Posts with tag: private rental sector

Local authorities fail to record private rental sector complaints, says NRLA

Published On: February 11, 2022 at 11:06 am


Categories: Landlord News,Lettings News,Tenant News

Tags: ,,

Most local authorities in England do not accurately record the number of private rental sector (PRS) tenure complaints that they receive, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) reports.

Its research, based on Freedom of Information Act requests, indicates that 56% of councils do not accurately record the number of complaints they receive concerning PRS housing. This figure rises to 61% for those local authorities which have selective licensing schemes.

The local authorities that did accurately record PRS complaints reportedly dealt with an average of 274 complaints per year.

Councils conducted a total of 98,858 inspections under the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) across England between 2018 to 2021, says the NRLA. According to its findings, this roughly equates to just 1 in 45 PRS properties.

It also shows how the recording of these inspections is not consistent across local authorities, with many councils failing to register any of their inspections. The NRLA says only 1% of HHSRS inspections resulted in a follow-up prosecution, with 4% of improvement notices resulting in the imposition of a civil penalty.

Chris Norris, Director of Policy & Campaigns for the NRLA, comments: “What is needed in order to build a private rented sector which is fair and inclusive for all, is for councils to use all of the powers at their disposal.

“These figures show that there is a long way to go before councils deal effectively with the rogue landlords who bring the sector into disrepute.

“Until councils adopt a more effective approach towards record-keeping, it will be impossible for them to take the steps necessary to enforce regulations.”

Private renters call on MPs to improve the private rental sector

Published On: September 16, 2021 at 8:11 am


Categories: Tenant News

Tags: ,,

Private renters gathered outside Parliament this week to tell the Government that the private rental sector (PRS) can’t go back to how it was before the pandemic. They have demanded that it delivers on its promise to end unfair evictions.

20 renters and members of the Renters’ Reform Coalition met MPs, including Stephen Timms, chair of the Work & Pensions Committee, and Lloyd Russell Moyle, chair of the All-party Parliamentary Group on Renters and Rental Reform. Renters told MPs about their experiences and asked them to improve private renting.

Right now, renters can be evicted without a reason by their landlords, under Section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act. The notice period landlords must give has been extended during the pandemic but will revert to 2 months on 1st October.

The Government pledged to end Section 21 in 2019. The Government has also promised a White Paper this year to set out its plans to reform the private rented sector.

The Coalition is calling on the Government to:

  • End unfair evictions and introduce open ended secure tenancies 
  • Introduce a national register of landlords to raise standards 
  • Stop illegal evictions 
  • End discrimination in rented homes 
  • Tackle the affordability crisis

Sue James, chair of the Renters’ Reform Coalition, comments: “The pandemic has painfully reminded us of the importance of a safe and secure home, yet the lifting of the eviction restrictions takes that basic need further away. Private renters cannot go back to the status quo – of high rents, unsafe homes and insecure tenancies. It’s time to make private renting better, not worse.

“More than two years since the government’s original pledge to abolish Section 21, renters are still waiting for a fairer system. Now that Parliament has returned, we have a once in a generation opportunity to ensure the private rented sector is secure and safe.”

Private rental market valued at £1.4trn in current market conditions

Published On: July 27, 2021 at 8:27 am


Categories: Landlord News,Property News

Tags: ,,,

The current bricks and mortar value of the UK private rental sector (PRS) now sits at almost £1.4trn, research from Sequre Property Investment shows.

The buy-to-let specialist has compiled data on the number of current private rented dwellings across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and calculated the total value of these rental portfolios based on current property values.

The company estimates there are 5.5m privately rented homes across the UK, accounting for 19% of the entire property market. With the current average UK house price now at £254,624, this puts the PRS bricks and mortar value as high as £1.4trn.

4.8m homes within the sector reside within England alone. This places the total value of the English rental market at £1.3trn based on the current average house price of £271,434.

London accounts for 40% of this total market value, with the 1,042,000 rental homes located in the capital valued at nearly £519bn.

The South East (£234bn) and the East of England (£154bn) are also home to some of the most valuable rental markets, with rental stock in each region estimated to be worth more than £150bn.

Outside of England, Scotland ranks as the second most valuable rental market from a property standpoint, with the 371,000 privately rented homes worth nearly £64bn on the market.

In Wales, this current rental market value stands just shy of £38bn, with the Northern Irish private rental market valued at nearly £18bn.

Daniel Jackson, Sales Director at Sequre Property Investment, comments: “The private rental market is the backbone of the UK housing sector and plays an incredibly important role in providing homes for those that are unable to overcome the financial hurdles associated with homeownership.

“Despite this, we’ve seen a number of legislative changes implemented to deter landlords from the sector by a government that clearly has no idea what they are doing.

“While it may only account for 19% of the total market, reducing the size of the sector would leave many struggling to find an alternative option with regard to their living arrangements.”

The estimated worth of the dwellings within the PRS based on the number of dwellings and the current market value of a home in each nation or region.

LocationAll dwellingsPrivate rentedPrivate rented as a % of allAverage Property ValueTotal est value
United Kingdom29,559,7775,493,83018.6%£254,624£1,398,860,363,632
Northern Ireland814,210118,87514.6%£149,178£17,733,512,868
South East3,985,000670,00016.8%£350,016£234,510,389,824
East of England2,733,000497,00018.2%£310,200£154,169,527,431
South West2,604,000506,00019.4%£277,603£140,466,965,340
North West3,334,000556,00016.7%£189,245£105,220,424,552
West Midlands region2,537,000451,00017.8%£219,793£99,126,788,132
Yorkshire and the Humber2,461,000482,00019.6%£181,856£87,654,406,816
East Midlands2,124,000391,00018.4%£216,077£84,486,121,936
North East1,246,000203,00016.3%£143,129£29,055,143,233

Average house prices sourced from the – UK house Price Index (May 2021 – latest available).

Dwellings stock and tenure sourced from, Gov.walesNRS Scotland and Gov.scotNISRA and

Private rental market worth £1.3trn in current market conditions

Published On: June 23, 2021 at 8:22 am


Categories: Landlord News,Property News

Tags: ,,

There is some £1.3trn worth of housing stock within the private rental sector, research from buy-to-let specialist Sequre Property Investment shows.

Sequre’s analysis of stock rented either privately or via a job or a business found that despite declining from a high of 4,832,000 in 2016, there are still some 4,799,000 privately rented properties across England. The company says this is the second-highest level on record despite a string of government attempts to dampen the financial return on offer to landlords within the sector.

The highlights of Sequre’s research include:

  • London accounts for 22% of all private rental stock in England. With the capital also home to the highest average house price, it means the London rental market is worth a staggering £512bn alone.
  • The South East is home to 14% of all private rental stock and the second most valuable rental market at £229bn.
  • Despite only accounting for 10% of private rental dwellings in England, the East of England is home to the third most valuable rental market at £156bn.
  • Although both the South West (11%) and North West (12%) are home to a slightly larger proportion of private rental market stock, marginally lower property prices mean they trail the East of England slightly in terms of total rental market value at £142bn and £102bn respectively.
  • The North East accounts for just 4% of all rental market stock, the lowest of all English regions. But despite this, the region is still home to a private rental market made up of £29bn worth of bricks and mortar.

Daniel Jackson, Sales Director at Sequre Property Investment, comments: “The private rental sector has grown considerably in recent times, both in terms of the level of stock available, but also where the value of this stock within the wider housing market is concerned.

“Not only does this demonstrate the continued strength of the sector, but it also highlights its importance as the backbone of the private rental market. Without it, the government would be left with a shortfall of nearly five million homes and given their consistent failures in addressing the current housing crisis, this would no doubt be yet another obstacle they would fail to overcome.

“Fingers crossed they’ve now realised the importance of the rental market given the fact a widely expected increase in capital gains tax failed to materialise during the last budget. While a buy-to-let investment will predominantly focus on the yields available, the capital appreciation of a rental market investment is an additional benefit that many landlords can reap on exit. Had the government decided to penalise this, a mass exodus of landlords would no doubt have followed.

“Of course, while the overall value of the rental market is higher in the south, the north can present some very good investment opportunities. Those looking to these more affordable regions can realise yields in excess of 8% in the right areas, which gives them more scope for building cash flow and as well as seeing capital growth.”

LocationPrivate rental stockProportion of the private rental marketCurrent average property valueTotal estimated value
South East670,00014%£341,358£228,710,159,423
East of England497,00010%£313,964£156,040,267,090
South West506,00011%£279,951£141,655,220,320
North West556,00012%£183,299£101,914,249,115
West Midlands region451,0009%£216,973£97,854,677,282
Yorkshire and the Humber482,00010%£179,408£86,474,652,915
East Midlands391,0008%£213,308£83,403,614,468
North East203,0004%£144,032£29,238,467,397
England4,799,000100%£268,380£1,287,953,882,762 – Live tables on – UK House Price Index

Rent guarantee could help Universal Credit claimants find a privately rented home

A study has been undertaken to explore ways to encourage private rental sector (PRS) landlords to support tenancies from people receiving Universal Credit.

Rent guarantee and upfront cash payments from local authorities are most effective in opening up the PRS for people receiving benefits according to research from the Centre for Homelessness Impact, the Behavioural Insights Team and the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA).

The research involved more than 2,700 landlords across England and Wales. It found that these approaches had the greatest positive impact on landlords’ openness to renting to people in receipt of these approaches had the greatest positive impact on landlords’ openness to renting to people in receipt of benefit. However, the overall willingness of landlords to rent to those in receipt of benefits still remained relatively low, highlighting the need for policy changes to be made to drive change.

Each participant was asked about different scenarios to understand how they would react and respond across two broad areas:

1. Whether disclosing additional information about a tenant has any impact on increasing landlord willingness to continue with the application of someone receiving Universal Credit

Landlords were sent information on:

  • Pre-tenancy training: A certificate of completion and schedule for a tenancy skills programme 
  • Budget planner: A table of the tenant’s income & expenditure 
  • Alternative payment arrangement (APA) leaflet: Information about APA, which is the process in England whereby housing benefit is transferred directly to the landlord (as opposed to being paid as part of the lump sum Universal Credit payment to the tenant) 

2. Which Local Authority incentives or support programmes are most effective at increasing landlord willingness to rent to someone receiving Universal Credit.

This considered:

  • £1,000 cash upfront: a cash payment upon signing a tenancy agreement; 
  • Rent guarantee: a written guarantee from the Local Authority that they will cover late or unpaid rent; 
  • Deposit bond: a cash amount equivalent to one month’s rent set aside to cover any costs a landlord may incur during the course of the tenancy; 
  • Support from a landlord liaison officer: a dedicated resource that acts as a single point of contact for private landlords who need support with a tenancy

Landlords who received information about budget planners, pre-tenancy training or APA reported very similar willingness to rent to potential tenants as those who received no additional information. This suggests that these are less effective at changing landlords’ attitudes than previously expected.

Significantly, the study indicates that the willingness of landlords to rent to people receiving Universal Credit remains low. Even with the strongest interventions, landlords’ willingness to let properties to people at risk of homelessness fell between ‘somewhat unlikely’ and ‘neutral’ (with neutral being the middle point of a 7-point scale).

Dr Ligia Teixeira, Chief Executive of the Centre for Homelessness Impact, said: “Taking an evidence-based approach to unlocking the private rented sector for people in receipt of Universal Credit who were previously less likely to gain access, is just one way in which we might end homelessness sustainably by focusing on prevention instead of mitigation.

“By making sure more housing options, including the private rented sector, are available to people who are in receipt of Universal Credit and at risk of homelessness, these trials help us move towards an environment where both landlords and prospective tenants have their needs met.”

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, said: “The private rented sector can play a valuable role in providing longer term accommodation for those at risk of homelessness or struggling to maintain a tenancy. It is vital that policymakers heed the findings of this research to engage with landlords effectively and ensure they are confident that any risks they perceive will be addressed.

“As the research shows, the central element for landlords is continued rent payments. Government holds the key to this, through continuing to link local housing allowance to market rents, improving the administration of Universal Credit and better utilising guaranteed rent schemes at a local level. Without taking these vital steps, the Government will not tackle the homelessness crisis.”

Eva Kolker, policy lead for housing and homelessness from the Behavioural Insights Team, said: “This has been a great partnership with the Centre for Homelessness Impact and NRLA producing some really important results with policy implications for both central government and local authorities. Most research on reducing homelessness through the private rented sector focuses on tenant behaviour, but far less looking at landlord decision-making and behaviour. The participation of the NRLA in this partnership allowed us to run the UK’s first ever behavioural trial with landlords.”

Housing Hand shares its expectations for the private rental sector in 2021

Published On: January 20, 2021 at 9:19 am


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,,

UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand has shared its expectations for 2021, including the issues that the private rented sector may face this year.

It has gained insight into the difficulties faced by the private rental sector from the landlords and tenants they work with across the UK. According to Group Managing Director Jeremy Robinson, 2021 could be a bumpy year for the rental market.

Robinson comments: “The pandemic has created a number of issues, ranging from tenants becoming unable to pay their rent to would-be renters experiencing difficulties during the referencing process. The latest lockdown and its subsequent economic impact have the potential to exacerbate these problems significantly.”

Turning the focus to Brexit, Terry Mason, Group Operations Director of Housing Hand, believes the impact of changes to flows of workers and students into the UK from Europe will be increasingly felt over the course of 2021. He comments: “A large number of those who travel to the UK for work or study rent their homes privately while here. Landlords who serve that market are going to feel the impact of Brexit strongly this year.”

The ongoing effects of COVID-19 are also predicted to hit the student private rental market. Housing Hand states that if universities deliver courses virtually rather than in-person come the start of the new academic year in September, there’s likely to be a significant impact on those who usually let properties to students.

The expectations for rural areas and the Home Counties are more positive, with such locations enjoying a surge in rental demand as tenants move out of London and other major cities. Housing Hand anticipates this trend continuing in 2021.

Terry Mason comments: “Lockdown 3.0 will once again emphasise the benefits of renting larger properties with outside space. The Office for National Statistics reports that 21% of London’s households have no access to a garden, either private or shared. The lower cost of renting outside of the city means that a garden suddenly becomes much more affordable.”