Following the end of the stamp duty holiday on 1 October, landlords are hesitant about buying more property according to a new study by Simply Business.
The study of 560 landlords from across the UK reveals that many still have concerns about government regulation, with over a third (35%) citing this as a reason for their decision not to buy more property.
There is also considerable uncertainty around the viability of the sector in general, with 23% of landlords saying they are worried about the future of the rental market.
This comes off the back of a challenging 18 months for private landlords – many of whom felt more government support was needed for both landlords and tenants in the height of the pandemic.
Two fifths of landlords (43%) say better compensation should have been offered to those who lost rental income, while more than one in three (34%) believe that government should have provided financial support for tenants who were unable to pay their rent.
The rental landscape is likely to remain uncertain in the immediate future , as the government’s planned £20 per week cut to Universal Credit threatens to escalate existing difficulties for tenants.
Recent research from charity StepChange revealed that 225,000 private renters expected to lose their homes after falling into arrears.
Landlords are not universally pessimistic, however. The study shows that 31% of landlords are feeling positive about the future, and the majority (59%) still think that letting property is a worthwhile investment.
Alan Thomas, CEO of Simply Business, commented:
“The impact of the pandemic has been felt across all corners of the country – and that’s no different for the 2.6m landlords who let out residential properties in the UK.
The extent of the pandemic’s impact is made clear in our latest research, with many landlords still hesitant about investing in new property.
Contributing over £16 billion annually in pre-tax spending, an exodus of smaller landlords from the buy-to-let market could have a devastating impact on the UK economy.
But more than this, landlords are crucial to our communities, offering much-needed accommodation to over 4.4m households.
Thankfully, for the most part landlords remain resilient – 59% of landlords still think property is a worthwhile investment, while almost a third are optimistic about their future letting property.
Insuring over 300,000 landlords has given us a unique insight into the impact of Covid-19 on this audience.
And now more than ever – as the UK looks to recover from the effects of the pandemic – it’s vital that we recognise their significant contribution to the economy, and the important role they play in providing safe and affordable housing in our towns and cities.”