The majority of landlords (65%) have suffered financially during the pandemic, according to research by The Mortgage Lender.

Respondents feared that their investments would be impacted by a recession (46%) and increased unemployment (41%) over the next two years.

Of those investors who have already suffered financially, 28% reported rent arrears and 18% had tenants who left their rented home.

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LV= pays out £6m in coronavirus claims

Looking forward, 31% of landlords said they fear an increase in taxation will impact on their portfolios over the next two years, while 21% believed that population movement from cities to areas that have outside space and space to work from home could adversely affect their inner city properties.

Landlords also predicted a fall in student numbers from home (14%) and abroad (15%) affecting buy-to-let properties in student areas that have historically offered superior returns in comparison to more expensive properties in the South.

Steve Griffiths (pictured), sales director at The Mortgage Lender, said: “Landlords are facing an uncertain future with many moving parts.

“And there is some evidence that the pandemic could change the structure of the buy to let market in a more fundamental way than any of us could have anticipated at the beginning of this year.

“With the City of London currently deserted and many larger employers considering work from home policies as a more permanent solution there could well be a longer-term change in the types of properties tenants will find attractive.

“Despite the uncertainty landlords understand that property investment is a long term strategy – indeed half of the ones we surveyed said the pandemic hadn’t changed their investment plans at all and that is borne out by the number of applications we have seen for our buy to let products over the last four months.

“Through our funding line with Shawbrook Bank we’ve been able to maintain our buy to let product range throughout the pandemic and provide the funding options brokers and landlords are looking for.”