Action needed to tackle shortage of homes to rent
The Association of Residential Lettings Agents is calling for “urgent action” on housing provision as new research reveals property supply into the Private Rented Sector is still not meeting demand.
In research out today, more than half (58%) of ARLA members say there are more tenants than properties available. This number has increased from 55% of members at the end of 2011. Demand is reported to be highest in the South East (excluding London), where almost two thirds (65%) of members say demand is outstripping supply.
The research also indicates a reduction in the number of ‘reluctant landlords’, with just over a third (35%) of members reporting an increase in rental property coming onto the market because it couldn’t be sold. This compares with almost half (47%) reporting the same phenomenon at the end of 2011.
ARLA President Jane Ingram, said; "Our members are telling us that in much of the country there is still signifant demand for rental property, especially from would-be first time buyers, who simply can’t afford to get onto the housing ladder.
"The backdrop of decreasing reluctant landlord numbers suggests fewer new landlords are coming onto the market while Government figures show insufficient levels of new home building.
"The various housing schemes that have been announced in recent months are welcome, but they do not go far enough to increase the number of homes available. Urgent action needs to be taken to ensure everyone who needs a home can find one, and at an affordable price.
"We are concerned that, as more and more people become desperate for a home they can afford, unethical landlords and lettings agents will take advantage of the most vulnerable tenants.
"Anyone considering renting a property should be very cautious and do thorough research. The PRS is an unregulated industry, so to be sure that your money is safe, tenants must check that any deposit is put into a deposit protection scheme – this is a free service and a legal requirement. Further, check your letting agent is a member of a professionally organisation like ARLA; all our agents must have Client Money Protection in place in case anything goes wrong.