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Preliminary Insights from Upcoming Lettings Industry Report Unveiled

Leading RentTech platforms, Goodlord and Vouch, have unveiled preliminary findings from their upcoming sixth annual State of the Lettings Industry report, set to launch on 12 September. This robust survey is revered for offering a comprehensive overview of the private rented sector, encapsulating perspectives from over 2,000 stakeholders comprising letting agents, landlords, and tenants.

The forthcoming report will probe sentiments on pivotal topics, such as agency reactions to impending legislative modifications, landlords mulling over portfolio reductions, prevailing views on Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), future strategies of letting agents, and the manner in which tenants are grappling with rising living expenses.

Among the findings is a deep dive into the industry’s sentiments regarding the Renters (Reform) Bill introduced to Parliament in May. Preliminary insights reveal a significant divide, with landlords largely being sceptical about the new regulations: 54% express pessimism, whereas a mere 14% show optimism. In contrast, letting agents exhibit more varied reactions with 43% expressing pessimism and 29% demonstrating optimism.

An intriguing revelation is the evolving sentiment towards the abolishment of Section 21, known for “no fault” evictions. A previously contentious topic, the stance seems to be moderating, especially among landlords. In 2022, a whopping 71% of landlords felt this would negatively affect them, but this has declined to 62% in 2023. Neutral sentiments among landlords have surged from 12% to 29%. Conversely, letting agents, who were initially more optimistic, have witnessed a drop in positive sentiments from 27% in 2022 to just 11% in 2023.

Further divisions in opinion emerge on topics like permitting pets in rented accommodations and the potential introduction of a property ombudsman. Interestingly, landlords exhibit more neutrality towards pets this year, with the percentage of those feeling indifferent rising from 18% to 35%. However, they lean negatively towards the proposed ombudsman – 43% foresee negative implications, with only 22% anticipating a positive outcome. Contrarily, both letting agents and industry suppliers largely view it positively, with 42% and 41% respectively believing in a beneficial impact.

William Reeve, CEO of Goodlord, said: “Our upcoming report analyses the opinions of more than 2,000 industry stakeholders, covering more than 120 questions. Through this we’ve managed to build a 360-degree view of industry sentiment. We’re excited to share our findings in full in the coming weeks.”

Supplementing this, Tom Goodlord, Managing Director at Vouch, shared: “After another rollercoaster ride of a year to date for the industry, this report is a deep dive into how people across the sector are truly feeling. We hope this brings valuable insights to a market which is moving at pace and facing a wide variety of challenges.”