Campaigns Housing Supply and Rents

Renting Housing Crisis As Landlords Sell Up

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

RA quarter of private landlords are looking to sell at least one property over the next year according to new research published today.

Of almost 2,500 landlords who responded to a survey by the Residential Landlords Association, just over 25 per cent said that they were planning to sell at least one property over the next year, the highest proportion since the RLA started asking this question regularly in 2016.

The same survey shows that 23 per cent of landlords report an increase in the demand for rental property over the previous three months, with 57 per cent reporting it to be stable.

Over a third of landlords reported low levels of confidence in the private rented sector over the next 12 months.

The results come following the publication of Government data earlier this year which found that that 10 per cent of private landlords representing 18 per cent of tenancies plan to decrease the number of properties they rent out, whilst five per cent of landlords, representing 5 per cent of tenancies plan to sell all of their properties.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has warned that the imbalance between supply and demand in the rental market is expected to see rent increases averaging three per cent per annum over the next five years.

Amidst the rental home supply crisis that tenants now face, the RLA argues that it is vital that landlords retain confidence to provide the homes to rent that are desperately needed. This means ensuring that new regulations governing how landlords can regain possession of their properties in legitimate circumstances are fair and effective both for landlords and the tenants.

David Smith, Policy Director for the Residential Landlords Association:

“All the talk of longer tenancies will mean nothing if the homes to rent on not there in the first place.

“The Government’s tax increases on the sector are already making it difficult for tenants to find a place to live, with many landlords not renewing tenancies. If rushed and not thought through, planned changes to the way landlords can repossess properties risk making the situation even worse.

“Action is needed to stimulate supply with pro-growth taxation and a process for repossessing homes that is fair to all.”

About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.


  • Hi I am very confused. When I joined this organisation I thought it was to support landlords and lobby the government for support. Instead all I see is active support of whatever ridiculous penalising policies the government decides to inflict on landlords. Why on earth have you persuaded Nat West to accept housing benefit tenants on their buy to let mortgages. This just means that the landlord will be in default on his mortgage because he cannot get the rent from the government or the tenants to pay it. I will never ever accept housing benefit tenants until the government gives the benefit for the amount of rent the tenant has to pay and pays it on time direct to the landlord.

    All you are doing is making the landlords give free accommodation to housing benefit tenants which is exactly what the government wants. It refuses to accept responsibility for the housing crisis and an easy fix for them is to make the landlords provide free accommodation to tenants who cannot pay. This is also the reason for the repeal of the section 21 notices as the landlord now will not even be able to evict housing benefit tenants and will provide free accommodation for all the people the government should be housing.

    Well done RLA you should change your name to Housing Policy Support Association. You do not have the interests of your members as a priority. All you are doing is agreeing with the Government and penalising your members.

    Do you honestly expect us to pay for tenants to occupy our properties. We have fought hard and long to purchase them, obtain the mortgages, try and comply with the stultifying stupid laws the government issue and now we have to let tenants stay in them for free and let them destroy the property at the same time.

    I can assure you that I will not be renewing my membership this year.

    • Throughout our work on the issue the RLA has been contacted by members who ARE willing to rent to tenants in receipt of benefits, but who have conditions on their mortgages preventing them from doing so.
      We have also reminded our members that blanket bans that discriminate against tenants on benefits are potentially unlawful.
      Our advice has always been that landlords should assess all potential tenancies individually, and that decisions must be made fairly on a case by case basis, considering all the risks.

  • The effects of abolishing mortgage tax relief which is a legitimate deduction as it is a business and other measures such as wear and tear relief is all there to see. George Osborne and Mark Carney had an agenda against btl landlords and the most stupid thing thing is that was tried on Ireland in the 80s and was called the tenant tax which simple means these costs are passed on to the tenants or Landlords sell up and evictions increased – so much so that it had to be abolished. I believe Ian Duncan Smith has acknowledged that this has gone too far – there isnt affordable housing – so the government relies on private sector to pick up their failings. Truly amazing how the government have dealt with this – there will be social and economic consequences as a result.

  • I am a landlord for many years and have decided to sell my portfolio as the tax increases make it unattractive and we are now being subjected to more restrictive legislation. Did not take part in the survey but feel that the government are making things worse for tenants as there will be an even bigger shortage of available properties to rent

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