65% of landlords have suffered financially from pandemic, study finds

Sixty-five per cent of landlords have suffered financially during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study from The Mortgage Lender (TML).

The research also found that 46% of landlords fear their investments will be impacted by a recession, and 41% suggested increased unemployment would affect their investments over the next two years.

TML’s research, conducted by OnePoll among a panel of landlords, also found that of the investors who have already suffered financially, 28% had reported rent arrears while 18% had tenants who left their rented home.

TML sales director, Steve Griffiths said: “Landlords are facing an uncertain future with many moving parts. And there is some evidence that the pandemic could change the structure of the buy-to-let (BTL) market in a more fundamental way than any of us could have anticipated at the beginning of this year.

“With the City of London currently deserted and many larger employers considering work from home policies as a more permanent solution, there could well be a longer-term change in the types of properties tenants will find attractive.”

Looking ahead, TML’s research also found that 31% of landlords fear an increase in taxation will impact on their portfolios over the next two years. Another 21% believe population movement from cities to areas that have outside space and space to work from home could adversely affect their inner city properties.

Landlords are also predicting a fall in student numbers from home (14%) and abroad (15%), the research found, affecting BTL properties in student areas that have historically offered greater returns in comparison to more expensive properties in the south.

“Despite the uncertainty, landlords understand that property investment is a long-term strategy,” Griffiths added.

“Half of the ones we surveyed said the pandemic hadn’t changed their investment plans at all and that is borne out by the number of applications we have seen for our BTL products over the last four months.”

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