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Landlords anticipate scrapping of Section 21 evictions as biggest challenge of 2024

Landlords anticipate scrapping of Section 21 evictions as biggest challenge of 2024

A recent study conducted by Zero Deposit, a tenancy deposit alternative, has unveiled that landlords across England and Wales foresee the abolition of Section 21 evictions as the primary challenge they will face in 2024 amidst impending changes brought by the Renters Reform Bill.

In a survey commissioned by Zero Deposit, 1,042 landlords were queried to assess their sentiments and expectations for the upcoming year.

Findings revealed that the majority of landlords (89%) currently manage between one and three properties within their buy-to-let portfolios. When questioned about their outlook on the rental market in the year ahead, only 21% expressed optimism, while 24% conveyed pessimism, leaving 55% with a neutral stance.

Similarly, discussions regarding rental adjustments showcased that while 24% of landlords intend to raise rents, a significant 68% plan to maintain current levels, with only 8% considering reductions.

As landlords reflected on the challenges looming in 2024, concerns about the escalating costs associated with maintaining, repairing, and managing their portfolios took precedence, followed closely by apprehensions surrounding legislative alterations. Additionally, challenges related to tenant quality and the impact of heightened interest rates on buy-to-let mortgages were also highlighted.

In particular, the impending abolition of Section 21 evictions emerged as the most daunting prospect for landlords, according to the survey. This was followed by concerns regarding limitations on rental price increments and modifications to notice periods, while increased tenant rights concerning pet ownership ranked third.

Sam Reynolds, CEO of Zero Deposit, emphasised the significance of the Rental Reform Bill, particularly the abolition of Section 21 evictions, which many landlords view as pivotal for safeguarding their properties during critical situations. Reynolds expressed concern about the potential impact of these changes, citing a possible exodus of landlords from the market.

He underscored the importance of stimulating investment in the rental sector through measures such as a more favourable tax regime, cautioning that without such incentives, the supply of rental properties could dwindle further, exacerbating rental price hikes and posing challenges for renters nationwide.

Reynolds also acknowledged the empathy displayed by landlords who opt not to raise rents, attributing this decision to a positive landlord-tenant relationship and an understanding of tenants' financial constraints.


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