Housing crisis

Next PM must tackle rental housing crisis as landlords plan portfolio disposal – NRLA

The lack of rental housing supply needs to be addressed by the next prime minister to meet home ownership ambitions, a trade body has proposed.

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has urged the government to take this into account when releasing the results of its latest survey. The study of 708 landlords found that 23% planned to reduce the number of properties they rented over the next 12 months, an increase from a fifth who said they would make reductions when told asked a year ago.

Only 14% plan to increase the number of properties they rent, which is stable compared to last year and 4% down from sentiment in the first quarter.

Looking ahead to static supply, 60% of landlords in England and Wales reported an increase in demand for rental accommodation in the second quarter. This is a significant increase from the 39% of owners who saw an increase last year.

Additionally, rents rose 2.8% in the year to May, the strongest annual growth since January 2016.

This is also having a ripple effect on other types of accommodation, as 76% of councils surveyed by the District Councils Network said landlords were leaving the private rental sector or conversion to holiday lettings had led to longer waits for social housing.

The NRLA said government policy and tax changes had directly led to the contraction of the private rental sector. The association urged the next to “end this hostility towards landlords” and encourage investment to meet demand.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: ‘The past six years have proven the absurdity of thinking that reducing the supply of rental accommodation when demand is so strong would make it easier for those saving for a house of their own.

“Raising rents just leaves tenants with less money to save for a deposit.

“We need a strong and vibrant private rental market that meets the needs of those who rely on the flexibility it offers, those who need housing before becoming homeowners and those to whom the promise of he social housing of tomorrow offers cold comfort today.

“The next administration must revise its plans for the sector.”