Election 2024 – Don’t forget that we really need the Private Rented Sector!

HousesSometimes, when reading the tenant and consumer press, there is such hostility towards landlords, and indeed, some people seem to think we should get rid of landlords altogether.

However, landlords, some landlords, are necessary.

Why we need landlords

1 Not everyone wants to own their own home

The days of someone getting a job at 16 and then retiring from the same company some 50 or so years later with a presentation chiming clock (or something similar) are long gone.

People tend to change their jobs frequently, and this often means moving to a new location. If they know they are only going to be living there for a limited period of time, they may not want to go through the hassle of buying a house or flat.

Workers are sometimes relocated temporarily or seconded to another company or branch of their own firm. They will need somewhere to live during that time – which could only be for a few months.

Then, owning your own home comes with obligations. You need to do regular repair and upgrade work and some people may just not want the hassle of this. Living in decent rented accommodation is much easier.

2 We need rented accommodation for students

Many students live in specially built student accommodation, but not all of them. Many will rent a house for the year with friends.

It is important that there is sufficient accommodation for students. But in some areas students are now struggling to find accommodation near their university.  In some cases, this has meant that they have not been able to study at their chosen university.

3 Social housing is not always appropriate

Everyone agrees that we need more social housing after substantial numbers of properties have been lost due to the ‘right to buy’. If we get a Labour government it looks as if finally new social housing will be built.

However, social housing is not appropriate for everyone. It is primarily needed for low-income families although some social housing will no doubt be provided for needy single people.

But it is not suitable for business people wanting accommodation while they are relocated for their work though or for students.

So, landlords and a private rented sector are essential for a healthy economy.  Plus:

4. The Private Rented Sector contributes billions to the economy

A recent report has found that small and medium landlords and Wales are estimated to contribute £45 bn to the UK economy and support some 390,000 jobs.

If the private rented sector were to contract significantly, this could have serious repercussions. Some comments on the report:

Paragon Bank managing director of Mortgages Richard Rowntree

Landlords make a significant contribution to the economy and job creation directly, as this report highlights, but also through facilitating labour mobility. The PRS has the highest proportion of tenants in employment compared to other tenures and provides economic fluidity, enabling the workforce and companies to quickly adapt to changes in demand.

James Bailey, UK housing leader at PwC UK

Around 80% of the estimated 4.8 million properties in the private rented sector in England and Wales are provided by landlords with fewer than 15 properties. We estimate that this segment of the market contributes £45 billion of value to the wider economy each year. The scale of this footprint demonstrates the significance of the sector in the economy as a whole.

5. It is a way for middle and working-class people to create wealth

People often seem to assume that all or most landlords are ‘posh’ rich people. However, although this is true in some cases (such as the Duke of Westminster), in the main part, landlords tend to be ordinary people. For example

  • People who have inherited a property and decide to keep it and rent it out
  • Couples who both had their own property but who are now living together in one and renting out the other
  • People who have bought a ‘buy to let’ property as an investment to provide for their family or for their retirement

Most of these provide decent housing and look after their tenants well. They should not be confused with the bad or criminal sector, which are discussed in this series of posts.

Just because there are bad and criminal landlords (which incidentally have been encouraged by the chronic lack of enforcement on housing standards) does not mean that ALL landlords are like this.

And finally – a message to government

It looks as if we will have a Labour government after July 4th, and they have pledged to abolish no-fault evictions and raise standards.

This is good, provided landlords are still able to recover their property for legitimate reasons and raising standards means that it is the bad and criminal landlords that are driven out, not the good landlords!

Please bear in mind that we will still need private landlords for the reasons given above, plus their contribution to the economy should not be overlooked.

Good landlords should be encouraged. If they are driven out by harsh legislation this could cause a housing crisis and could negatively affect the economy.

So please be careful and bear this in mind when drafting legislation.

The post Election 2024 – Don’t forget that we really need the Private Rented Sector! appeared first on The Landlord Law Blog.





Real estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid for in full, and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world.


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