords are being forced to consider increasing rents to offset their losses, which could actually hinder those looking to take their first step on the housing ladder.

“The UK housing market remains vastly undersupplied. Attempts to tweak demand with a crackdown on investors will not solve the housing crisis, the real solution is to build more houses.

“We should also remember a number of people in the UK choose to rent and enjoy the flexibility renting provides. Professionalised landlords are central to supporting this group in the UK.”

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