Belvoir is calling for the Chancellor to introduce incentives in November’s Budget to encourage landlords to remain in the sector. It said that in one of its branches, 17 rental households have been given notice because the landlords want to sell up.
The franchise network’s latest data on activity among its letting agents in the second quarter found that 48% of landlords have sold up to three properties, up from 46% in the first three months of this year.
There was also an increase from 7% to 17% in the number of Belvoir landlords selling between six and ten properties between the first and second quarter of this year.
Dorian Gonsalves, chief executive of Belvoir, warned that these exits were as a result of the tax clampdowns on the buy-to-let sector and urged Chancellor Philip Hammond to introduce perks to encourage landlords to remain in the private rented sector (PRS).
He said: “More agents than ever before are reporting that landlords are selling up.
“Although government policies such as a loss of mortgage tax relief and increased Stamp Duty on second homes is hurting landlords, they still have a choice as to how to invest their money, whereas tenants have little or no choice of where to rent due to a reduction in supply.
“Concerns about the possibility of mandatory three-year tenancies may also influence the decision of landlords, and there are real concerns that there could be an increase in homelessness, as there is insufficient social housing to accommodate people.
“We are urging the Government to do more in the Budget to address stock shortages in the UK, by incentivising the new-build sector with low maintenance homes through more Help to Buy and Buy to Rent schemes to provide more homes to own.
“Landlords also need rewards and incentives to encourage them to remain in the PRS, such as reversing current tax increases and introducing tax breaks, as well as initiatives such as tax incentives for landlords who buy large properties and turn them into several affordable and low maintenance flats suitable for the rental sector.”
Belvoir’s data also showed that offices that have traded for more than ten years reported a 1.75% annual increase in rents charged by landlords to £744 a month in the second quarter, while newer offices registered just a 0.75% rise to £782.