Belvoir says more landlords are selling up and fewer newcomers are investing in the private rental sector because of increased legislation and punitive taxation policies.
The franchise giant is also calling on the government to take urgent remedial action in the Autumn Budget to incentivise those landlords who are providing much-needed good quality accommodation for the UK’s growing tenant population.
“Property supply and tenant demand is something that Belvoir has been tracking closely, ever since the government embarked on a flawed policy to try and reduce the number of investment landlords so that more first time buyers could enter the market” says Belvoir chief executive Dorian Gonsalves.
“Belvoir has continually warned that this policy would not work, as the UK’s rising population requires more homes across all tenures, including those people wishing to buy, people wanting to rent privately, and of course people requiring social housing” he adds.
He says his company’s rental index for the second quarter of the year shows that more agents than ever before are reporting that landlords are selling up.
A sample survey of franchisees reveals an increase - from 46 to 48 per cent - in the number of offices reporting that their landlords are selling up to three properties, and an increase from seven to 17 per cent of landlords selling between six to 10 properties.
One Belvoir office reported that it currently has 17 families on notice due to landlords putting their properties on the market.
Gonsalves continues: “Although government policies such as a loss of mortgage tax relief, and increased stamp duty on second homes is hurting landlords, they still have a choice as to how to invest their money, whereas tenants have little or no choice of where to rent due to a reduction in supply.”
He says concerns about the possibility of mandatory three-year tenancies may also influence the decision of landlords.
“The majority of landlords are not actively against three-year tenancies. Our survey shows that tenants are already remaining in their homes for longer, with 40 per cent staying for 19 to 24 months, and 17 per cent choosing to rent a property for over two years.”
But the Belvoir boss insists that should three-year tenancies become mandatory, landlords will need reassurance that they can gain possession of their property when needed, and will be protected against tenants who do not pay their rent, or abuse a property or indulge in anti-social behaviour.
“We are urging the government to do more in the Autumn Budget to address stock shortages in the UK, by incentivising the new build sector with low maintenance homes through more Help to Buy and Buy to Rent schemes to provide more homes to own” he concludes.