The latest research from the National Landlords Association has revealed that landlord confidence in their own lettings business has slumped to an all-time low with just 28% rating the prospects for their lettings business in the next three months as “very good” or “good”.
According to the figures, this is a significant fall in confidence, down from 38% at the beginning of the year, and reflects the fact that a majority of landlords have seen their profits dwindle over the past few years.
Some 20% said their profits had “reduced significantly” since 2015, when confidence levels reached 67%, while another 31% said they had “reduced slightly”.
The NLA’s findings come as landlords face outspoken criticism from politicians. Only last week, the Labour Party, launching its general election campaign, listed “dodgy landlords” among a broader “elite” group of “tax dodgers”, “bad bosses” and “big polluters” who were all accused of being part of a “corrupt system”.
Landlords have also been hit by the unresolved Brexit crisis, which has led to fewer migrant workers and students looking for accommodation. The NLA found that 30% of landlords who let to migrants and 28% who let to students saw a fall in demand in the three months to September.
One landlord told the NLA’s researchers: “My Wales property is a house in multiple occupancy (HMO), and it is reliant on EU migration. Brexit has killed the market.” Echoing this, another landlord said: “We rent to international students and workers, and everyone is unsure of what’s going on with funding and residency.”
Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA said, “Landlords play a vital role in our society, providing homes for people from all walks of life – but they are still commonly portrayed as ‘dodgy’.
This really is an insult to the vast majority who are doing their best to provide homes for families, couples young and old, people on benefits, and students, and in the process provide for their own future. The fact that many landlords are now questioning the viability of their lettings business is a disaster for Britain. Politicians should back off, resolve the Brexit crisis, and give landlords some respect.
We hope that whichever political party is in power when we wake up on the morning of 13 December properly considers the invaluable contribution of the UK’s 2m landlords to the country’s housing supply.”