Landlord confidence grows as tenant demand remains

Landlord sentiment has improved with a notable decrease in negative outlooks, as tenant demand for rental properties remains robust. According to the latest survey by Landbay, fewer landlords are pessimistic about the future of their buy-to-let investments, while a significant number maintain a neutral stance.

Changing Sentiments in the Market
The survey revealed that 27% of landlords currently feel negative about their business prospects, a decrease from 37% at the end of last year. Meanwhile, 40% of landlords expressed a neutral outlook, and nearly 33% felt positive about the future. Those with a positive perspective cited the steady or increased demand for rental properties as a key reason. One landlord noted, “While the world is uncertain, the demand for residential property and accommodation is and will remain very high.”

Portfolio Size and Sentiment
The survey found varying levels of confidence among landlords based on the size of their property portfolios. Landlords with over 20 properties exhibited the strongest positive sentiment. In contrast, those with portfolios of four to 10 properties were more likely to feel negative, while landlords with 11 to 20 properties were evenly split between positive and negative outlooks. Amongst HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) landlords, just over 43% felt positive about their businesses, whereas just under 30% felt negative.

Key Concerns and Optimism
The findings, part of Landbay’s comprehensive survey of existing landlords, highlight key factors affecting landlord sentiment and their views on the future of the buy-to-let market. Landlords who felt negative often cited concerns over potential changes in government and upcoming rental reforms, particularly the proposed abolition of ‘no fault’ evictions, or Section 21s, which both major political parties support.

Anti-landlord sentiment was another issue raised by several respondents. One landlord commented, “Everyone is anti-landlord. With the lack of affordable housing, we are the scapegoats.” However, another landlord expressed a more philosophical view, suggesting that current policies detrimental to the rental market may not endure: “The current trend of policies regarding private rentals will have such a detrimental effect on the rental market that I do not see them either coming to fruition or lasting for long if they do. Time is on the side of landlords.”

Support and Future Prospects
Rob Stanton, sales and distribution director at Landbay, emphasised the importance of governmental support for the rental sector: “Whichever party forms the next government, we hope that they will be committed to supporting the rental sector. Nurturing confidence among landlords is absolutely key to the health and prosperity of the UK housing market, helping to provide much-needed accommodation. With affordability still a real challenge for residential buyers and demand continuing to outstrip supply, there is an abundance of tenants ready to rent across the country.”

Stanton remains optimistic about the future of the buy-to-let market: “There are many reasons to be optimistic about buy-to-let. Not only has it survived countless crises and changing governments over the years, it continues to thrive too. As a buy-to-let lender, we are incredibly positive and remain committed to innovating to meet the needs of landlords.”

While challenges remain, the overall increase in landlord confidence and sustained tenant demand suggest a resilient and potentially thriving future for the UK’s buy-to-let market.