Franchise chain Belvoir is calling for the Government to reverse “punitive” tax policies that are hitting the private rented sector.
Instead, it is calling for incentives for landlords to invest in the rental market in order to increase supply and make rents more affordable.
Belvoir managing director Dorian Gonsalves said: “Disastrous anti-landlord tax policies which were introduced by George Osborne at the last Budget are likely to continue deterring landlords from further investment in the rental market.
“As we predicted, this is restricting the supply of available rental properties and resulting in rental increases.
“In some areas of the country our franchise owners are reporting that prospective tenants are, without being prompted, submitting bids to landlords of increased rental offers in order to try and secure the property of their choice.
“This is purely down to a shortage of accommodation and the problem is unlikely to be resolved without government intervention.
“A recent report by the charity Shelter claimed that one in three families in England would be unable to pay their rent or mortgage for more than a month if they lost their jobs, and increased rents will only worsen the situation.
“We are suggesting that Gavin Barwell, the new housing minister, takes swift action to unpick the disastrous tax policies that were introduced by George Osborne.
“We believe that the Government should be taking steps to incentivise private landlords to invest in buy-to-let properties, as this is what will bring rents down.
“If the Government wants to make housing more affordable the only way to do this is to increase the supply of properties on the market.
“It is completely counter-intuitive to restrict supply with tax changes and then not expect rents to rise.”
Belvoir says that almost 75% of its franchisee network are reporting shortages of two and three-bedroom semis and terrace homes.
Gonsalves said: “Tenant demand for two to three-bedroom semi and detached homes remains very high, but our franchise owners are reporting that this type of accommodation is in short supply.
“This is confirmation of the pressure that the private rental sector is currently under, and we are yet to witness the full repercussions of anti-landlord initiatives that were introduced by former Chancellor George Osborne.”