A quarter (25%) of landlords admit they will sell some or all of their properties when the Section 21 evictions ban happens, research from The Mortgage Works has found.
That rises to nearly a third (32%) of those landlords with large portfolios of 20 or more properties.
Just 22% of landlords are supportive of the proposal to abolish ‘no fault’ evictions, with many landlords concerned they could be left vulnerable to difficult tenancies.
However the government has a strong motivation to get rid of Section 21, seeing as such evictions are statistically the biggest single cause of homelessness in England.
Dan Clinton, director of landlord at The Mortgage Works, said: “We believe everyone should have a safe, secure and comfortable home, which is why we are committed to improving standards within the private rented sector. The proposals outlined in the government’s white paper should serve to have a positive impact on housing quality and conditions for tenants.
“While landlords appear to be largely in favour of a National Landlord Register and Decent Homes Standard, it is revealing that one in four would consider selling in the event of Section 21 being abolished. This highlights the importance of listening to landlords’ concerns as these policies take shape, particularly when considering the broader set of regulatory changes already affecting them.
“A mutually beneficial private rented sector needs to offer tenants the security they will not be evicted without good reason, yet also provide landlords the confidence they can gain possession of a property quickly and efficiently if something does go wrong, such as anti-social behaviour. As a buy-to-let lender, we are keen to understand how the changes will be implemented, to ensure we fulfil our role of helping to balance the needs of landlords as well as tenants.”
Once Section 21 is abolished is more than half (56%) of landlords admit they will be more particular about the tenants they accept, as it could be harder to get rid of rogue tenants.
This is an especially prevalent view amongst those landlords with larger portfolios, with 62% of those with 20 or more properties saying they will be more particular.
The government’s ‘Fairer Private Rented Sector’ white paper also proposed introducing a national landlords register, in an apparent drive to up standards by adding accountability.
Some 62% of landlords are supportive of the register, but half (53%) don’t think it would do enough to deter rogue landlords.
Investors are particularly supportive about proposals for the Decent Homes Standard to cover private rental properties, with 83% backing the proposal.
More than two thirds (68%) of those polled believe their properties already meet the new standard.
However, of those that will need to undertake work to bring the property up to standard, 56% would use their savings to fund that work.
Around a third (33%) admit they will be putting up the rent in order to improve the property if the minimum standards are ushered in.