There have not yet been any signs that Brexit will, as some experts predicted, have a negative impact on the UK’s rental market, according to property specialist Leaders. Indeed, new statistics suggest the sector has actually grown since the British public voted to leave the European Union (EU) on 23rd June. Rightmove has revealed rental enquiries were up by two per cent in Q2 in comparison with the same period last year, while they rose by one per cent in the two weeks after the referendum versus the same fortnight in 2015.
Carole Charge, technical and compliance director at Leaders, says a period of uncertainty among homeowners, buyers, investors, landlords and developers is inevitable, but this does not mean the market will suffer or that prices will fall.
“Our own figures show there was a 50 per cent increase in the number of viewings requested in the week following the referendum. All the signs so far indicate the property market is resilient and able to withstand Brexit-related pressures easier than other more volatile sectors,” she explains.
“It could be that house builders and developers are weakened on the stock market in the coming months, making it harder for the government to meet its house building targets. As a result, I would expect property prices and rents to be pushed up as the existing shortage in supply becomes even more severe.
“Even if house prices fall, which is by no means certain, it is likely to be only a slight decline as the housing shortage will prevent a sizeable drop.”
From a legislative point of view, Carole believes the UK’s withdrawal from the EU may have an impact on landlords.
Carole adds: “EU legislation currently covers the private rented sector in a variety of ways, from the energy performance of buildings regulations to consumer protection from unfair trading rules, heat network regulations and a range of other matters.
“The simplest way forward would be for parliament to pass an act confirming all existing regulations made in support of EU directives will continue as before. This would allow parliament some time to gradually amend specific acts as it wishes.
“It remains to be seen just how landlords will be affected in legislative terms, but by working with a professional agent such as Leaders, they can rest assured their obligations will be met at all times.”