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Imla calls for government to “put the brakes” on BTL intervention

Imla is calling for the government to “put the brakes on regulating and taxing” landlords, citing disincentivised small landlords.

The trade association warns that the private rented sector is still encountering adverse effects as a result of tax and regulatory changes of the last few years. Imla believes that further changes could impact tenant choice and raise rents.

The English Private Landlord Survey 2018 highlights that 61 per cent of landlords planning to sell some, or all of their properties, stated legislative changes as the reason behind their intentions.

The survey outlines that the number of landlords with one rental property fell from 78 per cent to 45 per cent between 2010 and 2018.

In contrast, the number of landlords who own five or more properties increased from 5 per cent to 17 per cent in same time frame.

Professional landlords now account for 48 per cent of the private rented sector, having increased from 38 per cent in 2010. Meanwhile, the number of singe-property landlords fell from 40 per cent to 21 per cent.

Imla believes these changes are the result of a constricted mortgage market during the financial crisis, large institutions investing in build-to-rent accommodation, and government intervention leading to small-scale property investment becoming less profitable.

Furthermore, data collected by Imla shows that the number of properties purchased for BTL increased by 250 per cent between 2009 and 2015, a rise from £4.5bn to £15.6bn.

However, since 2015, BTL purchases have fallen by 40 per cent to £9.1bn.

Overall, the private rented sector has increased from making up 9 per cent of Great Britain’s housing stock in 1999, to 20 per cent in 2016.

Imla executive director Kate Davies says: “We are concerned that layers of government intervention have adversely affected small-scale landlords’ ability and appetite to invest in properties over recent years.

“As increased tax and regulatory responsibilities increasingly disincentivise landlords, we face a possible topping out of the private rented sector.

“Squeezing the private rented sector puts the pressure on millions of renters in Britain. Restricting the PRS risks a lack of supply, rising rents and a fall in the quality of rental accommodation.

“We have repeatedly called for the government to put the brakes on regulating and taxing our nation’s landlords. We urge a more moderate approach to ensure our private rental sector remains strong for the millions of renters who rely on it.”


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