Is this the end for the small-time landlord?

The Sunday Times have published an article wondering if the days of the small landlords are numbered.

The article can be seen here (subscription might be required) and states “To keep up with the rising cost of buying, maintaining and letting a property, he faces a stark choice: to raise the rent or sell up and take one more home out of a shrinking private rental market. Government figures show that almost 260,000 private rentals have disappeared back into the sales market in the past four years, and 230,000 more a year are needed to keep up with rising demand.

A severe shortage of housing means the private rented sector is now a sinking ship. The first distress signal was pictures on social media of queues of renters snaking along streets for property viewings. Record-breaking rents followed; 74 per cent of letting agents reported month-on-month rent increases in September, according to lettings regulator Arla Propertymark — the average before the pandemic was 34 per cent. Mayday is bidding wars, gazumping and tenants offering thousands upfront for properties they haven’t even seen.”

As the article states, the problem started in 2015, when the then Chancellor introduced Section 24, restricting mortgage interest tax relief and introduced a 3 per cent surcharge on stamp duty land tax for each additional property bought.

The article goes on to say “The numbers simply aren’t adding up any more for the small-time landlord. Last year’s English Private Landlord Survey shows that 85 per cent of landlords are individuals, rather than companies, and own between one and four properties (with 45 per cent owning just one property).”

 

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