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Revealed: 1 in 4 landlords are planning to sell in the next year

3-minute read

Simply Business Landlord Report 2023 front cover, showing happy landlord looking at a tablet.
Conor Shilling

Conor Shilling

11 October 2023

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A combination of rising costs and increased regulation means a quarter (25 per cent) of landlords are planning to sell a property in the next 12 months.

This is according to the Simply Business Landlord Report 2023, which shines a light on the buy-to-let market and the challenges facing the nation’s landlords.

Why are landlords planning to sell up?

As well as those landlords who said they’re planning to sell a property in the coming year, almost one in 10 (nine per cent) said they’ve sold a property in the last 12 months.

The key reason for selling is the prospect of new legislation such as the Renters’ Reform Bill, cited by 49 per cent of those planning to sell.

Rising interest rates and mortgage costs is another key reason, with 43 per cent of landlords mentioning this when asked why they're planning to sell.

Tax increases are also cited by 32 per cent of landlords planning to sell.

An exodus of landlords from the rental market could put pressure on already limited supply, pushing up average rents, which are already at record highs.

A landlord from the South East who took part in the survey said they’re in the process of selling their rental property.

“I feel guilty about the fact that this will mean one less property in the pool from which hard-pressed renters can now choose.

“However, botched government plans, combined with a massive rise in mortgage payments, has left me with no alternative.”

Download the Landlord Report 2023

The findings from our Landlord Report are based on a survey of almost 1,500 landlords in August 2023. We spoke to accidental landlords with one property, all the way up to those with more than 10 properties.

The report provides a snapshot of the current buy-to-let market and what it’s like to be a landlord in 2023.

Download your free copy of the report for more buy-to-let trends, including where landlords are looking to buy and sell property plus their thoughts on the future of the rental market.

Rising costs named as key threat to buy-to-let market

Landlords participating in the survey were asked to select what they consider to be the single biggest threat to the buy-to-let market.

More than two fifths (42 per cent) chose the rising cost of being a landlord.

This comes as little surprise as 31 per cent have seen their monthly buy-to-let mortgage repayments increase in the last 12 months, with monthly repayments rising by £1,000 or more for five per cent of landlords.

Almost a fifth (19 per cent) expect their rental yield to decrease by up to 10 per cent this year, while eight per cent expect their rental yield to decrease by more than 20 per cent during the same period.

As a result, 47 per cent of respondents felt like they had no option but to increase their tenants’ rent. However, in the face of rising costs 49 per cent have managed to maintain their rental prices, while four per cent have lowered them.

How do landlords feel about upcoming rental reforms?

Earlier this year, the government published the long-awaited Renters’ Reform Bill. Its key measures for the English rental market include scrapping Section 21 evictions and making it easier for tenants to keep pets.

As the bill makes its way through parliament, we asked landlords how they feel about the proposed measures.

  • 66% regard constantly changing and confusing government legislation as one of their greatest challenges
  • 63% think landlords will increase rent to cover the increased risk of property damage caused by pets
  • 54% expect landlords to sell up and leave the market as a result of the changes to eviction laws
  • 20% see the Renters’ Reform Bill as the single biggest threat to the buy-to-let sector

Commenting on the plans to encourage pet ownership among tenants, Hayley, a landlord from Essex, said: “I have always been open to having pets within reason. It depends on the tenant and what type of pet owner they are, number of pets, size, and the type of property being let.

“There are many factors to be taken into consideration, which should ultimately be the landlord’s choice.”

Landlords and tenants need more clarity from the government

“A combination of economic uncertainty, changing regulations, and rising costs means there’s no shortage of challenges facing the nation’s landlords in 2023,” according to Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business.

“Landlords and tenants still need clarity from the government on the future of energy efficiency rules and more details about the Renters’ Reform Bill.

“Although the vast majority of landlords will welcome increased standards across the market, more details are needed so they can prepare for the biggest changes to tenancy law in a generation.

“Considering all this, it’s unsurprising that two thirds of landlords are concerned about the future. That being said, the long-term stability offered by property ownership means that 50 per cent still think buy-to-let is a good investment.

“It’s important that landlords are given the time and information they need to prepare for significant upheaval in the coming years, so they can continue to provide much-needed housing for almost five million households nationwide.”

What are your biggest concerns about the future of the rental market? Let us know in the comments below.

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Conor Shilling

Written by

Conor Shilling

Conor Shilling is a Copywriter at Simply Business with over two years’ experience in the insurance industry. A trained journalist, Conor has worked as a professional writer for 10 years. His previous experience includes writing for several leading online property trade publications. Conor specialises in the buy-to-let market, landlords, and small business finance.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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