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New rental listings set to drop sharply amid landlord exodus

An exodus of landlords from the buy-to-let market has caused a significant drop in rental property listings in recent month with a further net loss anticipated, according to new research.

A fresh study by the Residential Landlords Association’s (RLA) research facility, PEARL, has found that landlord sentiment to the sector and investments is deteriorating, leading to a spike in the number of landlords exiting the rental market.

The trade body estimates that on top of the 46,000 privately rented homes that have already been lost, there will be a further net loss of 133,000 homes to rent, as small-scale private landlords continue to offload properties largely as a result of recent tax and legislative changes, which are making it unviable for many investors to operate in the sector.


Research by RLA PEARL has found that 62% of private landlords have reported that their profitability would be reduced by at least 20% and 67% reported they would minimise investment due to the government tax changes. 

The prospect of a rental drought is particularly bad news for tenants, especially those who claim housing benefit/Universal Credit, who are set to continue to face increasing competition for properties and rising rents.

RLA PEARL acknowledged that the growth of the private rented sector over the past 20 years has been driven by the small-scale landlords, which is why the organisation is urging the government to do more to support them, including the introduction of tax incentives, in their quest to provide tenants with longer-term tenancies, and in turn greater security of tenure.

Dr Tom Simcock, who headed up the research for RLA PEARL, concluded: “We need to move to a broader but fair reform of private renting; with improved access to justice for landlords and tenants, expanded options for security of tenure, and reformed taxation policy that supports not penalise private landlords.”

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  • James B

    Ignoring the housing crisis and the need for properties this is precisely what government want so I see no change of strategy from them

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    landlords that do sell up will likely sell to other landlords, however if there is going to be a shortage of properties to rent then rents will rise and we will be cherry picking the best tenants, more and more homeless on the streets.

     G romit

    but many Landlords are not buying either because of the 3% surcharge. Why would they restrict their potential market?


    This isn’t happening I have sold 3 this year all to owner occupiers. Landlords arnt buying in the same numbers it’s just not worth it. If I was thinking of entering the Market now I wouldn’t bother it’s hard graft and all this government meddling is making it a nightmare


    Disagree- doubt any of mine will be bought by other landlords- for the very reason I'm selling. Sold all my three storey when the early HMO regs were first introduced all to private buyers so 5 rooms per house were lost. Now selling all that don't meet MEE regs, and those that have undersized letting rooms (which were popular due to rock bottom all-inclusive rent) and now my remaining 5 bed 2 storey detached unlicensed HMOs will likely go to families .


    Not true - I have sold two of my properties to private owners both have 2 people whereas it was an HMO sleeping 4 previously so that is the housing market halved on one hit.

  •  G romit

    It is Government policy to destroy the private rented sector (to give their donors in the BTR sector free reign, in return for a nice fat non-exec Directorship when they are shortly about to be booted out of office).
    People being evicted, Landlords made bankrupt, homelessness rocketing - oops! sorry, collateral damage but you weren't going to vote Conservative anyway. Where you?

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    I'm noticing the demand now in my small town - receiving loads of applications for one house. The first person - who eagerly paid a deposit - was clearly lying about his income and rent payment record, with statements he made, not making sense, so his deposit was returned sharpish. People will be checked with a fine tooth comb and only the best tenants accepted. The traditional rogue tenant is going to end up roofless - including another tenant of mine who has stopped paying and is damaging the house. He will get a CCJ on his record and good luck finding somewhere else to live.

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    • 12 July 2018 15:11 PM

    Our rents are now set on a six month upwards cycle to help fund the tax increase from section 24. We have totally turned on our tenants in a desperate bid to shore up finances from this huge tax burden, in which we are now unable to claim half our interest charges. This is going to be a horrible time for tenants. Many of ours cannot get a mortgage, many others don't want one, and many are too old. If we don't push for more money to counteract the section 24 tax bill, we have to sell. SO WHERE WILL THEY GO?

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    I'm in the process of selling my block of 10 flats to a housing association. I will have a hefty capital gains bill but if it gets rid of my headaches and uncertainty for me and my families future I'm taking the money and run. Its just one thing after another. Giving my long term tenants their notice was a sad day for me. One girl a nurse who works her socks off is now having to find a new flat with the attached over the top fees to pay unless she finds a private landlord without fees like I was. Everything with my 10 flats ran in harmony. Everyone was happy, 7 of my tenants have been with me longer than 10 years. Ive even been invited to weddings, christenings etc. Government get involved and all goes to rat droppings!.

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    I am selling in 2s and 3s I have incorporated but still don’t trust this discusting government there meddling is destroying the PRS as we know it. I will keep a decent size portfolio for income and I am diversifying. The question is where do all these evicted tenants go with a shrinking PRS it’s the vunerable tenants that are going to suffer.

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    It is definitely getting more challenging and despite a shortage of properties, tenants are unwilling to pay a higher rent.
    I am finding that when I try to put the rent up at the end of a tenancy, I am getting no joy at all.
    I have had to reduce the rent twice on one of my properties in Chepstow, which used to rent out easily.
    Coming up to the third month empty now, even though the agent thinks that it is a lovely property?

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    Tenants Will have to handle increase regardless and they will. A 5% increase every couple of years. Keep properties maintained carry out 3 month inspection. But best idea is to sell up and get out and leave council's to continue to mess it up.


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