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Landlords planning rent increases ahead of mortgage tax changes

A quarter of landlords have raised the rent on their buy-to-let properties to mitigate the impending mortgage interest relief changes, a poll has revealed.

Paragon Mortgages’ latest Private Rented Sector Trends report, based on interviews with 200 professional landlords, found that 58% have already taken action ahead of the changes.

The most commonly reported actions were increasing the rent, cited by 24% of respondents, while 21% were stopping further purchases and 16% were planning to sell some of their portfolio.

Just over a fifth (22%) of landlords surveyed are now more optimistic than three months ago, while 65% reported no change in sentiment. Another 12% said they had become more pessimistic than three months ago.

John Heron, managing director of Paragon Mortgages, which only lends to professional landlords with at least one property, said: “We’ve reached a critical time for landlords looking to plan ahead and this is reflected in the Q4 report.

“It’s clear that landlords’ understanding of the changes has improved and that more landlords are developing a clear strategy to address the impact of the changes.

“However, despite increasing optimism, we must remain cautious. The changes have not started to be implemented yet and the full impact will not be felt for many years.

“Whilst it is predictable that landlords will seek to increase rents in response to higher costs, this clearly will not be good news for tenants, particularly those that are already struggling to save for a deposit.”