The latest English Private Landlord Survey shows the private rented sector continues to grow, and its importance in providing housing cannot be underestimated. The PRS is now the second largest tenure in England, and is home to a fifth of all households.
The number of households in the sector rose by 25% between 2010-11 and 2017-18, from 3.6 million to 4.5 million households.
There has been a great deal of discussion recently about no fault evictions, in fact, the latest survey shows in most cases it is the tenant’s choice to end a tenancy and few tenancies end in eviction. Only 7% of landlords and agents asked the tenant to leave, and 7% evicted the tenant.
Government plans to offer three-year tenancies have been discussed at length, in fact this data shows that there is already three quarters of landlords and agents were willing to offer longer tenancies of more than 12 months. The survey also notes that there are high rates of turnover in the private rented sector, with the number of house moves significantly higher than in the owner occupied and social rented sectors.
Similarly, most deposits are returned to the tenant, either fully or in part. Agents were less likely than landlords to return the deposit in full and more likely to return it in part. Deposits were most commonly retained due to damage to property or contents or to clean the property.
Commenting, Isobel Thomson, NALS CEO said:
“The PRS is now home to a fifth of all households in England. This phenomenal growth means that Government have rightly turned their attention onto improving standards in the PRS. However, all too often there is negativity about the sector.
“The results of this survey make for interesting reading, particularly given some of the anti-landlord and agent rhetoric that we have seen recently. In fact, we see that only 7% of tenancies end in eviction, that agents and landlords are willing to offer longer tenancies, and that most deposits are returned in full or part.
“It has highlighted the barriers to tenants on benefits accessing the Private Rented Sector and the system driven remedies which need to be applied which we hope Government take on board.
“NALS wants a better, safer private rented sector for all. These results show that in the main, agents and landlords are working hard to achieve that, and that the many tenants who rely on the sector do have a good experience.”