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82% of landlords agree with three-year tenancies – on these conditions

2-minute read

Mollie Millman

5 November 2018

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A massive 82 per cent of landlords say that three-year tenancies are acceptable, but with some conditions.

A survey of 1,250 landlords by advice website The Property Hub asked about potential policy changes that could have an impact on landlords in the future, such as three-year tenancies becoming mandatory.

The survey also revealed that the majority of landlords aren’t planning to retreat from the sector, despite economic uncertainty and a recent slew of tax changes.

  • Autumn Budget 2018: a summary for landlords

Are landlords worried about three-year tenancies?

A huge 82 per cent of landlords said the policy would only be acceptable if there was a way to remove tenants who fall into rent arrears that’s faster than the current method.

A total of 69 per cent also said they would need to have the ability to increase rents, while 59 per cent said they would need tax incentives to offer longer tenancies.

Less than nine per cent said they would oppose the policy regardless.

Rob Dix, co-founder of The Property Hub, explained: “Getting good long-term tenants is the goal for any landlord so it’s not surprising that less than nine per cent of landlords would be against this policy regardless of any concessions.

“However, landlords obviously need to be protected too so it’s only natural that those operating in the sector are calling for some reassurance.”

Landlords plan on increasing their portfolio

The research also revealed that eight out of 10 landlords plan on buying more property in the next year. It equates to 1.95 million investors who will increase their property portfolio.

This comes despite concerns about the current pressures on landlords, which include the three per cent stamp duty surcharge they must pay on buying new properties and the reduction of the tax relief that they can claim.

It’s also amid a background of uncertainty about the economy, due in part by Brexit.

Are landlords planning to sell any properties?

A total of 84 per cent of landlords said they also had no plans to sell any properties in the next three years, while 66 per cent said that even if the government announced further tax measures – such as restricting interest relief for companies – they still wouldn’t sell up.

Rob Dix said: “There has been so much talk of a mass exodus of landlords and the death of buy-to-let, it’s easy for some would-be landlords or, indeed, tenants, to believe the rental market is on its knees. However, it’s clear from our survey that landlords are far from retreating from the market.”

Are landlords leaving the buy-to-let sector?

He went on to add: “Taken as a whole, the results of our survey show that the caricature of landlords fleeing the sector when the going gets tough isn’t in line with reality.

“Most landlords are in it for the long term and have sound business plans – they don’t view property as a get-rich-quick scheme.

“The Armageddon-style headlines in much of the press over the last two years in no way reflect the way landlords are feeling. Buy-to-let is far from dead.”

He concluded by suggesting that landlords can still be successful despite the new environment that they are operating in.

“Are investors operating in a new landscape? Certainly. Is it one they’re unable to navigate successfully? Absolutely not,” he said.

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