Census results show need for rental regulation
The rise in private rental sector tenants reported in the latest census highlights the need for immediate government regulation, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA). As well as the reported drop in the number of UK owner-occupiers, the number of tenants renting privately has increased from 9% to 15% in England and Wales.
“The census data confirms what our members have already told us,” said Ian Potter, Managing Director, ARLA, “that would-be home owners are increasingly turning to the private rented sector after being priced out of buying their own property.
“As the private rental sector continues to expand, it is imperative that the government takes decisive action on regulating letting agents. This will help prevent less scrupulous landlords from taking advantage of the unprecedented level of consumer demand. Renting should be a positive experience for both tenant and landlords, and a professional agent will be able to guide them both through the process. In the absence of regulation, we would always advise tenants to rent their properties through an ARLA member agent. All ARLA agents must adhere to a strict code of conduct, as well as offering client money protection and redress schemes, which protect you if things go wrong.”
James Davis, CEO of Upad added: “The 2011 census figures I feel accurately reflect the changing sentiment within the UK housing market. There has been a distinct change in attitude towards renting with many more young professionals accepting the need to rent for longer and many families now raising their children in rented accommodation. The aspiration to own your own home does of course remain but in the current economic climate, many more have accepted this might not become reality in the same timescales as before.
Indeed the 6% increase in people renting from a private landlord or letting agency as opposed to from the council has been reflected in our own figures. Now each property our landlords list receive 19 tenant enquiries on average. With the private rented sector now bigger than ever, accounting for 17% of households in the UK, there is ever increasing pressure on the 1.5 million UK landlords to be as professional as possible. Due to their sheer numbers, UK tenants hold more power than ever before and savvy landlords should be aware of this by acting responsibly and fairly at every stage.”census, renting
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