It’s a vital time for letting agents to hammer home the benefits of buy to let and the dangers to landlords of selling up.
That’s the view of Neil Cobbold, chief operating officer of rental payment automation platform PayProp.
He says the task is particularly key with the tenant fees ban fast approaching and data from ARLA Propertymark suggesting each letting agency branch saw four landlord clients selling up in February alone.
Cobbold says there’s plenty of ammunition for agents extolling the virtues of buy to let.
"Firstly, recent HomeLet figures show rents up in every region of the UK over the past year. This gives landlords the opportunity to secure solid rental returns, particularly in areas where property prices remain below the UK average.
"What's more, demand for rental property remains high and consistent, with the latest English Housing Survey showing that the private rental sector has doubled in size since 2002 and now represents the largest housing tenure in London" he says.
Cobbold adds that due to Brexit uncertainty, the sales market continues to underperform.
"If landlords look to sell now, there’s no guarantee they'll secure a quick sale for the best possible price. And in the event they sell and then decide to revisit buy to let in the future, they'll be required to pay an additional three per cent in stamp duty when purchasing a property and could be faced with stricter mortgage lending criteria" he explains.
So Cobbold suggests agents contacting landlords personally to reassure them of the benefits of buy to let, possibly showcasing recent local market statistics and emphasising their combination of expert advice, a professional and personal service and efficient PropTech-enabled processes which ensure compliance with industry regulations.
"During challenging times, it’s important for landlords to know that they have a letting agent on hand who is a property expert with their best interests at heart" he concludes.