MFS: Most landlords allowed rent flexibility during COVID
Two-thirds of UK landlords allowed flexibility on rent payments during the pandemic, but the majority plan to increase rents in the coming year, research from Market Financial Solutions (MFS) shows.
The bridging lender commissioned an independent survey among 512 investors and landlords, all of whom own two or more residential properties in the UK.
MFS found that 65% of those who collect rent allowed flexibility on payments during the pandemic because of the financial problems it caused to their tenants.
More than half (55%) intend to increase rents in the coming 12 months.
However, the vast majority (80%) said they would be happy receiving a lower rent if it meant getting a better or longer-term tenant.
MFS’ research also showed that 60% of UK property investors believe the stamp duty holiday made the property market ‘too chaotic’.
While 38% of the investors surveyed did purchase another property between July 2020 and September 2021, 32% tried but failed to do so.
More than two-thirds (68%) of landlords still consider buy-to-let (BTL) to be an attractive investment option.
Paresh Raja, chief executive of MFS, said: “The pandemic has caused huge financial disruption to consumers, businesses and investors.
“So, it is positive to see that a healthy majority of UK landlords have allowed their tenants flexibility in making payments during this period.
“It is also telling that while rent increases invariably lie ahead, there is a clear appetite among landlords to secure reliable, long-term tenants – they are willing to drop rents in order to do so.
“Our research underlines that, despite some speculation to the contrary, the buy-to-let market has lasting appeal.
“Tax reforms and new regulations introduced over the past five years have affected landlords as the government has sought to gain better control over the private rental sector, but as an asset class, UK investors are evidently still gravitating towards buy-to-let properties in huge numbers.”