Ministers urged to address shrinking PRS as landlords sell up

Propertymark’s latest research into the shrinking private rented sector, leading a new report warning that rents could be driven up, has been raised with government ministers in England and Scotland.

Labour MP Navendu Mishra cited the findings when asking what steps the UK government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is taking to ensure there are more available affordable rental properties.

According to the report, the average number of properties that letting agents in the UK reported they were currently advertising for rent decreased from 30.4 to just 15.6 between March 2019 and March 2022, revealing a significant reduction in places available for renters to live.

During a debate in the Scottish parliament on the implications of the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) Bill on the PRS, Conservative MSP Edward Mountain described the findings as “worrying” and agreed with Propertymark’s stance that the proposed legislation does not currently equally balance the rights of landlords and tenants.

Propertymark surveyed more than 400 letting agents across the UK.

The research also revealed that 94% of landlords who removed their property from the rental market did so to sell it.

Over half of the rental properties sold in March this year alone did not return to the private rented market.

Nathan Emerson, Propertymark CEO, said: “Our research provided the most accurate picture yet of an issue that our agents have been talking to us about for a long time. It’s good news that the findings have been placed in front of Ministers in both England and Scotland at a time when both are governments are reforming their respective sectors.

“Propertymark will continue to work closely with politicians across the UK to ensure the rights of letting agents and their landlords are equally balanced with the rights of tenants, and that future policies include more incentives to increase investment in the private rented sector to meet the rising demand.”

You can read Mishra’s question and the answer from Housing Minister Eddie Hughes by clicking here.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Parliament Stage 2 debate on the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) Bill is available here.

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Written by Jinay


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