Government warned to ‘stop meddling’ in private rental sector as tenant demand gathers momentum

November 14, 2019

The government’s “meddling” in the private rental sector has driven away landlords and “decreased standards” for tenants, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has claimed.

The body’s warning comes as its latest rental market survey showed a 22% increase in tenant demand in the three months to October. Meanwhile landlord instructions continued on a three-year decline, with all regions seeing a drop except East Anglia.

RICS members predicted this imbalance of supply and demand would see rents rise across every UK region and country over the next three months.

Tamara Hooper, RICS’ policy manager blamed the introduction of several government regulations and recent tax rises for discouraging landlords from investing, adding the squeeze on supply would leave vulnerable tenants at risk of not being able to find safe homes to rent.

“Persistent government meddling in the private rented sector has dampened landlords’ appetites to invest and expand their portfolios, with many consolidating their assets, or leaving the sector altogether,” Ms Hooper said.

She added: “In addition, the regular changes to the PRS regime has decreased stability and standards for tenants.
“The government needs to stop tinkering with PRS activity – through misguided eviction processes, taxation and fees – and help provide a careful balance between landlords and tenants’ rights.

“This will encourage more landlords back to the market as well as ensure that tenants, including those who are most vulnerable, are not at a disadvantage in being able to find a suitable and affordable home to rent.”