Agents concerned over ‘shrinking private rented sector’

Buy-to-let landlords are leaving the private rented sector at an alarmingly high rate, and the government is not taking the situation seriously, letting agents fear.

A snap survey of district councils shows that 76% of councils have seen an increase in landlords selling up properties, despite the growing housing shortage in the rented sector.

Shortages are particularly bad in areas popular with tourists, with landlords switching their properties to more profitable short-term holiday lets.

This news comes as various reports show that rents in the private rented sector are rising on the back of the widening supply-demand imbalance in the PRS.

Eleanor Bateman, policy officer for Propertymark, commented: “Concerns over a shrinking private rented sector is not a new conversation, but it is one that is not being acknowledged.

“If the situation continues to be ignored by decision makers fixated on taking a piecemeal approach to legislation we shouldn’t be surprised if the number of people on housing waiting lists skyrocket.

“With the removal of Section 21 on the table, unrealistic energy efficiency targets, and the attraction of short-term letting, the UK Government will find that the private rented sector continues to diminish, and homelessness will rise. The sector needs high standards and regulation, but it must work for both landlords and tenants.

“As we await their Renters’ Reform White Paper, it’s imperative the UK Government recognises that the balance has swayed too far. There are too few incentives for investors in the private rented sector, and regulatory and tax levers must be reviewed to avoid unintended consequences.”


Government urged to do more to stop BTL landlords leaving the sector


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  1. Will2

    I suggest the councils ask Shelter to start housing people as they can afford it.  With the abolition of S21 kicking in soon tenants will be being kicked out so landlords can sell up and get out of the market. This has already started.  This is what Shelter, Generation Rant and councils have achieved. Landlords have not only been bashed for a number of years now it is clear this is what the future has in store with demands for rent control snapping at landlord’s heels driven by so called housing charities that house no one!!!   I was around when the  Rent Acts were in force and know the impact of stupid legislation.  Councils stop demanding the PRS house your tenants and do it yourself, build your requirements as council housing; after all you don’t like the PRS. What other form of investment would allow so much interference?  That is why landlords are leaving.

    1. AcornsRNuts

      Totally agree, Will2.

      Landlords are, generally, not in the game for altruistic reasons. The reasons are varied but the aim is the same, to make a profit. To do that they need good quality properties at good rents to attract good tenants. Good tenants tend to stay longer and that is the aim. Void periods are expensive.

      The more Government listen to Shelter (they don’t) and Generation Rant (I like that, Will2 and may use it from now on) and increase the legislative burden on landlords, the more landlords will sell up or convert to Air BnB. Landlords, as do most of us, like a quiet life.

      I am aware that some landlords moan about the cost of repairs etc but that is part of the responsibility of being a landlord. Only twice have I had to issue a S21. The first when the management company kept complaining of a tenant smoking in communal areas and not the legal tobacco kind either – this was before smoking in communal areas was made illegal. The second time was last year when I reluctantly sold my former family home.


      1. Will2

        Oh is it supposed to be generation rent??? silly me, but all I have heard is rants.  I do not claim copyright for my apparent spelling mistake – never was good at spelling Ha Ha you are very welcome to make the same spelling errors as I do. After all they all use the word rogue incorrectly when referring to landlords. All the landlords I  know are decent people who look after their property and tenants.

  2. KByfield04

    What these stats don’t show is that, whilst landlords have sold up, the vast majority are transitioning to other landlords looking to establish large portfolios as such little stock has left the sector. Accidental and small portfolio landlords, especially those who let & manage themselves, will find the regulatory landscape impossible to keep up with and given the boost of rental; and sales values in most of the UK recently its a logical time to sell up to a more established and structured operator. Landlords and agents alike are gradually transitioning to markets dominated by large players (although this wont happen overnight)- this is what the government want- more professional operations and fewer operators to monitor and regulate.


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