Calls for banks to start lending again
The Residential Landlords' Association (RLA) has called on the banks to "start lending again". Almost half of landlords have found it very difficult or impossible to obtain a buy-to-let mortgage, according to a survey by the RLA.
Asked how easy they had found it to access a buy-to-let mortgage, 21.3 per cent of RLA members questioned said they were "unable to obtain" a buy-to-let mortgage and a further 24.1 per cent said they found it "very difficult".
As the Government seeks to boost support for the private rented sector, the RLA's figures show that the biggest challenge facing the new Housing Minister, Mark Prisk, will be to unlock the financial support needed from banks to support the army of small-scale landlords that make up the majority of the sector.
The RLA says the reluctance of the banks to lend is severely hampering the ability for the sector to grow to meet the housing needs of particularly young people and families.
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RLA chairman Alan Ward said: "We welcome the Government's renewed commitment and interest in the opportunities that the private rented sector can play in meeting the country's housing needs.
"However, this will not happen without financing from the banks.
"It is time the blame game for the difficulties in accessing finance between Government and the banks came to an end for the sake of those desperate for a roof over their heads.
"The RLA is confident that landlords are ready and willing to invest. 100,000 homes per year is a strong marketing opportunity, and it's time the banks recognised that and started lending again."
141 members of the RLA responded to the online questionnaire in which they were asked "Have you found it easy to obtain a buy-to-let mortgage?"
Yes, it was very easy: 14.9 per cent
It was fairly straightforward: 17 per cent
I had to shop around to get a decent deal: 22 per cent
Very difficult: 24.1 per cent
I have been unable to obtain a buy-to-let mortgage: 21.3 per cent