Landlords unfazed about a change of political party, as majority plan to maintain portfolios regardless

The latest market insight by Zero Deposit, the tenancy deposit alternative, has found that landlords are largely unfazed about the potential change of political party in July, with the majority planning to keep the size of their buy-to-let portfolio as is for the foreseeable future.

Landlords have been hit with a raft of legislative changes under a Conservative government, from changes to tax relief on mortgage payments, stamp duty hikes for second home purchases and a number of other initiatives designed to dent buy-to-let desirability.

Despite this, a survey of landlords, commissioned by Zero Deposit*, found that 82% have chosen to maintain the size of their buy-to-let portfolio under the Conservative Government. However, one in 10 have chosen to reduce its size, while just 6% have added to it.

Further changes had been due via the Rental Reform Bill, most significantly a ban on Section 21 Evictions, although this has now been thrown into doubt with the announcement of a general election in July. In fact, Zero Deposit found that just over a quarter (27%) of landlords think the bill will now be dissolved.

But despite the future of the rental market now being shrouded in political uncertainty, Zero Deposit found a potential change of political party is unlikely to faze landlords.

78% stated that they will continue to maintain the current size of their portfolio should Labour win the general election.

However, almost two in 10 (19%) stated that if Labour were to win they would reduce the size of their portfolio, double that to have done the same under a Conservative government.

When asked which of Labour’s rental market promises they were least in favour of, the intention to end automatic evictions for tenants who fall into rent arrears ranked top.

Rights for renters to have pets was the second least favourable Labour policy, while mandatory EPC upgrades also rank high at number three.

Interestingly, the abolishment of Section 21 notices only placed fourth, with four month notice periods also making the top five.

Sam Reynolds, CEO of Zero Deposit commented:

“Traditionally the Conservatives may have been viewed as the party of choice for landlords, but we’ve seen a string of legislative changes in recent years that may suggest otherwise. Despite a squeeze on profitability, the majority of landlords have chosen to maintain the size of their portfolio and given the challenges already faced, it’s hardly surprising that they remain largely unfazed by a potential change of political party at the forthcoming election.

The election itself has inadvertently shelved the implementation of the most significant rental sector changes in many years and while it remains to be seen just what will come of the Rental Reform Bill, most landlords will be understandably lacking confidence that either party will drive any real improvement in the sector.

What is interesting to see, is that while Labour have committed to implementing a ban on Section 21 evictions, it isn’t the biggest concern amongst landlords when it comes to potential changes to the sector under the party.”

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