EU Negotiations of Less Concern than Domestic Regulatory Change for Landlords

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Landlords are undeterred by the prospect of leaving the EU, with domestic influences more concerning, according to the third annual Landlord Voice Survey from Simple Landlords Insurance.

The government is currently engaged in the latest round of Brexit negotiations, with uncertainty pervading regarding Britain’s future outside of the European Union. However, 85 per cent of landlords are undeterred by the prospect of Brexit, with a mere 8 per cent saying that they would postpone the expansion of their property portfolio’s due to Britain’s imminent exit from the EU. In contrast, 3 per cent said they they would increase their investment in the buy to let market.

Domestic influences pose a far greater concern to the UK’s buy to let sector. 56 per cent of landlords who own five or more properties have reevaluated their investment plans for the coming year due to concerns regarding stamp duty, capital gains tax and stricter mortgage lending rules.

The Government’s decision to reduce tax relief on mortgage interest payments, a move that came into effect from April this year, was a major issue for larger landlords, whilst those with less properties expressed worry about periods of occupancy.

A mere 1 per cent of landlords with large portfolios feel supported by the government, a figure which rises to just 3 per cent for landlords with smaller portfolios.

However, landlords remain optimistic, with a mere 3 per cent planning to exit the buy to let sector in the next 12 months. This marks only a marginal increase in comparison to 2016. 32 per cent of landlords who own five or more properties plan to invest further in the market in the next two years.

Director of Operations at Simple Landlords, Alex Huntley said: ‘Brexit turns out to be the least of landlords’ worries – it’s government policy that’s causing the most sleepless nights – and causing landlords to mistrust policy-makers. Yet despite the uncertainly and instability in the market, landlords remain remarkably up-beat about their future prospects. The bigger the landlord, the more positive the outlook. Opportunities remain for landlords who are focused on managing their investments, staying ahead of the regulatory curve, and growing steadily but surely.’

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