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More advice needed by landlords

Landlords across the country are hungry for help and advice according to a survey commissioned by specialist buy-to-let lender Paragon Mortgages.

The Q1 BDRC Landlords Panel has shown that 78% of those surveyed have a significant requirement for advice on landlord matters rising to 89% for those owning more than 11 properties.

According to the report, recent changes to legislation and tax have only fuelled landlords’ desire for more help and advice, with 46% saying they were finding it difficult to keep up with changes to legislation and a further 43% saying they were worried about the impact of Universal Credit on the Private Rented Sector (PRS).

Almost all (90%) of those surveyed said that they believe taxes and regulation, coupled with the recent announcements in the Queen’s Speech which charge landlords with the need to check the immigration status of their tenants, will make being a landlord tougher in the coming months. Of those surveyed, 54% predict that additional licensing will hit them hardest, along with 53% believing Capital Gains Tax will have the biggest impact and 49% concerned about Council Tax.

John Heron, Director of Mortgages, said: “It’s interesting to note that although many of the landlords surveyed were greatly experienced, having owned buy-to-let properties for a considerable time, there is still a need across the board for information, help and advice. Of course the buy-to-let landscape never stays the same, and new regulations affect professional landlords just as much as they do those who are relative newcomers to the market.

“Paragon would always advise our customers, experienced or otherwise, to do their homework before they commit to buy a rental property – research the market, the area and also their obligations as landlords.

“Buy-to-let isn’t a short-term investment – many of our customers have been landlords for more than two decades, and see their portfolios as an alternative to a pension when they retire.

“We would always advise landlords to join membership organisations such as the National Landlords Association, which provides a wealth of information, support and advice for new and existing landlords on running a successful rental portfolio, as well as local support groups.”

Other organisations offering advice and guidance to landlords include the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA).

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