Landlords Express Mixed Reactions to Renters Reform Bill, Survey Reveals

In a revealing new study by Leaders Romans Group (LRG), landlords offer a more complex view of the impending Renters Reform Bill than previously portrayed. The findings suggest a mix of apprehension and positivity, painting a detailed picture of the Bill’s potential implications.

The LRG survey, involving landlords with a collective total of 380 properties, found that the majority are sanguine about their holdings despite the proposed legislative changes. Specifically, 68% plan to hold onto their existing property assets, and an additional 6% are contemplating growing their portfolios.

Among the landlords who are contemplating divestment, the reasons are varied: 52% point to policy shifts as the primary motivator, 25% to economic considerations, and 23% to “personal circumstances unrelated to income.” These responses underscore that policy is just one of several factors influencing landlords’ strategies.

Opinions on the Renters Reform Bill itself diverge considerably. A significant 60% of landlords foresee a detrimental effect on their operations as property investors, with a scant 6% predicting a favourable outcome. Yet, the tables turn when landlords consider their tenants: approximately 50% anticipate that the Bill will benefit tenants, whereas a mere 14% expect negative repercussions.

Allison Thompson, National Lettings Managing Director at Leaders Romans Group, reflects on these insights: “It is clear from the survey we have conducted that landlords are still very much invested in the lettings industry, with 74% of them planning to continue with their portfolios, providing much needed homes.”

Intriguingly, despite the Bill’s polarising nature, a substantial segment of landlords don’t foresee it significantly changing their investment approaches. To the prompt, “Will the Bill change your approach to property investment?”, 40% responded negatively, 33% affirmed, and 27% were on the fence.

The survey also reinforced earlier LRG research regarding the infrequent deployment of Section 21 for tenant eviction. A notable 79% of landlords have never invoked Section 21, and just 13% have used it historically, but not in the recent year. When landlords did resort to Section 21 evictions over the past year, it was chiefly due to lease violations, with a mere 4% issuing a ‘no fault’ eviction in that timeframe.

Thompson emphasises the necessity of addressing landlords’ concerns: “However, it is imperative that their viewpoints on the Rental Reform Bill are not only considered but that their concerns are recognised and amendments to the Bill made to ensure the future of the private rental sector is protected and homes continue to be available for those who need them.”

These survey outcomes highlight the nuanced sentiments among landlords, encompassing market optimism, policy impact worries, and assorted opinions on how the Renters Reform Bill will influence both landlords and tenants. This multifaceted response suggests the need for a balanced approach to reform, taking into account the perspectives of all stakeholders in the property sector.