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The government has become too reliant on private landlords

All the main political parties are targeting the Generation Rent vote ahead of a potential snap general election, at the expense of landlords, while dismissing the fact that there is now an overreliance on the private rented sector to provide accommodation for those with a long-term housing need. 

The opposition parties support the government’s proposal to scrap the use of Section 21 notices to evict tenants, despite the fact that this could lead to a sharp drop in the supply of properties to let in the PRS. 

Fresh economic analysis by Capital Economics on behalf of the National Landlords Association (NLA) forecasts that there will be a 20% drop in the number of properties available to rent if Section 21 is scrapped, adding to the widening supply-demand shortage which would almost certainly place upward pressure on rental values.  


Removing Section 21 could prove devastating for the PRS, with almost half of landlords and letting agents more likely to reduce some or all of their investment in the sector, according to a separate survey by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA). 

The poll of almost 6,500 landlords and letting agents found that 46% of landlords and letting agents could quit the buy-to-let market as a result of the government’s plans to end Section 21 evictions.


The study also found that more than 40% of landlords are waiting for other planned changes by the government to become clearer before they make decisions on their ability to provide homes to rent.

But while the government is blamed by many politicians for the existing housing crisis, Tom Gatzen, the co-founder of room share platform ideal flatmate, believes that the government is at fault for the existing state of the property market. 

He said: “For far too long there has been an overreliance on the rental sector to house those that can’t afford to buy as a result of the government’s consistent failure to provide more affordable housing.

“We’ve already seen the rental landscape evolve with more renters having to rent rooms rather than outright properties due to high financial barriers, and the abolition of Section 21 will only see this increase as demand grows and the number of available properties declines.  

“While the latest shake-up of the sector has been done with the best intentions of tenants at its core, such a drastic move needs to be better thought through and complemented with additional policy changes, to ensure the sector remains viable for the landlords that form its foundations. 

“As it stands, those most in need are in line to be hit the hardest, while the rest of us will see yet more of our income go towards covering our rent.”

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Poll: Do you think that there is now an overreliance on the private rented sector to provide accommodation for those with a long-term housing need?


  • icon

    How long will it take this govt to understand what they’re doing to the PRS?

    John Cart

    Never, because they are clueless, but they look like geniuses compared to the opposition party.

  • icon

    The problem started with Right to Buy which inevitably led a reduction in the availability of social housing. In turn that led to private landlords being able to make a business model out of letting to people in receipt of DSS/Housing Benefit. The problem being that people are suited to social tenants are often not ideally suited to the private rented sector.
    I don't know why none of the major political parties haven't recognized this, with Labour proposing to extend it even further!
    Scrap Right to Buy entirely, allow Council's to start building their own stock again, in massive scale, and you start to deal with the shortage of housing and over dependence on the private rented sector.

  • icon
    • 01 October 2019 09:45 AM

    Unfortunately for Govt the HB bill is bound to increase when exposed to market pressures.
    Social housing is essentially a nationalised private rental market where rents can be controlled.
    But where the supply and maintenance of social housing stock is down to Govt to fund.
    Govt thought it could effectively privatise the massive costs of Social Housing.
    What they didn't reckon on is if there wasn't sufficient profit in it for LL they would stop letting to them leaving massive TA costs.
    The PRS is simply not fit for the purpose of being Social rented housing
    The PRS has to produce profits to survive social housing DOESN'T!
    Social Housing is just one of those massive Govt expenditures that they cannot avoid.
    RTB of any type should be banned unless for full market value.
    Like it or not Social Housing is required for the lower orders.
    A society is judged by how it treats the less than capable.
    Yes it means supporting the feckless.
    But even the feckless have to live somewhere!
    Putting them in shipping containers cannot be a correct response to a shortage of social housing.
    Govt should go onto the open market and buy up existing properties for social housing as well as building millions of new Social homes.
    Personally I hate the idea of assisting the feckless with my taxes but what alternative is there!?
    Certainly not the PRS.
    Ideology obviously infects the whole housing proposition on the basis that social housing tenants produce Labour voters.
    I suggest that tenants who should not be private tenants also vote Labour.
    By Govt action they are reducing the capacity of the PRS to let to DSS tenants.
    LL increasingly don't want them and can't(currently) be forced to take them..
    That leaves the taxpayer to fund social housing no matter how expensive.
    It is just one of those bottomless pits like the NHS that Govt simply has to fund.
    Just get on with it!

  • James B

    The parties are stuck in a rut chasing generation rent votes no matter what the cost , if one takes the foot off the pedal they will be concerned it could cost them their jobs .. shame tenants don’t see that it’s all to their detriment


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