Property News

RLA Warns of Rental Housing Crisis, as Landlords Sell Up

Em Morley - May 2, 2019

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is warning of a rental housing crisis, as a quarter of private landlords are looking to sell at least one property over the next year.

Of almost 2,500 landlords who responded to the latest RLA survey, just over 25% said that they were planning to sell at least one property over the next year – the highest proportion since the organisation began asking this question regularly in 2016.

The same study shows that 23% of landlords reported an increase in demand for rental housing over the previous three months, while 57% described it as stable.

However, more than a third of landlords reported low levels of confidence in the private rental sector over the next 12 months.

The results arrive following the publication of Government data earlier this year, which found that 10% of private landlords (representing 18% of tenancies) plan to decrease the number of properties they let, while 5% of landlords (representing 5% of tenancies) plan to sell all of their properties.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has warned that the imbalance between supply and demand of rental housing is expected to see rent price growth average 3% per year over the next five years.

Amidst the rental housing supply crisis that tenants now face, the RLA argues that it is vital that landlords retain confidence to provide the homes to rent that are desperately needed. This means ensuring that new regulations, governing how landlords can regain possession of their properties in legitimate circumstances, are fair and effective, both for landlords and tenants.

David Smith, the Policy Director of the RLA, says: “All the talk of longer tenancies will mean nothing if the homes to rent are not there in the first place.

“The Government’s tax increases on the sector are already making it difficult for tenants to find a place to live, with many landlords not renewing tenancies. If rushed and not thought through, planned changes to the way landlords can repossess properties risk making the situation even worse.”

He adds: “Action is needed to stimulate supply with pro-growth taxation and a process for repossessing homes that is fair to all.”