Landlords’ confidence in their lettings business has slumped to an all-time low, according to research by the National Landlords Association.
In a survey of members the NLA found just 28 per cent rated the prospects for their own business in the next three months as “very good” or “good”.
The association says this is a significant fall in confidence, down from 38 per cent at the beginning of the year, and reflects the fact that a majority of landlords have seen their profits dwindle over the past few years.
Some 20 per cent said their profits had “reduced significantly” since 2015, when confidence levels reached 67 per cent, while another 31 per cent said they had “reduced slightly”.
Landlords have also been hit by the unresolved Brexit crisis, which has led to fewer migrant workers and students looking for accommodation.
The NLA found that some 30 per cent of landlords who let to migrants and 28 per cent who let to students saw a fall in demand in the three months to September.
One landlord told the NLA’s researchers: “My Wales property is a house in multiple occupancy and it is reliant on EU migration. Brexit has killed the market.” Echoing this, another landlord said: “We rent to international students and workers, and everyone is unsure of what’s going on with funding and residency.”
Association chief executive Richard Lambert says: “Landlords play a vital role in our society — providing homes for people from all walks of life - but they are still commonly portrayed as ‘dodgy’. This really is an insult to the vast majority who are doing their best to provide homes for families, couples young and old, people on benefits, and students, and in the process provide for their own future.
“The fact that many landlords are now questioning the viability of their lettings business is a disaster for Britain. Politicians should back off, resolve the Brexit crisis, and give landlords some respect.
“We hope that whichever political party is in power when we wake up on the morning of December 13 properly considers the invaluable contribution of the UK’s two million landlords to the country’s housing supply."