No worries over Brexit but landlords fear taxation
- Landlords state taxation and economic uncertainty as their biggest short term fears (41 per cent)
- Brexit not amongst the greatest concerns for landlords and more than a quarter (28 per cent) think it will have a positive impact
- Landlords are most positive about improving house prices (31 per cent) and continued low interest rates (29 per cent)
London, 27 July 2017: New research1 by landlord insurer Direct Line for Business reveals taxation and economic uncertainty is the greatest short term concerns for landlords. Landlords have a right to be worried as they begin to feel the effects of the recent tax relief changes that restrict financial to the basic rate of income tax.
Regulation is a key concern for 40 per cent of landlords, who are nervous about the increased risk of prosecution and higher penalties. Many worry about being prosecuted under the Immigration Act due to not checking a tenant’s right to rent. This can lead to them facing criminal prosecution with an unlimited fine and up to five years in prison. Landlords are also concerned about inflationary pressures (40 per cent), which will reduce the value of a landlord’s income and increase their costs.
Landlords are also nervous about competition in the marketplace pushing rental prices down. This could be exacerbated further as 40 per cent of landlords are considering new ways to expand their property portfolio in the coming months, thus increasing supply for renters.
Table one: Negatives in the landlord market
|Factor||Negative impact %|
|Competition bringing rental process down||38%|
Source: Direct line for Business 2017
Landlords are most positive about house prices improving in the short term (31 per cent). This optimism appears to be justified too, with the average house price in the UK rising by £12,000 – or 5.6 percent – in the year leading up to April 20172.
They are also confident that the low interest rate environment will continue for the near future (29 per cent). Indeed, almost a third (32 per cent) of landlords are planning to remortgage their properties, which could in part be linked to the fact that 58 per cent are planning minor renovations to their properties in the coming months – a strong sign that confidence is high in the sector.
Landlords are also optimistic that domestic demand for rental properties will remain buoyant and that the international market for UK properties will remain high (27 per cent).
Perhaps surprisingly, the UK leaving the European Union doesn’t rank in the top ten concerns for landlords, suggesting they don’t think it will have an immediate impact on the property market. Indeed, more than a quarter (28 per cent) of landlords said they thought Brexit would bring positive benefits for landlords.
Table two: Positives in the landlord outlook
|Factor||Positive impact %|
|Domestic demand for rental properties||28%|
|Brexit / Triggering Article 50||28%|
|Foreign demand for UK rental properties||27%|
Source: Direct line for Business 2017
Christina Dimitrov, Business Manager at Direct Line for Business said: “It’s great to see landlord’s being resilient towards the ever-changing property marketplace and it’s really positive to hear they don’t appear to be worried about Brexit and the impact on demand."
“The continued low interest rate environment can only benefit landlords and tenants. However, experts are predicting an interest rate rise in the future and the Prudential Regulation Authority’s tougher underwriting rules for buy-to-let mortgage lenders may bring some challenges for landlords wanting to expand their portfolios.”
For more information about Direct Line for Business’ Landlord Insurance, please visit: https://www.directlineforbusiness.co.uk/landlord-insurance
Notes to Editors
1 Opinium Research interviewed a UK nationally representative sample of 2,001 people, between 3rd and 7th February 2017, of which 275 were landlords.
2 Average property price and annual inflation figures taken from the ONS House Price Index, UK: April 2017, published 13th June 2017. https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/bulletins/housepriceindex/apr2017
For further information please contact:
Direct Line for Business
Launched in 2007 Direct Line for Business provides a range of insurance products for the small business sector direct by phone or online.
Direct Line for Business insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Direct Line for Business and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.