News: Landlords sell up as buy-to-let crackdown bites

Wed, 06 Dec 17

The past few months have seen a number of buy-to-let investors sell up, and this is expected to place upward pressure on rents next year, bringing further misery to Britain’s growing army of renters, according to ARLA Propertymark (formerly the Association of Residential Letting Agents).

The supply of rental properties has fallen since January, when it stood at 193, owed largely to a rise in the number of buy-to-let landlords selling their properties, caused by a raft of ‘anti-landlord’ policies.

The introduction of the 3% stamp duty surcharge, the scrapping of the 10% ‘wear and tear’ tax allowance, and the fact that mortgage tax relief is currently being phased out, have prompted concern that there could be a net reduction of private rented properties next year, as more experienced landlords sell rather than buy.

“It was always going to be an interesting year, following the announcement of the letting agent fee ban in last November’s Autumn Statement,” said David Cox, chief executive, ARLA Propertymark.

Cox believes that buy-to-let landlords are becoming “more selective” about their property investments in light of last year’s stamp duty changes.

He added: “Mortgage interest relief is starting to bite which is why we saw an increased number of landlords selling up.

“It’s likely that as we move into 2018, tenants will continue to see rent increases as supply starts to reduce, demand continues apace, and legislative changes increase costs for landlords.”

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