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Landlord group hits back at letting agent’s attack on ‘quit’ survey

The Residential Landlords’ Association says it stands by a claim that one in four landlords may sell up, and it refutes an attack on the integrity of its figures by a lettings agent.

On Friday Letting Agent Today reported that outspoken north of England agent Ajay Jagota queried the findings of an RLA survey involving some 1,000 buy to let landlords. It found that 25 per cent would quite the private rental sector because of increased costs such as the stamp duty surcharge and imminent restriction on mortgage interest tax relief.

“I’m not disputing that these tax changes will affect landlords and that the ultimate losers will in all likelihood be the tenants whose rents go up to cover those costs – but this poll is less accurate than the polls which missed Brexit and the election of Trump” says Jagota, who runs KIS letting agency.

However, in a comment left beneath the article, RLA spokeswoman Sally Walmsley says: “The RLA stands by its sell-off statistics.

“While we welcome the feedback from Mr Jagota and are delighted to hear how well things are going for landlords in the north east, we would like to make it clear that the RLA does not rely on such anecdotal evidence to make claims about the state of the sector.

“What we do rely on is solid, robust evidence provided by our members themselves and collected using recognised research methodology in-line with the UK Research Integrity Office’s Code of Practice for Research.”

In addition, the RLA has published a statement on its website saying that almost a thousand landlords who took part in the association’s digital tax survey answered additional questions on the impact of increased stamp duty and changes to Mortgage Interest Relief on their portfolios.

These formed the basis for the survey and its findings.

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