The Intermediary Lenders Association has called for a freezing of further changes to buy-to-let, owing to how regulatory changes have pushed out smaller landlords.
The number of landlords with one rental property fell from 78% eight years ago to 45%. Meanwhile 17% of landlords now own five or more properties, a 12% increase since 2010.
Professional landlords now represent 48% of the PRS, up from 38% in 2010, while the number of single-property landlords make up just 21% of the PRS today, down from 40% over the same period.
Kate Davies (pictured), executive director of IMLA, said: “We are concerned that layers of government intervention have adversely affected small-scale landlords’ ability and appetite to invest in properties over recent years.
“As increased tax and regulatory responsibilities increasingly dis-incentivise landlords, we face a possible topping out of the PRS. While it’s good to see professional and institutional investors increasing their stake in the nation’s housing stock, the number of one-property buy-to-let investors has fallen by almost half.
“Squeezing the PRS puts the pressure on millions of renters in Britain. We are strong advocates of a fair market with a quality supply of homes. Restricting the PRS risks a lack of supply, rising rents and a fall in the quality of rental accommodation.
“We have repeatedly called for government to put the brakes on regulating and taxing our nation’s landlords. We urge a more moderate approach to ensure our private rental sector remains strong for the millions of renters who rely on it.”
Landlords have been hit by changes including the 3% stamp duty surcharge in 2016 and the gradual reduction in mortgage tax relief.
The 2018 English Private Landlord Survey found that of those landlords planning to sell some or all of their properties, 61% cited legislative changes as the reason.