Landlords warn of looming crisis in supply of private rented homes

LANDLORDS are warning of a looming crisis in the supply of private rented housing as more of them sell off homes despite demand increasing.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) says more landlords are selling properties than buying them. The claim is based on a survey of over 2,700 landlords.

According to the research, almost 25% of landlords surveyed had seen the demand for private rented property increase over the last three months, with 41% saying there had been no change. Meanwhile, 15% said that demand had fallen.

However, the RLA says its findings indicate a continuing fall in the supply of private rented housing over the next 12 months, with 31% if landlords saying the plan to sell as least one property. Just 13% said they planned to buy at least one.

The RLA pins the blame on Government policy over the last few years, saying it embarked on a “programme designed to cut investment” in private rented housing through various tax increases in an attempt to encourage more houses to be available for purchase by owner occupiers. The latest figures show that this “strategy has been a failure”, the organisation says.

It is calling on the Government to adopt “pro-growth measures”, including scrapping the stamp duty levy on the purchase of additional properties where landlords add to the net overall supply of homes available, including bringing long term empty homes into use.

“Those who argue that a smaller private rented sector is good for tenants wanting to buy a home are plain wrong,” said David Smith, the RLA’s policy director. “The Government’s policies are choking off the supply of homes to rent whilst demand remains strong.

“This is only making life more difficult and potentially more expensive for those looking for somewhere to live. Without an urgent change of course and the introduction of pro-growth policies the situation will only become worse.”



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