Autumn statement spells challenges ahead for buy to let – here’s how landlords can come out on top

Autumn Budget









Stuart Law, a prominent figure in property investment has warned of challenges facing the housing market – with the buy to let sector suffering the most.

And today’s autumn statement only confirmed there are bleak times ahead for buy to let landlords.

Although the chancellor of the exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, confirmed the stamp duty cuts would continue until March 2025, the overall outlook is grim.

Cutting capital gains allowances from £12,300 to £6,000, starting from next April, and then to £3,000 from April 2024, was a major blow to the buy to let market.

Stuart Law, the chief executive of the Assetz Group of property lending and investment companies, said: “The biggest challenges by far face buy to let landlords who are seeing asset values decline, while the costs of a buy to let mortgage continue to rise, along with property running costs.

“This compounds the financial issues buy to let landlords have been struggling with for years, and we will likely see more come out of the sector, reducing rental stock and driving up rents for people already facing financial hardship.”

How Landlords can win

Everyone’s being hit hard by the cost-of-living crisis right now. And, everyone’s a lot more cost-conscious.

Therefore, landlords must do whatever they can to justify the highest market rents possible. One of the best ways to do this is by making sure your property is furnished and decorated as best as you can afford.

If possible, keep the tenancy periodic too, so you have greater flexibility and can respond to market changes accordingly. You might face resistance to this from lettings agents who like to secure a fixed income for 12 or 24 months but it’s worth putting your foot down if you can.

More so than ever property compliance is paramount. Make sure the property is let compliantly and cover all obligations. Be stricter than you might normally be. Thoroughly reference new tenants and ensure they have the right to rent before accepting them.

Perhaps most importantly, if you don’t already have insurances that protects your rents, get it. Otherwise you could be left high and dry if tenants leave without paying rent.

A tale of two sides

While many investors will see this as storm they have to sit tight and wait for sunnier days, many will see it as an opportunity. For them, this is the time to act.

These investors will see this as the perfect time to invest in more property because they are cash rich as prices start to stabilise.

While there’s no denying that this is a challenging time, we must remember that people still need to move though, whether it’s to start new jobs, a family upgrade or empty nesters downsizing, marriage, divorces, birth and deaths. The whole gamut of the human experience.

So, although volumes will slow down over the coming months to get through the winter, be patient. They’ll pick up again. They always do.