Proportion of landlords using letting agents spikes

According to a new survey of property investors, there has been an increase in the number of landlords using a letting agent to manage their rental property since the beginning of the year.

Research carried out by the National Landlords Association, found that 61% of landlords confirmed they were using a letting agent, a rise of 7% from the fourth quarter of 2016.

The NLA believe the sudden rise represents a break from the norm as the proportion of landlords using letting agents has been consistent over the past number of years, rising by only 1% between 2014-2016.

The study also shows that the percentage of landlords self-managing their rental portfolio has declined by nearly 10% over the last year.

Agent usage is highest in Scotland at 79%, however other areas such as outer London, the South West and Wales have also shown a significant increase in reliance on agents by landlords.

The recent changes to buy-to-let taxes and the planned ban on tenancy fees for tenants in England, are thought to be increasing the strain on letting agents’ and landlords’ businesses.

NLA chief executive officer, Richard Lambert, commented: “As landlords plan ahead to compensate for the tax changes over the next few years we would expect to see the number who use an agent to slowly fall away, and for more to start considering whether they are able to manage their properties themselves.

“However, this sudden spike, which is completely out of step with recent trends, completely turns this theory on its head.  The big question is whether or not it’s a blip or if it will continue to rise”.

Richard Price, executive director of the UK Association of Letting Agents, believes that the increase in landlords using agents is a sign of the professional work undertaken by the majority of agents within the private sector.

He added: “It is an uncertain time for anyone who owns a buy to let property, so the steady hand of a reputable agent is exactly what many landlords are looking for right now”.

Full article available on PropertyWire:

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