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Take That! Agency chief lets rip at "flawed policies" of government

The leader of one of Britain’s highest profile lettings agency operations has let rip at the government for what he calls “flawed policies” that have led to reduced supply.

Dorian Gonsalves, chief executive of Belvoir, says years of flawed government policies continue to impact the market, resulting in stock shortages and high tenant demand.

“When analysing the market, it is important to note the clear distinction between rental rises and rises in house prices. Rental increases are not due to Covid, or the race for space, and most definitely cannot be blamed on so-called ‘greedy landlords’” explains Gonsalves, in a report chronicling the latest rent rises.


“The reason for these increases is 100 per cent due to the barrage of flawed policies that the government has introduced in recent years, which have discouraged landlords from bringing new properties into the sector. These policies have included the introduction of higher stamp duty, the phasing out of mortgage tax relief, and the many stringent requirements placed on landlords to remain legally compliant. 

“The resulting higher operating costs, coupled with increased maintenance prices, have left landlords with no option but to increase rents for new tenancies so that they can cover these higher costs.”

He says that Belvoir’s statistics reveal the highest rental increases since records began in 2008. 

“Taking into account that most of our offices are outside the London area, at the end of last year those Belvoir offices that have been trading since 2008 in England, Scotland and Wales were reporting average advertised monthly rents of £817” says Gonsalves. 

“This represents a large year on year increase of just under 9.5 per cent. At the end of last year, most of Belvoir’s franchisees were predicting that rents were likely to stay the same or would continue to rise in 2022.”


He continues: “Belvoir’s figures are comparable with data from other sources, with Zoopla recently reporting the strongest rental growth in 13 years. Rents do not typically rise or fall by more than four per cent, so these are staggering figures. 

“A cross-section survey of franchisees across the Belvoir network reveals that half are experiencing a shortage in all types of properties, from one bed flats up to five-bedroom homes. There is some regional variation, but franchisees in most regions are predicting that there is little indication of any easing in the shortage of available properties.”

He predicts that rents will continue to increase at eight to 10 per cent for the rest of this year and will only fall back to previous lower levels of inflation if more landlords are encouraged to bring more properties to the market.

  • jeremy clarke

    If only government would listen Dorian rather than ignoring us professionals and listening to the likes of shelter, rent a mob and the other luvvies who are intent on destroying the PRS!

  • John Ahmed

    Gonsalves is 100% correct.
    The Government need to listern before more landlords exit the market. The current government initiatives do not help the housing market they damage it.

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    Perhaps we need to shout louder at the Government, they need to hear that they are driving the landlords out of the PRS causing a shortage of available properties which is going to put further pressure on tenants seeking suitable housing. Shelter and the likes only see one side of the coin and as with everything there is always two sides to a story. This is the minority spoiling for the majority yet again.

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    Best thing the government could do to help renters is to build council houses.

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    Propertymark and other organisations need to be lobbying the Government more. We seem to be sleep walking in to giving up section 21 notices with no clear vision of what will replace it and many of my clients are extremely concerned about that. The vision of RoPA is all very well but there has to be a viable letting market, so there are definitely more important factors that need to be addressed right now.

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    Agreed. Together with some friends we purchased three Buy-2-Let properties. We saw the writing on the wall with higher stamp duty, the phasing out of mortgage tax relief, treating business expenses as profit for taxation purposes and now abolition of Section 21. One property has been sold already and the others will be sold in 2023 and 2024. That will be three less rental properties available. Well done, Shelter, Polly Bleat, Baroness (ha!) Kennedy, Generation Rent. Of course spineless Boris must take a share of the blame as well.

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    I have not raised the rent in 3 years. Now with increased costs on the horizon I am slowly getting out. The Gov should open a shop and increase prices just so that they can count the people who then walk past their door


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