According to research by Kent Reliance, landlords currently contribute £15.9bn to the British economy with average spending of £3,632 before tax per property.
The cost of property upkeep, maintenance, and servicing is the largest outlay (£5.5bn). Landlords spend £2bn in service charges and ground rent, £963m on insurance, £904m on utilities, and a further £1.1bn on other associated costs of letting a property.
However, the study revealed that cuts to landlord tax relief together with hikes in Stamp Duty is leading many landlords to rethink their spending. Over a third of those landlords surveyed (36%) say they are already reducing or planning to reduce their spending, while one in five are looking to raise rents.
John Eastgate (pictured), sales and marketing director of Kent Reliance’s parent company OneSavings Bank, said: “Landlords may seem like an easy target for political point scoring, but they play a vital role in the economy. Not only do they house a huge proportion of the country’s workforce, bridging the housing demand and supply gap, their spending supports thousands of jobs – whether builders, cleaners, lawyers and accountants or letting agents.
“Trying to tackle the housing crisis by targeting landlords with punitive taxes is very simple and politically highly palatable, but has unintended consequences. Either it means less work for all those who support the property industry, or it means tenants will have to foot the bill for the government’s tax raid, or both.
“One side effect of the recent changes, and rising running costs, will be the professionalisation of the sector as amateur and accidental landlords leave the market. There is nothing wrong with having fewer, bigger landlords, but that alone will not help more young people get homes.”