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10% of landlords quit lettings sector each year, says Shelter

Campaigning charity Shelter claims around one in 10 landlords quit the lettings sector each year.


Using new research by YouGov it says there is substantial churn in the sector annually. 



In a new blog Shelter spokesman John Bibby says a survey of almost 4,500 people has found that seven per cent of British adults have been a landlord before, but are not now - it says that is the the equivalent of around 3.5m ex-landlords. 


About 29 per cent of these have stopped being landlords in the five years to March 2017, equivalent to almost a million people and an average of almost 200,000 a year – at least 10 per cent of the number thought to be landlords at the moment.


“Of course, the fact that the total number of landlords has continued to increase, even while a large number of landlords have been leaving the market every year, means that even more people are starting to let out property every year” says Bibby.


The charity has also looked at data from HMRC showing that the number of tax-paying landlords in the UK went up by almost half a million in the five years to 2014/15, to take the total to more than 1.8m. 


Shelter claims this figure is an underestimate, claiming on the blog that “some landlords evade tax by not declaring their rental income and others own their properties through company structures.” 

By using that data, even so, the charity suggests this indicates that while around 200,000 landlords have stopped being landlords every year, they have been more than replaced by 250,000 to 350,000 people who have started becoming landlords every year.

The charity says finding out churn in the sector is important because landlords selling their properties is an indicator of evictions.

  • jeremy clarke

    Shelter claims that " some landlords evade tax by not declaring their rental income."
    Anyone else see where this trumpet blowing mob are heading next? Watch out private landlords, you are soon to experience the wrath of this "charity" just as we honest letting agents have, not content until they've wound up thousands from rent a mob to campaign against you and attempt to ruin your business. All this whilst their management are paid eye watering salaries!
    Ask Shelter how many homeless people they actually rehoused last year!
    Imo now just lobbyists for their cause "for the few not the many!"


    Hi Jeremy. Both Shelter and the Government were attacking landlords before they got on to letting agents and to be frank, initially we could not get letting agents interested in helping us in our campaign against Section 24 - they would not even forward the petition against it to their members and clients. I am glad to say some letting agents now seem more interested in battling against the Government assault on the sector.

  • Paul Singleton

    Shelter are causing landlords to sell their properties. Shelter wanted the fees ban and that coupled with the 3% 'extra' stamp duty, the mortgage offset rules changing and letting agents likely to increase charges to landlords due to being unable to charge tenants anything is making Letting property unattractive. All we need now is an interest rate rise!
    Shelter will no doubt be crying when the tenants either have nowhere to go or have to pay more due to the lack of supply caused by shelters interference.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Does anyone agree with this stat? Don't think I have ever agree with a single stat released by Shelter- any agents seeing anything like this? We've not seen 1% leave let alone 10%!

    jeremy clarke

    The thing Is, shelter are not answerable to anyone. They can sit in their lovely offices drawing obscene salaries and make up numbers to suit their cause. Then they issue a press release, rent a mob get involved and before you know it government think it's real and you get a knee-jerk reaction which makes shelter look good and us nasty landlords and agents get it in the neck again!


    What they like to do is get a sample of a few hundred or a few thousand - we have no idea how they gathered that sample - and then extrapolate it to make declarations about 'millions' of these and 'millions' of that. I pointed this out to the RLA a while back and they did write a public letter to Shelter questioning their dodgy methodology.

  • icon

    Shelter disgust me. They campaign hard to get landlords to leave the sector, then come over all offended when they leave and evict as a result! They want homeowners but get all moralistic when a tenant loses their home to allow this! You couldn't make it up. You want landlords gone? Fine, but so are their rental houses.


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