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Back Off! Sunak told to stop hammering rental sector

One of the first submissions to Chancellor Rishi Sunak ahead of his autumn Budget and spending review later this month asks him to lay off further punishment of landlords, and to instead help the private rental sector.

Propertymark argues that without a support package for tackling Covid-induced tenant debt and a reformed court system landlords could leave the already struggling sector in droves.

The organisation says a recent Mortgage Works survey suggests that 20 per cent of landlords are likely to sell property in the next 12 months citing a combination of moving goal posts, tax implications, tenant debt and a backlog in the courts as reason behind the threatened exodus.


The trade body previously stated that for “most landlords, income from rent makes up 42 per cent of their total gross income, making them highly vulnerable when their tenants build up rent arrears.”

Propertymark says the effect on landlords has been compounded over the pandemic and official government figures show the proportion of private renters in arrears has tripled during the pandemic, from three per cent between April 2019 and March 2020 to nine per cent during November and December 2020. 

The trade body warns that if the upward trend in this data continues the number of renters in arrears could reach almost 800,000 by the end of 2021.



Mark Hayward, chief policy advisor, says: “We are urging the UK Government to look at the bigger picture here. It’s not about propping up landlords but more about doing the right thing for the country as we work to build back better from the devastating effects of the pandemic. 

“Ultimately the housing system needs to work for everyone, but landlords are being asked to carry too much of the financial burden caused by the pandemic. We are risking good landlords leaving the market.

“The private rented sector supports five million households in the UK and is an important provider of homes against a backdrop of an overwhelmed social housing system.

“However, at the moment, the risks associated with being a landlord are incredibly high and the financial help for tenants and landlords struggling under the weight of accumulated Covid-related debt is inadequate.”

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    There is no rewind button.... They will continue to hammer landlords into the ground... It's all part of the bigger picture... Whatever that may be... I've got tenants on notice to quit and will continue the trend, selling up as I go... Enough is enough... I'm getting out before they start fines for landlords who dare to sell their own properties... Nothing world surprise me any more. I'm out!

  • Matthew Payne

    The PRS increased in unit numbers every year from 1996 to 2015. Every year since 2016, it has been shrinking. In terms of the housing crisis, renters reform plans, the shortage of property, the spiralling costs of renting and buying, I have no doubt that as Shane says they won't change tack, their answer will be more tax, more regulation to "solve" the problem. We know it will make it worse, but when the BTR sector is many years from maturing into any meaningful volume, at what point do the Tories abandon ship?

    When people in large volumes are sleeping in car parks, in bus stations and shop doorways, will they continue to vilify landlords as the cause of the problem even then and let homelessness escalate out of control because they are too scared of the wrath of the electorate? There is a sad irony that the votes they are looking to keep/win from those who want to punish landlords seen as rich for owning a second property are the same people who will become homeless. I would say that is turkeys voting for Christmas but government policy means there wont be any more of those this year than places to rent.

  • Keith  Johnson

    The Tennants are the ones that ultimately pay....Rents are going up to pay for all the expensve legislation, tax hikes, and now low supply and more expensive property
    conservative government you want socialism instead of a free market economy

  • Theodor Cable

    The more the better.
    It makes more money for me.

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    Theodor my friend enjoy your temporary honeymoon it will be short lived, what ever extra you are getting is unsustainable in long term, then when you will get hit with extra rules and compliance it won’t even scratch the surface.
    Doing away with Section 21 the birth place of virtually all Private Lettings and Assured Shorthold Tenancies in the Country, many of the millions of private LL‘s who’s Business derived from this seem to have forgotten or even know this or the individual LL that makes a living or depend on it to supplement their pension, always remember the foundation your business is built on.

  • girish mehta

    Tenants will end up paying premium to get into property. With ever decreasing housing stock. Tenet said will find it difficult to get any housing let alone decent housing .going back to Days prior to section 21 and reforms brought by thatcher.


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