The growing number of buy-to-let landlords exiting the private rented sector (PRS), owed largely to an increase in regulation and taxes, is a major cause for concern, and an issue that the government can no longer afford to ignore, according to TV presenter Phil Spencer and Vanessa Warwick, co-founder of PropertyTribes,
A number of BTL landlords have divested their portfolios and left the private rented sector (PRS) in recent years and this has led to a significant reduction in the supply of much needed privately rented homes across many parts of the country.
“The more landlords who sell up, the less rental properties there are, and therefore the rents are increasing,” said Spencer. “A mass exodus of landlords is a catastrophe for the country.”
Spencer, during a discussion with Warwick, which you can see view below, pointed out that close to five million people reside in the PRS, and “they all need somewhere to live”.
Tax hikes, including stamp duty changes on buy-to-let and the loss of tax-free allowances, have driven away some landlords and crippled the PRS, with most property professionals, including agents, acknowledging that being a landlord is now much harder than it was say five years ago.
National journalists at the BBC have started to conduct research into the PRS and what lies behind the shortage of stock, and this is something that Warwick makes reference to.
With the UK government’s Renters’ Reforms White Paper looming, the consultation on A new Deal for Tenants in Scotland and legislation coming into force including the Renting Homes (Wales) Act and the Private Tenancies Bill in Northern Ireland it seems no landlord or agent is safe from further regulation.
Warwick said: “Landlords are being hammered from all quarters and a lot of them are leaving, as their margins are really thin.”
“New landlords are not coming into the sector, reflecting the challenging environment at the moment,” she added.