A new report on the state of the lettings industry suggests figures are growing fearful of the impact of the Renters Reform Bill.
Some 43 per cent of agents feel either somewhat or very pessimistic about the Bill. However 29 per cent are feeling optimistic about the changes.
But 55 per cent of agents cited the Bill as a factor driving landlords out (a statistic which is 15 per cent higher than when agents were polled on this question last year).
Some 56 per cent of landlords also cited the Bill as a reason for leaving the sector.
Landlords are overall feeling pessimistic about the introduction of the new rules - with 25 per cent feeling “very” pessimistic and 29 per cent feeling “somewhat pessimistic.” Only 14 per cent of landlords are feeling at all optimistic.
Landlords hold the most negative views regarding the introduction of a new ombudsman - a key part of the reforms - with 43 per cent believing it would have a negative impact on the sector, and 22 per cent believing it would have a positive impact.
Conversely, 42 per cent of letting agents and 41 per cent of industry suppliers believe that it would have a positive impact.
The figures come from the annual Goodlord State of the Lettings Industry report.
Elsewhere in the report some 95 per cent of agents report that at least one of their landlords sold at least one of their properties.
Nearly a quarter of letting agents saw up to 20 per cent of their landlords selling at least one of their properties.
And 80 per cent of letting agents said they expected more landlords to leave the sector in the next 12 months - 36 per cent said they believed it would be a “significant amount”.
Goodlord chief operating officer William Reeve comments: “This is our biggest report to date, both in terms of respondent size and the scope of topics covered.
“We’ve all felt the pressures facing the rental market over the last 12 months, but today’s report offers tangible evidence around what’s actually happening on the ground.
“We can see which forces are giving landlords pause for thought, where anxieties for tenants are coalescing, and how agents are preparing for change. The private rental sector is a vital part of our economy; we hope this report provides valuable insight to all of its stakeholders and encourages decision makers to take the steps which will boost confidence in the market, particularly for landlords.”