Landlords are far more worried about dealing with upcoming legislation than agents, with just 22% saying they are “very confident” in coping with changes like the scrapping of Section 21 and periodic tenancies, Goodlord and Vouch’s State of the Lettings Industry survey has found.
This compares to 75% of agents who are “very” or “somewhat” confident that their businesses are set up to cope with future changes.
The government’s long-awaited publication of its rental reform White Paper in June caused a stir, with over half (56%) of landlords saying they are “very concerned” about the impact of the bill on the private rented sector.
It seems a number of landlords are considering their positions in the sector as a result, as nearly two thirds (63%) confirm they have considered leaving.
Indeed, almost three-quarters (72%) of landlords said that legislation and regulation changes would be one of the top three reasons that would cause them to depart.
Tom Mundy, chief operating officer at Goodlord, said: “This report comes at a seismic time for the industry.
“After two and half years of almost unimaginable upheaval, the private rental sector is now facing another series of intense challenges.
“A raft of new legislation and a major economic crisis mean that the year ahead will be choppy.
“It’s clear from the data that tenants are concerned about their finances and landlords are also feeling uneasy.
“Despite this, the majority of agents remain optimistic about the future and confident in their ability to weather the forthcoming challenges.
“As ever, I’m full of admiration for our industry stakeholders and their ability to adapt and thrive even in unsettled times.”
Two in five (40%) agents expect the introduction of a single system of periodic tenancies to negatively impact the private rented sector.
And the same proportion (40%) expect the new rules on allowing ‘pets in lets’ to have a negative impact on the sector.
Abolishing section 21 remains contentious, with 28% of agents and 53% of landlords expecting it to have a “major and negative impact” on the PRS. In contrast, 23% of tenants said they thought it would have a “major and positive impact”.
In 2021 low stock was the leading cause of concern for agents, and it appears that the last twelve months have done little to ease the pressure.
Almost two-thirds (65%) of agents said they had struggled with a lack of stock in the past year.
Shockingly, more than a quarter (28%) of agents had seen more than 10% of their landlords leave the sector in the past year.
And two thirds (67%) said they expected even more of their landlords to leave in the coming year.