There has been a rise in the number of buy-to-let landlords selling up and quitting the private rented sector, according to Belvoir.
The latest rental index from Belvoir, based on feedback from its franchisees, found that the number of landlords selling up has hit a 12-month high.
Belvoir report that more landlords are leaving the sector, as a greater number of its offices saw four to five landlords selling while 5.6% of offices saw 11 or more landlords selling – the highest percentage for more than a year.
Tax and regulation changes are cited as the main reasons why landlords are offloading properties.
The volume of offices seeing landlords buy more properties to let in the first quarter of the year remains similar when compared to the final three months of 2017.
Dorian Gonsalves, Belvoir’s chief executive, said: “As more landlords see their profits eroded, and more legislation is in the pipeline, more landlords are likely to exit the market.
“We are still seeing new investment in the buy-to-let market, but the number of properties being bought has decreased.”
The study also found that tenants are staying in their properties for longer, with around a third – 33% - of tenants remaining in the same property for 13-18 months, while 40% are remaining for 19-24 months – almost double the percentage seen in the previous quarter.
Meanwhile, 17% are opting to rent a property for more than 24 months with one office reporting their average tenants stay in excess of four years.
Gonsalves commented: “The trends that Belvoir is reporting are very much in line with our predictions at the beginning of this year.
“As 2018 progresses, there is no doubt that landlords and tenants will find themselves shouldered with an extra burden of cost due to continued government interference in the rental market, which includes the implementation of punitive tax changes.”