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Crisis in the private rented sector

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A crisis may be looming as more and more landlords are leaving the rented accommodation marketplace and selling up their let properties says the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

Their departure, of course, leaves an already short supply of rented accommodation falling shorter than ever from the growing demand.

In a release issued by the RLA on the 1st of May, a survey revealed that one in four landlords are considering the sale of at least one of their buy to let properties in the coming 12 months. This represents the biggest exodus of landlords in all of the RLA’s previous surveys. 

Decisions are being taken by landlords even though more than half of them (57%) considered there to be stable demand for private rented accommodation and nearly a quarter (23%) of them reported increasing demand.

The current figures suggest the continuation of a trend revealed in the English Private Landlord Survey 2018 commissioned by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government which was published on the 1st of January. 

This found that one in ten landlords – who own 18% of all tenancies in the private rented sector – plan to reduce the number of buy to let properties they own. 5% of them, moreover, indicated an intention to sell off all of their buy to let properties.

In its March 2019: UK Residential Market Survey, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) commented that the evident imbalance between demand and an ever-dwindling supply in the private rented sector over the next five years is likely to herald an accelerating growth in rent levels – currently at around 3% per annum – continuing until 2024.