The Bill continues to divide opinion. Whilst the proposed legislation would give landlords more licence to evict tenants committing antisocial behaviour, the introduction of a requirement for landlords to allow tenants to keep pets unless they have “good reason” proves to be particularly unpopular.
Over half (54 per cent) of landlords believe that the new legislation will increase the potential for damage to rental properties. In response, many (53 per cent) are prepared for more inspections and tightened tenancy agreements.
Hayley, landlord in Essex, says: "With regards to pets, I have always been open to having pets within reason. It depends on the tenant and what type of pet owner they are, number of pets and size, and the type of property being let. I do not believe it should be made compulsory as there are much greater factors to be taken into consideration which should ultimately be the landlord's choice.
"I have had three tenancies where pets have been allowed. Two were fantastic. One, however, ended up going from one small dog to three, including a German shepherd, and totally destroyed the property. At the time, I took it as part of being a landlord and moved on, but in today's climate it would be very hard to swallow.
"In my opinion, the government should be encouraging decent landlords into the market where there is an urgent need for circumstantial and long term tenancies."
Continued doubts around eviction powers
Under the Bill, landlords would gain stronger rights to repossess properties where tenants exhibit antisocial behaviour or repeatedly build up rent arrears. Despite this, 63 per cent anticipate challenges in the process of regaining possession of properties.
Overall, a majority (66 per cent) of landlords saw these changes becoming more costly and time-consuming to implement.
Alan Thomas, UK chief executive at Simply Business, comments: “A combination of economic uncertainty, changing regulations, and rising costs means there’s no shortage of challenges facing the nation’s landlords in 2023. The cost of living crisis has affected all corners of society, and the buy-to-let sector is no different.
“Insuring more than 300,000 landlords allows us to gain first-hand insight into the integral role they play in the housing market, plus the challenges they’re facing. It’s important that landlords are given the time and information they need to prepare for significant upheaval in the coming years, so they can continue to provide much-needed housing for almost five million households nationwide.”
Rental property still considered a good investment
Despite the current climate, many landlords still consider rental property to be a worthwhile investment, with half (50%) saying that they would recommend investing in buy-to-let property.
Paul, a landlord in Warrington, says: "We originally invested in property as a long term savings opportunity, with a plan to either re-invest the profits into further property or to invest elsewhere. With the current financial situation, we're actually finding that we are using some of the rental income to top up our regular income to help towards childcare and other high ticket expenses, so our property investment has helped us in that regard. We were lucky in that we agreed 5 year fixed rate mortgage terms so still have a few years across all properties to hopefully ride out the interest rate increases.
"With the above in mind, I would say that being a landlord is currently a viable financial stream and certainly has its upsides - we have managed our properties and our income stream carefully, and we have broadly seen the fruits of that labour whilst being able to provide safe, comfortable, affordable housing to our tenants. Whilst I know that at this moment in time it is more difficult to operate profitably, I still feel that investing in rental property is a sound decision."
* Read the full UK Landlord Report by Simply Business here: https://view.simplybusiness.co.uk/landlord-report/p/1 *
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