According to local Preston letting agents, landlord confidence has remained buoyant in the wake of June’s historic EU Referendum.
In the month following the vote, there has been much speculation regarding how the turn of events will impact Britain’s private rental sector.
The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) revealed last week that nationally, the rental market is stable following the vote, with “little to no movement” where rental costs are concerned. In Preston, it would appear that at least for now, it’s business as usual for local landlords. “At the moment, things look good for existing landlords,” says Matt Eastham, Director of local lettings agency Easthams & Co. “Banks will no doubt tighten lending on Buy To Let mortgages, which will lead to a shortage in supply and consequently push rents upwards while reducing voids. I also believe that the construction sector will shrink in the short-term and cause a greater reliance on private sector landlords, and this – along with mounting pressure from high profile individuals such as Cherie Blair and the appointment of a new Chancellor – may force the government to do a U-Turn on some of George Osbourne’s tax measures aimed at landlords.”
Along with changes to domestic legislation, Brexit could also result in some changes to rules put in place by the EU, such as those pertaining to EPCs. Currently, the use of Energy Performance Certificates is mandatory according to EU Legislation, with landlords having to provide details of a dwelling’s energy efficiency prior to tenants viewing the property. “This is still in force right now, but as part of the process of departure, it will be necessary for these to either be repealed or replaced with a home grown version,” adds Matt.
Further changes could arise as rates of construction slow and prices in heated markets like London are pushed upwards, which could cause tenants to look for more affordable alternatives. With both Manchester and Liverpool within a comfortable commuting distance, Preston is well positioned to absorb some of the fallout. “The vast majority of landlords see this as positive news for the private rented sector, which will continue to go from strength to strength in the wake of Brexit.”