There was a significant increase in the number of landlords exiting the rental market in December 2018 as rents increased for many tenants, according to ARLA Propertymark
The letting agent professional body reports that letting agent branches in London saw an average of six landlords sell their properties and exit the market in December.
This compares to a national average of four and double the number of landlords selling up in the North East, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England and the South West, where agents reported three sales per branch.
David Cox, chief executive, ARLA Propertymark: “Over the last few years, landlords across the country have been pushed out of the market by increasing costs and legislation, and new investors have been deterred from entering.
“Last month’s PRS results show that the issue has particularly intensified in the capital which may be the result of landlords starting to receive their first tax bill incorporating the increase in taxes from the Mortgage Interest Relief changes which came into force last tax year.
“If this trend continues, coupled with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s, recent pledge to introduce rent controls, it will only serve to make the situation worse for London’s renters as more landlords are forced to sell up.
“As the supply of rental accommodation falls further, tenants will face more competition for properties, which will push up rents on good-quality, well-managed properties, and leave the vulnerable and low-income people which rent controls are designed to help, in the hands of rogue and criminal operators.”