The latest data demonstrates the failure of government policy for the private rented sector, which in turn is having an adverse impact on the sector.
With demand from tenants continuing to outstrip housing supply in the PRS, the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) predicts that private sector rents are set to increase by 2% over the next year.
This follows recent tax increases including restricting mortgage interest relief to the basic rate of income tax and a 3% duty levy on the acquisition of additional properties.
In addition, it has been disclosed that just 18 individual landlords and property agents and five companies are registered on the database of rogue landlords for offences committed since April 2018.
Consequently, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) quite rightly points out that either the number of problem landlords is not as high as many have argued or local authorities are focussing too much time on licensing good landlords instead of rooting out the criminals.
In a further blow to landlords, statistics published yesterday reveal that it now takes an average of almost half a year for courts to process claims for repossession of their property.
The RLA argues that during this time tenants may be refusing to pay any rent, indulging in anti-social behaviour or damaging the property.
John Stewart, policy manager for the RLA, commented: “This series of statistics clearly shows the negative impact of government policies. At the end of the day it is tenants who are suffering.
“The drop off in supply caused by good landlords who find operating in the market more difficult means it is increasingly difficult for tenants to secure somewhere to live and they are then faced with higher rents.
“Ministers need to change course and instead of attacking the private rented sector, there should be policies and taxation to encourage growth in the supply of rental accommodation to meet the ever increasing demand.”