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What does the future hold for landlords? Dr Tom Simcock shares his view

Dr Tom Simcock
Written by Dr Tom Simcock

RLA PEARL Senior Researcher Dr Tom Simcock will be speaking at our Future Renting conference taking place next month in London, delivering the session: “Building the evidence for change”. Here, Tom shares what he thinks the future holds for landlords.

The private rented sector has grown significantly over the last 20 years, doubling in size between 2001/02 and 2011/02 and now provides a home for 4.7 million households. Those who are tenants are becoming more diverse. There are increasing number of families, over-65’s, and the most vulnerable calling the sector home. This growth along with broader social and economic conditions, such as declining home-ownership, means that the sector is coming under greater scrutiny from policy-makers and the public.

There has already been a lot of changes to the sector over the past few years (including tax changes, minimum energy efficiency standards) and future changes expected (such as the tenant fee ban and longer-term tenancies). At the same time, there are calls from within the Labour Party for the introduction of Rent Caps and Generation Rent are currently campaigning for the removal of Section 21.

We do have to recognise that what may have worked 30 years ago, might not be suitable for the sector of today or the sector of the future. Because of the previous changes, we’ve embarked on a significant research agenda through our research lab, PEARL. This enables us to collect evidence on the impact of policy changes, understand the issues faced by landlords and develop alternative policy suggestions to help evolve the sector so it can meet new challenges and make renting better for all. Evidence makes any arguments about the future state of the sector so much stronger.

The private rented sector is evolving, with some of our consumers wanting more security from what we offer them as landlords. And with increasing scrutiny, change is coming for the private rented sector. Take for instance the current Longer-Term Tenancy consultation by the Government. Only through engaging and basing our arguments on evidence will there be a chance for a sector that works for all.

Find out more about what evidence we’ve been collecting and our vision for a private rented sector of the future at our upcoming Future Renting Conference in London on the 13th September 2018.

Featuring an unmissable line up of speakers and hosted by award winning LBC presenter Clive Bull, you can book your early tickets here:

Book your tickets here

Watch: Dr Tom Simcock spoke at our Future Renting North conference in Manchester last month. Here he discusses the changes for the sector and why landlords should attend the conferences.

Find out more:



It’s currently PEARL week to celebrate the first anniversary of our research lab. Find out more about #PEARLweek here:

About the author

Dr Tom Simcock

Dr Tom Simcock

Tom is the Senior Researcher for the RLA and leads the RLA’s research lab; the Private renting Evidence, Analysis and Research Lab (PEARL). His expertise lies in researching change in society, public policy and quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Tom’s research on housing has received national media coverage, featuring on the front page of The Times, has influenced government policy making, and has been cited in debates in the House of Commons, House of Lords and by the London Mayor.


  • I would like to know what RLA think about legal issues arising from landlords having to let homes for 3-years when this breaches their mortgage conditions. Will the lenders now holding the ex-UKAR mortgages, Rosinca, for example, then be able to call in all the mortgages because of breach of conditions and potentially ruin thousands of landlords’ businesses?

    • It’s a matter we have raised lender barriers to LTTs and also no DSS restrictions with government, calling on ministers to take action to prevent such clauses We do not support mandatory 3 year tenancies and believe offering landlords incentives to grant longer tenancies will deliver more quickly, without disrupting those sections of the market where 3 years tenancies are not appropriate or desirable.

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