‘Record numbers of landlords planning to exit the market’ – claim

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is warning that scrapping Section 21 will cut rental supply.

The RLA said that a quarter of its members are contemplating selling at least one property in the next year.

This is the highest proportion of landlords planning an exit since the RLA first started asking this question regularly in 2016.

The same poll, of around 2,500 landlords, shows that 23% have seen an increase in demand for rental property over the previous three months, with 57% reporting it to be stable.

Despite the increased demand, more than a third of landlords reported low levels of confidence in the private rented sector over the next 12 months.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said: “All the talk of longer tenancies will mean nothing if the homes to rent are not there in the first place.

“The Government’s tax increases on the sector are already making it difficult for tenants to find a place to live, with many landlords not renewing tenancies.

“If rushed and not thought through, planned changes to the way landlords can repossess properties risk making the situation even worse.

“Action is needed to stimulate supply with pro-growth taxation and a process for repossessing homes that is fair to all.”

However, David Alexander, joint managing director of Edinburgh-based agent Apropos by DJ Alexander, pointed out that many of the incoming changes in England, such as the tenant fees ban and the scrapping of Section 21 notices, have already been introduced in Scotland.

Alexander said: “The no-fault grounds for eviction notices no longer apply in Scotland and the Scottish Government recently introduced much greater security of tenure for tenants.

“In many ways Scotland has led the way in improving the rights of tenants and changing the relationship between landlord and tenant.

“All of the changes which have already occurred in Scotland led to complaints from landlords and agents that it would mean the end of the lettings market.

“Yet the world has not collapsed, landlords and agents are still making money from property, and the best in the market adapt.”


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  1. James Wilson

    This is great news. BTLers selling into an already falling market will push prices back down closer to more realistic levels.

    1. Will2

      It’s a market. As rental supply drops demand for purchases will rise and demand will increase sales prices. Sudden changes such as mass exodus will produce some bargains until the markets stabilise. Good prospect some landlord will look to holiday lets which takes property away from the domestic market

    2. JMK

      Apart from the fact that you are hugely overestimating the effect that this has on the market, who is it good news for James?  
      Let’s say you’re right and house prices drop….
      Is it good news for the individuals and families that will be displaced, most of whom will then boost the statistic of 82,000 households in temporary or emergency accommodation?  
      Is it good news for those that can and still need to rent when they find shortage of supply and rising rents?  
      Is it good news for those youngsters that have saved hard to buy a little place of their own and would face negative equity if the scenario you suggest did in fact come about?
      Indeed is it good news for those that have made use of the Help To Buy scheme and by doing so have already paid too much for, what might be a sub-standard build?  
      Is it good news for the builders, who faced with a downturn in prices will almost certainly scale back production?   
      Is it therefore good news for the country as a whole as we need more homes? With the construction industry being such an important part of our economy then is it good news for business as a whole?  A major drop in prices could force the builders to shut up shop and go home and that could tilt us into recession.  Then people would lose their jobs, is that good for them?  
      Or is it just good for you and the rest of the entitlement culture, which I’m assuming you’re part of?

  2. AgentQ73

    The change in taxation in my experience is causing far more landlords to sell up than the fees ban or section 21. Pretty much every time a rental property becomes vacant the landlords are at least thinking about selling.

    1. Will2

      Look at the history and effects of the 1977 Rent Act in the early 1980’s and why the 1988 housing act was introduced to reinstate a rental market. S21 abolition is a serious threat for landlords as well as tenants. As landlords exit the market tenants will have less opportunity to rent driving wealthier tenants purchase. It’s the less wealthy tenants who will suffer most.

      1. AgentQ73

        On one hand politicians of all colours want landlords to take up the shortfall in social housing and on the other hand they want to tax Landlords to the maximum and drive them out the market. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.

  3. JamesB

    watch for government blaming landlords for evicting tenants .. shelter and generation rant will gladly use those statistics to back in their protests to stop landlords getting possession lots of propaganda to come ! 

  4. Property Poke In The Eye

    The world will go on!

    1. PossessionFriendUK39

      … world will go on, – for who ?   where will the queues of DSS Tenants that Landlords will not want to risk renting to without the ability of Sec 21 to end – retrieve Possession on the minimal number of occasions where the Tenant is found to be a bad-un.

      And please don’t tell me that Landlords will willingly rent to them and ‘take their chances with a Section 8 Grounds – proven basis,’  as it will show ignorance of court Possession cases and real-life Landlord experience.

  5. Property Poke In The Eye

    Still plenty of business to be had, keep focused.

  6. The_Maluka

    The government has created a lose-lose environment for landlords and tenants.  The only entity in the equation which has benefited, and then only in the short term, is HMG, and let’s face it if you are the one making the rules you will always ensure that you are on the winning side.

    Eventually everyone will fail but the cunning government has a whipping boy to blame for its inability to manage the supply of social housing.

  7. Woodentop

    Using Scotland as an example may be a mistake and arguably a different market with traditionally lower ownership 40% in the 1980’s increased to 58% in 2015 (Source Scots Gov). Scotland 262,000 rented properties mainly owned by one landlord (232,000) as is England, compared to the UK’s o/a 5 million rented properties. If RLA are right 1 million !!!!!! rented properties will disappear. Just 5% is going to be a massive loss. Who has the correct crystal ball = no-one, so the government are playing with fire.


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