New Rugg Review welcomed

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

The RLA is welcoming the new Rugg Review into the state of the PRS announced today by the Nationwide Foundation.

Since the last review was released in 2008 the private rented sector has changed almost beyond recognition, with more and more people living in rented homes.

The foundation, an independent charity, is now funding the University of York to conduct an up-to-date review of the sector in England.

The review is designed to be an independent and objective analysis, to establish broadly whether it responds adequately to the needs of its various tenants.  It will particularly focus on:

  • a comprehensive analysis of the ‘state of play’
  • an assessment of the policy interventions currently impacting on the sector
  • proposing policy options which could contribute to more effective operation

The work will be undertaken by Julie Rugg and David Rhodes, authors of the ‘Rugg Review’ – full title, ‘The Private Rented Sector: Its Contribution and Potential’.

They have already visited the Residential Landlords Association for input, with further meetings planned. The association has a number of key proposals to feed into the review including suggestions from its alternative white paper which is currently under development.

Other interested stakeholders and industry experts will be invited to submit evidence to the review in due course. The completed work is expected to be published in summer 2018.

In addition to the review, the Nationwide Foundation has also funded another separate piece of research to be carried out by the same academic team.

This will assess the extent that the private rented sector meets the housing needs of vulnerable tenants and will be published alongside the main review.

Dr Julie Rugg, Principal Investigator at the Centre for Housing Policy, University of York says: “The last review showed that the private rented sector is made up of lots of different sub-markets, meeting different types of need.

“Since we completed the review, every one of those sub-markets has changed substantially. Without a better understanding of how the rented sector works, it’s unlikely that policy aimed at the sector will have the desired effect.”

RLA Chairman Alan Ward said: “Any independent report which helps us better understand the sector is most welcome.

“The 2008 review was a well-respected piece of work, but much has changed since then and the RLA looks forward to working further with the authors to share members’ experiences and explore the best way forward to make renting better for landlords and tenants alike.”

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Communications Manager for the RLA and award-winning Editor of RPI magazine. With 16 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and editorial content for our media partners.

She issues press releases promoting the work of the RLA and its policies and campaigns to the regional and national media and works alongside the marketing team on the association’s social media channels to build support for the RLA and its work.


  • The announcement of a new review from Dr. Julie Rugg and David Rhodes is indeed welcome. Since the last review in 2008, the buy-to-let market, and the wider housing market as a whole, has gone through significant changes.

    We have endured and come out the other side of the financial crash and subsequent recessions, which impacted the rental sector, and UK economy, tremendously.

    As the sector is being bombarded by numerous government punitive taxes, the timing of this review is key. With the unyielding tax grabs forced upon the sector over the last 18 months, I am confident the review will highlight the detrimental effect the negative switch in government policy has had on landlords; who the Housing Minister stated make “a vital contribution to our housing market”.

    In terms of this review making a difference upon its release next year, any detailed report into the market from an independent body can hopefully shape future government policy, and highlight just what the sector has already, and will continue, to offer the UK’s housing market for many years.

    I look forward to this review and believe it will give a wider audience a much greater insight into the private rental sector and just how imperative it is to millions of families across the country.

    Andrew Turner

  • This is very good news as any independent review will show how catastrophic recent Government interference has been and will be, for the PRS. I have passed to the authors my report into Section 24 and also alerted them to the developments in Ireland, where the disallowing of finance costs in the calculation of profit for unincorporated landlords is now being dismantled; indeed the Irish Government, in an attempt to undo the damage caused by themselves are now turning full circle it would seem and are looking towards incentivising the sector. This will happen in the UK as sure as night follows day, but the sooner it can be done, the less damage will be incurred by the PRS – landlords and tenants alike.

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