Residential Landlords Association (RLA)
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Costs down, standards up in private rented sector

THE proportion of income spent by private tenants on rents has fallen over the past decade according to new official figures.

The English Housing Survey for 2017/18, published yesterday, shows that the proportion of income spent on private rents was 32.9 per cent, down from 34.3 per cent in the previous year, and from 36.4 percent in 2014/15.

With Ministers considering how to increase the number of longer tenancies in the sector, the survey found that the average length of time a private sector tenant had lived in their current home was up from 3.9 years in 2016/17 to 4.1 years in 2017/18.

The Government’s new Private Landlord Survey for 2018, also published yesterday, reports that 70 per cent of landlords kept their rents the same when they most recently renewed a tenancy showing that landlords prioritise keeping good tenants for a long term.

Evidence of improved standards for tenants come from the English Housing Survey showing that the proportion of private rented homes with the most serious hazards in them has fallen considerable in the last decade. In 2017 14 per cent of rented homes had a Category 1 hazard, down from 31 per cent in 2008.

Whilst the RLA will continue to do all it can to ensure no rented property contains a serious hazard, the picture remains one of considerable improvement. 

John Stewart, Policy Manager for the Residential Landlords Association yesterday said:

“What emerges from the wealth of data out today is a picture of continuing improvement in affordability, security and standards for private tenants.  

“The figures also debunk the myth that landlords are always increasing rents unreasonably and looking for every opportunity to evict a tenant.

“We recognise that whilst this data confirms that the vast majority of landlords enjoy good relationships with their tenants and want them to stay on long term, there are still too many unscrupulous landlords who bring the sector into disrepute and they should be driven out of the market.”

Learn more

  • On 12th February 2019 at 11am the RLA is hosting a Property Standards webinar. The webinar will cover what landlords need to know about the upcoming Fitness for Human Habitation Act, and EPC’s and HHSRS changes.


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