The Nationwide’s buy-to-let arm The Mortgage Works (TMW) have conducted a poll of more than 700 landlords to ascertain their reaction to the White Paper, ‘Fairer Private Rented Sector’
Many landlords are concerned they could be left vulnerable to difficult tenancies and more than half said they would be more particular about the tenants they accept. This is especially the case among landlords with portfolios of more than 20 properties – nearly a third (32%) said that they would sell up if Section 21 was scrapped, whilst more than half (56%) of landlords admit they will be more particular about the tenants they accept. This is an especially prevalent view amongst those landlords with larger portfolios with 62% of those with 20 or more properties saying they will be more particular.
However, there is broad support for a landlord register, with 62% are supporting the idea, and 32% opposing. P art of the lack of support may be because more than half of landlords (53%) do not believe introducing a National Landlord Register will have any impact in deterring rogue landlords. That rises to two thirds (66%) of landlords with 20 or more properties.
When asked why they don’t believe the introduction of a National Landlord Register will deter rogue landlords, comments included:
- “Rogue landlords have no concern about the law.”
- “People who are desperate for somewhere to live will rent from unregistered landlords.”
- “Rogue landlords don’t operate within the law now, so why would they join a register?
- “Rogue landlords will always find a way to get away with their practices because there are not enough enforcement officers. There will always be the worst off in society who will settle for less than is lawful in legislation just to get a roof over their heads.”
The Decent Homes Standard was a firm winner among investors, with more than eight in 10 supportive. More than two thirds believe their properties already meet the new standard. Meanwhile, a third say they would put up rent to meet the new benchmark.
Dan Clinton, director of landlord at The Mortgage Works, said: “We believe everyone should have a safe, secure and comfortable home, which is why we are committed to improving standards within the private rented sector. The proposals outlined in the Government’s white paper should serve to have a positive impact on housing quality and conditions for tenants.
“While landlords appear to be largely in favour of a National Landlord Register and Decent Homes Standard, it is revealing that one in four would consider selling in the event of Section 21 being abolished. This highlights the importance of listening to landlords’ concerns as these policies take shape, particularly when considering the broader set of regulatory changes already affecting them.
“A mutually beneficial private rented sector needs to offer tenants the security they will not be evicted without good reason, yet also provide landlords the confidence they can gain possession of a property quickly and efficiently if something does go wrong, such as anti-social behaviour. As a buy-to-let lender, we are keen to understand how the changes will be implemented, to ensure we fulfil our role of helping to balance the needs of landlords as well as tenants.”