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50% of tenant moves caused by landlord sales

Plot 2, Ufford Chase, Great Bentley, CALA North Home Counties

Half of tenants vacating a property last year had to do so because their landlord wanted to sell their property, suggesting a substantial amount of privately rented stock is being lost.

Meanwhile the majority of homes sold by landlords (66.7%) are purchased by first-time buyers.

‘Landlords selling the property’ was cited by 50% of property professionals as the primary reason for tenants moving, in a survey from rental payment platform PayProp.

Neil Cobbold, PayProp’s UK managing director, said: “That loss of stock and well-financed tenants puts the PRS under pressure, with fewer homes to rent and lots of pent-up demand from less well-off tenants, which in turn can lead to higher rental prices as they compete for the remaining properties.

“The question we should be asking is ‘Why are so many landlords selling properties?’”

The age of the typical landlord is one factor, as they are on average 58 years old according to the English Private Landlord Survey, meaning they could be thinking about using the money tied up in property for their retirement.

Otherwise a lack of profitability is a factor, as a lack of mortgage income tax relief, higher buy-to-let mortgage rates, increased regulation, and the potential abolition of Section 21 evictions are all factors.

Cobbold added: “If this trend towards fewer PRS properties is going to be reversed, the Government has to find a way to keep landlords in the PRS and encourage more investors to join the sector.

“If not, supply will remain under pressure and rents will continue to rise, making life more difficult for tenants who are already feeling squeezed.”

The government heralded their Renters (Reform) Bill as the most radical reform of the PRS in a generation, and it has dominated coverage in the trade press.