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One in three landlords plan to sell in the next year

The UK could be heading for a rental crisis, with experts dreading the prospect of a chronic property shortage in the PRS as more than a  third of private landlords look to sell up in the next year in the face of lower profits, new research shows. 

A wide-ranging study of 2,000 landlords by the Residential Landlords Association’s (RLA) research exchange, PEARL, has found that almost 34% of private landlords are looking to sell at least one property over the next 12 months. 

The study also found that just 12% of landlords are looking to expand the number of homes they rent out, down from 14% a year ago.


Almost half of landlords - 45% - told the RLA that the 3% stamp duty surcharge on additional properties had been a deterrent to further investment in property.

The drop in housing supply comes at a time when the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is warning that the demand for private rented homes is on the up.

The RLA is now calling on the government to scrap the stamp duty levy where landlords provide homes adding to the net supply of housing. 

This should include developing new build properties, bringing empty homes back into use and converting larger properties into smaller, more affordable units of accommodation.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, commented: “This is yet more clear evidence of the sell-off of private rented housing largely due to the government’s extra tax on new rental homes. 

“It is ridiculous that when the country needs all the extra housing it can get, it penalises good landlords who invest in new homes. 

“With a new government and a Budget due, we need a shift in policy to one that supports investment because otherwise there will be a growing supply crisis in the private rented sector as demand continues to rise.”

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    • L C
    • 20 December 2019 12:38 PM

    Constantly meddling to try to ‘protect tenants’ but it only makes things worse.

    The tenant fee ban pushed up rents and then this will do the same.

    Kristjan Byfield

    To be fair, the TFB has created a transparent lettings market where tenants (consumers) can now rent with any agent or landlord anywhere in the country and know exactly what framework should be applied. Yes, rents have gone up, but most areas have seen increases way below the fees they used to pay AND they prefer the transparency and the fact the cost is spread.


    L C.
    You are lucky, as the rents in our area are the same as they were before the TFB.
    I haven't been able to increase rents on my properties to any significant extent for over 20 years .
    In fact one of my rentals is let for less now than it was then.
    My costs are rising but my rents are static.
    I am certainly looking to offload one of my properties in the next financial year and possibly more in the future.

    • L C
    • 23 December 2019 09:27 AM

    Kristjan Byfield . Rents have gone up approx £50 per month here. Our previous fees were £450 inc vat.
    Even on a one year contract the tenants are down, if they stay 3/4 years as most do then they are massively out of pocket.

    • L C
    • 23 December 2019 09:43 AM

    John Hughes
    This is a shame to hear. We tried as long as we could to not increase our landlords fee's but unfortunately TFB leaves a big impact on our finances.
    We were left with no option but to increase these fees which then subsequently lead to landlords pushing for higher rents (especially considering the other attacks on their finances over recent years)

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Can't say that articles like this that scare the bejeezus out of landlords help. 34% are looking to sell 'at least one property' - but how many properties dop those surveyed have? This implies a mass exodus when that could be far from true. Whilst 2k surveyed is an ok pool can this really be reliable insight into 2m landlords many of which live abroad. We need to be careful that we don't get hysterical about these things or we risk being our own worst enemy and scaring landlords off more than the changes actually will.

  • Neil  Hayward

    I have just exchanged contracts to sell our first property exit, then another in the next financial year ... I have had enough, there is little to no support from government ... I am pleased to be part of this exit story ... I can hardly wait to see how central and local government deal with the crisis they have created .


    Me too Neil, me too.

  • Mark Wilson

    Articles like this are totally biased. How or why do speculator Landlords expect support from Government? Same old same old, buy to let has pushed up prices impacting owner occupiers and that is a far more important sector socially. I also doubt the data and the conclusions, is it anything more than fake news?


    May I suggest two things to you Mark. Firstly you study property cycles and secondly you understand just how much landlords have added to housing stock. You are completely incorrect when you say that BTL has pushed up prices. It hasn't.

  • icon
    • 20 December 2019 14:03 PM

    S21 and the AST encouraged me into the PRS.
    S24 along with AST and S21 abolishment is causing me to leave the PRS.
    How does that assist desperate tenants?
    Also how will lenders react to this?
    The whole reason they funded PRS expansion was precisely because of the AST and S21.
    Without them what might lenders do!?

  • icon

    I’m cashing my chips in had enough as not only it really difficult it’s impacting on my personal life it’s simply not worth it anymore on so many levels

    Neil  Hayward

    I've just exchanged on my first BTL sale another follow in the new financial year .. I hedge by bets and sell now and get a good price before the mass exit begins ... best of luck with yours .

  • icon

    I have no doubt about what drove up House prices & cost of Housing. The Bank of England bringing down base rates too low, the base rate used to be around 5% + lenders charge probably 3% on top. They kept lowering the base rate below which was never the case to my knowledge, abolishing Savers over night then they were left sittings with their in the Bank earning nothing so they had to do something. They bought property that they didn't necessarily want or need all bidding against each other driving priced through the roof. As well as that the Woolwich Building Society started giving out buy to let mortgages playing off one property against another until some individuals had dozens of properties & nothing fully paid off, totally Tax efficient, we never had this nonsense before this as I always had Commercial loans. Then the Gov' / Local Authorities got stuck into us with Licensing Schemes coupled with requirements costing many thousands of £'s per property, now add s24, How to Rent, Right to Rent, Super SDLT, increased c/gains, Deposits messing, De-Regulation Act, many more so no need to go on, are you still wondering why letting got expensive, the people that caused it are still shouting and have no in put but are beneficiaries. The Rogue LL syndrome is a bad joke we all know who they are, They are exempt from Licensing because they are letting to related people we know the culture and who they are and probably related to the Tenants themselves or cousins brother uncles mother by the 31 button hole, what has related got to do with anything it nonsense, we are supposed to be all equal before the law ?, The people in the Civic Centers & Government departments making one sided rules.


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