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Shelter insists age, not taxes, forces landlords to quit buy to let

The reasons behind ‘landlord churn’ - when buy to let investors sell up - are more connected with personal circumstances than with policy changes or the introduction of new taxes, according to campaigning charity Shelter.


The charity - which earlier this week produced data claiming 10 per cent of landlords quit the buy to let sector each year - has now unveiled research by the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research.



This suggests that recent policy changes had “only limited influence” on landlords’ decisions to sell, and instead issues such as their age or enthusiasm for being a landlord was a much more important factor. 


“We know from previous research that a large proportion of private landlords are older people and – in any given year – may want to retire from being a landlord. Thirty five per cent of current landlords are over the age of 65. We also know that a quarter of landlords only got into the business accidentally and may not be in it for the long-term” says a blog on the Shelter website.


It claims that 13 per cent of landlords only started letting their property because they wanted to sell but couldn’t, and that many of this group may sell imminently. 


Another 12 per cent of landlords say they started because they inherited the property and may have no interest in doing it for the long-term.


Shelter also claims that future policy changes such as the continuation of the phasing out of mortgage interest tax relief, and possible interest rate rises, would probably not significantly change landlords’ views of whether to stay in or leave the sector. 

The research concludes: “…the landlords interviewed showed a strong commitment to the private rented sector and are not likely to leave in a hurry…Falls in house prices, or reduced profits, are unlikely to make many sell up…Landlords appear, overall, to respond to changes in the economic or fiscal environment by changing the rate at which they purchase new properties, rather than sell existing stock.”

Shelter ends its blog by claiming that in general “the link between moderate policy change and landlord exit is loose and not as important as changes in personal circumstances.”

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    The changes to taxation in Mortgage interest started 4 months ago and are being phased in over a four year period.

    How Shelter can decide that this policy is not going to cause landlords to leave the sector at such an early date is ridiculous.

    The Social rental sector is a mess because of Shelter and it looks like they are hell bent on breaking the Private rental sector as well.

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    Shelter make themselves look ever-more ridiculous and out of touch with each new statement issued. The Cambridge report is already proven to be deeply flawed, not to mention Shelter's unwillingness to accept absolute facts staring them in the face. Their spin to disregard the biggest iceberg in PRS history is staggering. Get them to explain in detail the link between them, L&G, BTR, S24, higher rents and homelessness, and they NEVER answer. It is corruption. They are paid by L&G who benefit from the death of the private landlord. They are an utterly discredited organisation.

  • jeremy clarke

    Usual head up arse response from shelter who clearly have only one thing on their agenda which is themselves. They and their former chief bullshitter who has gone elsewhere to spread his poisonous lies need to be exposed for what they are, evil one sided lobbyists!

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    If words were cake shelter would never go hungry.

    jeremy clarke

    If words were cake then shelter would be complaining about the sugar and calorie content!

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    They are a thoroughly negative organisation. Spending £60 million on this BS is a disgrace when homes are needed.

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    Trying to make out landlords aren't concerned about so-called 'moderate' policy changes (they're referring to the extreme punitive taxation of fictitious profit which can mean infinite effective tax rates) is ridiculous. A survey just out has shown how taxation is the number one concern of landlords. So Shelter can put that in their pipe and smoke it:



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