A number buy-to-let landlords have been working with struggling tenants to help keep them in their homes as far as possible during the pandemic, with plenty prepared to reduce rents, the latest research shows.
Some 43% of landlords surveyed said that they had temporarily lowered rents during the pandemic to help tenants.
Matt Trevett, managing director at The DPS, said: “Although the buy-to-let market has remained more buoyant than some predicted, the last year has not been without its challenges for many tenants and landlords.
“The survey suggests a large proportion of landlords have been acting to support their tenants, with a significant proportion saying they had temporarily lowered rents during the pandemic.”
The study also found that more than a third – 34% – of landlords have recently bought or soon intend to buy another buy-to-let property within the next nine months.
Results from the poll of 300-plus landlords suggest that the ‘opportunity to buy at a discount’ is the most commonly cited reason among those who have recently bought or soon intend to buy additional rental property, with other key factors including long‑term investment (35%), stamp duty savings (34%) and diversification by either location (26%) or property type (23%).
Paul Fryers, managing director at Zephyr Homeloans, said: “Understanding the purchasing motivations behind professional landlords is an essential factor for Zephyr and our mortgage broker clients.
“It’s equally important to recognise and appreciate some of the challenges landlords have been facing during the past year and how they will affect their current and future applications.”
The survey results also suggested that 22% had refinanced their mortgages since the arrival of coronavirus, 7% of landlords have taken a mortgage holiday, and 13% of landlords have sold a property during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, landlords who did not purchase additional BTL properties over the last year cited ‘declining rental yields’ (51%) and ‘concern about economic stability’ (42%) as their main reasons.
Fryers added: “During the pandemic we saw a significant rise in the use of limited companies to buy and manage property portfolios, and it seems a significant proportion of landlords have made the most of the opportunities provided by the buoyant market conditions we have experienced over the past six months.”