landlord and tenant

Most Landlords Undeterred by the Renters (Reform) Bill

April 12, 2024 PR Officer

Research by Leaders Romans Group demonstrates a ‘wait and see’ approach among landlords.

In country-wide research by national property group Leaders Romans Group (LRG), a majority of landlords (62%) stated that they intend to maintain or increase their portfolio over the next year despite the likely enactment of the Renters (Reform) Bill in the meantime.

LRG, which includes the brands Acorn, Gibbs Gillespie, Hose Rhodes Dickson, John Payne, Langford Russell, Leaders, Northfields, Portico, Romans and Scott Fraser carried out the research among 630 landlords in March 2024.

Asked whether the Bill influenced their investment decisions, 55% said that they did not plan to change their approach to property investment as a result. Many explained that their approach to property investment was long-term and that they would not rush to leave the private rented sector.

The research also considered which aspects of the Bill caused the greatest concern to landlords. Interestingly, this was not the potential abolition of Section 21, but tenants’ right to request to keep a pet.

Asked about whether the proposed change regarding pets was positive or negative for landlords, 56% said that the impact would be negative. In comparison, 54% said that the abolition of Section 21 would have a negative impact.

Landlords saw some positives in the draft legislation: 63% said that easier repossession if a tenant is at fault was welcome and 52% supported the introduction of an ombudsman.

Rather than being significantly worried about the imminent legislation, landlords’ concerns are mostly financial, relating to high mortgage rates, the cost of bureaucracy and regulations, increased taxes, the cost of overheads such as service charges and maintenance costs, and VAT on contractors’ fees.

Allison Thompson, National Lettings Managing Director of Leaders Romans Group commented, “Although there are some substantial changes in the private rented sector, both political and financial, the so-called ‘landlord exodus’ is being overstated – as this research demonstrates. Yes, there are some significant issues with the Renters (Reform) Bill but LRG and others have been actively involved in shaping this legislation so that it is fairer on landlords – who after all, are the mainstay of the property industry and depended upon by Government to provide homes to some of those most in need.

“As local authority housing waiting lists continue to increase, I hope that Government will reflect on landlords’ vital role and take their views into account as the legislation passes through Parliament.”

The Renters (Reform) Bill is approaching its Third Reading in the House of Commons and will the move to the House of Lords. LRG will continue to use landlord and tenant insight to influence the emerging legislation.

To read the full report of landlord and tenant sentiment you can download it here.