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Political uncertainty makes landlords hike rents and review portfolios

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Many landlords have increased rents and reviewed their portfolio sizes due to ongoing political UK political uncertainty, according to a sentiment survey from Foundation Home Loans.  

The lender says more than a third (38 per cent) of UK landlords have reviewed the size of their portfolios to ensure they could withstand any rising costs. 

 Seven per cent of those surveyed had sold off properties to either reduce portfolio sizes or diversify. 

This rose to 19 per cent for those holding 20 properties or more. 

Thirty per cent of landlords have increased rental prices, with the greatest proportion doing so in the East Midlands (41 per cent). 

Foundation says the rise is due to landlords reacting to the popularity of the region for professionals wanting good houses close to London. 

The East Midlands was also the region with the highest proportion of landlords reviewing the size of their portfolios (50 per cent). 

Landlords operating in Central and Outer London followed closely behind at (45 per cent) and (40 per cent) respectively.  

Almost three quarters (71 per cent) of landlords said they had experienced a drop in confidence. 

This rose for those operating in central (78 per cent) and outer London (77 per cent), reflecting the cooling London market and decreasing tenant demand.  

Foundation Home Loans marketing director Jeff Knight says: “Landlords have been met with a raft of changes, from stamp duty charges to shifts in tax policy, and the lack of certainty on the political front has clouded the picture somewhat.  

“The response has been to ‘batten down the hatches’, streamlining larger portfolios and protecting income by increasing rents – decisions that can be reviewed once the buy-to-let market is more accommodating.  

“The fact remains that, whether it’s as a stepping stone to home ownership or a longer term lifestyle decision for tenants, the rental sector is an increasingly important part of the housing mix.”

Foundation surveyed 780 landlords for the research.

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