Private sector landlords in the UK remain bullish despite Brexit uncertainty

Landlords in the UK’s private rented sector are not worried about Brexit and are more concerned about tax, stamp duty and stricter lending rules, according to new research.

Some 85% of landlords say they are undeterred by the prospect of leaving the European Union, according to the third annual Landlord Voice Survey from Simple Landlords Insurance.

Despite enduring uncertainty over the future of Britain’s economic relationship with Europe, just 8% said they would postpone expanding their property portfolios because of Brexit, fewer than in 2016, while 3% of landlords said they would increase their investment in the buy to let market.

The research found that stamp duty, capital gains tax and stricter mortgage lending rules are more of a concern and 56% of landlords owning at least five properties, and 41% overall, have re-evaluated their investment plans in the past 12 months.

For larger landlords, the Government’s decision to slash tax relief on mortgage interest payments from April this year was of particular concern, while smaller landlords worried most about periods of unoccupancy.

As a result, just 1% of landlords with larger portfolios, and only 3% overall, consider the Government to be supportive of the buy to let market.

Yet despite this, landlords remain confident of their prospects, with just 3% planning to exit the market in the next 12 months, a marginal increase on 2016 while 32% of landlords with five or more properties plan to invest over the next two years.

‘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,’ said Alex Huntley, director of operations at Simple Landlords.

‘Yet despite the uncertainly and instability in the market, landlords remain remarkably upbeat 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,’ she added.