Landlords are expressing their frustration, with NRLA chief Ben Beadle asserting that the evidence of 25 tenants vying for every available rental property illustrates the Conservative party’s policies in the sector have been a ‘failure’.
Beadle emphasised on the multiple actions taken by the government that have compounded the problem. “These have included removing tax relief on mortgage interest on BTL loans, introducing a 3% additional Stamp Duty on rental property purchases and the looming Renters (Reform) Bill, which is due to significantly increase regulation of landlords.”
Recent data from Rightmove further illuminates the issue, showing that the volume of properties listed for rent on its platform has dipped by 35% compared to the pre-Covid era. The scarcity is particularly pronounced for smaller homes and flats.
Ria Laitmer, who manages lettings at Clarkes in Dorset, shared her first-hand experience of the crunch, saying, “We’ve been really feeling the pressure of having to manage the mounting number of enquiries for each rental property we have available. Chasing up references was taking hours out of our working week, as well as all the back and forth of getting a tenant into a property.”
Beadle responded strongly to these indicators, stating, “Tenants are bearing the brunt of the supply crisis in the rental market. This is a result of failed Government policies. Throughout the Conservative conference ministers said they wanted landlords to have the confidence to stay in the market. But warm words will achieve nothing without policies to make this happen.”
He went on to call for immediate and robust action, saying, “The Government must take action to stem the loss of rental properties across the country. The Treasury needs encourage investment by reversing the damaging tax hikes which penalise landlords who provide much-needed housing.”
Beadle concluded with a plea for clearer procedures in the sector, asserting, “It’s also crucial that the Government makes clear assurances that landlords who make legitimate possession claims will not become mired in a broken court system once section 21 evictions are abolished.”