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Government told to act over falling size of private rental sector

ARLA Propertymark is expressing concern at the latest figures showing a fall in the size of the private rental sector.

The latest findings from the English Housing Survey 2020 to 2021 reveal that since 2016, the proportion of the private rented sector as a tenure has decreased by almost two per cent, amounting to a huge 258,000 households. 

Simultaneously, alongside other latest figures released on the number of households currently on housing waiting lists, there has been an increase of 3.6 per cent to over 1.18m people in the last year alone.[


Now Mark Hayward, the outgoing chief policy advisor at Propertymark, says: “This steady decline in the size of the private rented sector over the last five years should act as a warning sign to the UK government in that more needs to be done to protect the sector especially at a time when rented homes are need more than ever.

“The private rented sector has a crucial role to play in levelling up our country and communities as we work to recover from the ongoing effects of the pandemic, but in recent years, landlords have faced considerable legislative change meaning many are choosing to leave the market.

“On a more reassuring note, our letting agent members have been working hard with their landlords to improve standards in homes in the private rented sector so it’s positive to see this hard work reflected in the report.

“It is also positive to see the energy efficiency ratings of more homes are improving. However, there is still much work to do if the sector is to achieve The UK government’s targets of all properties reaching a minimum band C rating by 2025 as there is still 58 per cent with and EPC rating of Band D or below.

“During a time of financial strain due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which will continue to have lasting effects, the costs of bringing housing stock up to EPC Band C will be a significant challenge for many.


“The UK government must review the help available to landlords in order to make the improvement they need to help them meet their target of net-zero emissions by 2050 and listen to our calls for longer term goals to be set which implement realistic incremental targets and consider the age, condition and size of properties as part of this.

“With the UK government’s Renters’ Reforms White Paper in development, now is the perfect opportunity to heed the important messages coming from this report and make sure they propose a deal that does not push more landlords out of the market.”

The percentage of homes in the PRS with an EPC rating of band A to C has increased by 28 per cent since 2009 when 13 per cent of homes had this rating.

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    A 2% drop will seem nothing compared to the drop in numbers that will occur if the Govt confirm EPC C.

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    What I do not think is being realised is that the government is giving enormous sums of money to fund social housing to appear to be doing something about homelessness. All that is happening is the social sector are buying up large chunks of the private sector they are not increasing the stock of housing.

    Until it's recognised that the planning system is strangling the supply of housing in this country we are not going to go anywhere in addressing the shortage of housing

    Jim Haliburton
    The HMO Daddy


    Another issue is some Councils, including Glasgow, banning flat shares by more than 2 unrelated adults unless the landlord spends around £6k in an HMO licence, fire doors, interlinked smoke alarms, permanent lighting in vestibules etc.

    The small amount of extra rent from a third occupant means it takes years to recoup the cost, so many 2 and 3 bed flats remain underoccupied with only 2 sharing.

    When I was a student 50 years ago, I shared a big 4 bedroom flat with 7 other guys. Glasgow City Council have banned this but continue to complain about the high rents and shortage of private rental properties!


    I had to close 3 bedrooms as a result of HMO minimum room sizes. All just under the limit but I really had no inclination to start knocking down the brick walls. Instead I turned them all into really nice shower rooms, and since then the rent rises have more than compensated for the loss of the rooms. So, higher rents, less tenants to deal with ... and cleaner ones as well! But that was 10% of my rooms. I wonder how many were lost across the country as a whole

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    Unfortunately, Jim, the government is funding illegal immigration, by chucking money at the mainly, nonprivate, housing sector.. How can you possibly conform to meeting climate change targets wile substantially increasing the population,


    What are you talking about mate???

  • George Dawes

    All planned , you’ve got be very gullible not to realise what’s going on now

    Lockdown , people go bust , government and their pals buy done up property on the cheap

    Build back better , but not for you !


    Since the first lockdown, property price have gone up by almost 12% you clown. You need to lay off the David Icke videos.

  • Matthew Payne

    I love the way all the "recognised" experts have woken up now the cliff edge is visible right in front of their front wheels. Many of us have been talking about this for several years and didnt need a housing survey to help us work it out, shame none of them paid any attention, albeit it was as plain as day the whole time.

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    DISCRIMINATION , HATE CRIME , INJUSTICE , can't think why landlords are selling up



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    All this will do is restrict supply and push rents up for those landlords smart enough to professionalise themselves and adapt to the new market. For the moaners and 'can't be arsed with this, I'm selling up' brigade... get on with it, and let us have some of your cheap properties.


    Some of us adapt quite well thank you Max .... but we also enjoy a good moan as well. After all, we're British!

  • George Dawes

    I doubt very much you could afford any of mine ..


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