10% of landlords 'plans to sell after end of next tenancy'

Posted on Monday, June 6, 2022

"[Many] landlords said they planned to decrease their portfolio or leave the sector entirely due to recent legislative changes"

One in ten landlords is planning to sell their property rather than re-let at the end of their next tenancy, the English Private Landlord Survey (EPLS) has shown.

The EPLS is a national survey of landlords and letting agents who own and/or manage privately rented properties in England. It was commissioned by the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

The most recent report showed that 69% of landlords planned to re-let their property at the end of their tenancy, down from 75% in 2018, with 10% planning to sell. A further 8% said it would depend on the property and 10% were unsure.

The report showed that 39% of landlords own between two and four rental properties, and 10% own over five - and looking at their portfolio overall, 12% of landlords - representing 21% of tenancies - planned to decrease their portfolio, with 10% saying they planned to sell it off. Just 11% said they were planning to increase their portfolio size.

This may be explained by landlords looking to free up cash - the EPLS showed that over a third of landlords (35%) are retired, and over half (54%) of landlords considered their properties a long-term investment to contribute to their pension. Indeed, four in ten (42%) reported intending to sell or decrease their portfolio for personal reasons (e.g. approaching retirement age, other commitment etc.)

But many landlords said they planned to decrease their portfolio or leave the sector entirely due to recent legislative changes such as changes to Stamp Duty and benefits rules (55%), with a further 53% saying upcoming changes such as the overhaul of Section 21 rules were a factor.

Maxine Fothergill, ARLA Propertymark president, commented:

“As highlighted in the report, a large proportion of private landlords are retired, and the majority take home a gross profit of £20,000 or less a year and rely on rent as an income."

“Consequently, as landlords are persistently hit with legislative and tax changes, financial obligations are growing and incentives are non-existent, pushing many to withdraw their homes from the sector."

“Landlords have reported within the survey that for those who are going to leave the sector, recent and forthcoming legislative changes were the driving key factor to doing so."

“Urgent action is needed from the UK Government to maintain existing investment as any further reduction in supply could have a detrimental ramification for the housing sector and a rise in those facing homelessness will be inescapable.”

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