Tax measures and regulatory changes are the issues that cause most concern for UK landlords, according to new research from Upad.co.uk.
The online letting agent used a representative pool of different types of residential landlords in order to discern which issues caused most concern. The outcome was then compared to mainstream media reporting of landlord issues. Whilst tax and regulatory changes were seen as the most pressing issues, a fifth of landlords saw levels of client demand as a key issue.
However, despite the concerns presented, 66 per cent of landlords reported that they had no intention of changing their portfolios in the next two to five years, suggesting that certain headline reports could simply be scaremongering.
Moving forward, the management and mitigation of void periods was flagged as a significant issue for many investors. 13 per cent cited this as ‘quite important’ whilst 74 per cent claimed it was ‘very important.’
Laura Dawson, a part-time landlord with six properties, outlined her views on the subject: ‘Recent tax changes have made many landlords question their future in the sector. I’m, however, viewing my portfolio as a long-term investment strategy so have no immediate plans to change anything. However, what is often of more concern, is the impact that is felt between tenancies when a property is delivering no rental income. The market is currently very buoyant so this is less of a concern right now, but that can change at any time and when a property does stand empty, the landlord starts to rack up costs. The longer a property takes to let, the less attractive it becomes to prospective tenants, not only because it drops further down the listings, but also because it becomes perceived as ‘unpopular’. Quickly securing quality tenants is, therefore, vital.’
Founder of Upad.co.uk, James Davis, added: ‘It’s easy to assume that landlords are most troubled by the big issues of the day, those topics which the industry and media become all-consumed by. Whilst these issues clearly do concern landlords, it is often the more mundane aspects of renting a property that have an impact on how a landlord chooses to manage his or her portfolio to reduce the stress-levels associated with doing so. We work closely with our landlords to ensure that we provide them with the tools to make the management of their property portfolio easier. We can’t change the tax regime, but we can deliver market-leading technology that allows landlords to quickly identify the right tenant and successful let their property – we believe this research demonstrates just how vital this is.’