Propertymark has dismissed suggestions from critics of the lettings industry that higher rents are leading to more homelessness.
The trade body says that instead, it’s clear from the latest England homelessness data from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities that the biggest cause of homelessness among renters is in fact landlords selling or re-letting properties.
This is often down to landlords being discouraged by increased tax burdens and regulations on the sector.
Propertymark says this reason is actually responsible for 40 times as much homelessness as higher rents.
Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, says: “These statistics provide further evidence that the biggest issue facing the private rented sector right now is a lack of incentives for landlords to keep their properties in it.
“They also call into question the validity of calls for rent controls as rent increases are clearly not a major cause of homelessness.
“Letting agents and their landlords have been under attack for over a decade through legislative and tax changes. More challenges are coming down the line with the renters’ reform agenda, which looks likely to pave the way for the removal of Section 21.
“The UK government must study these figures very closely and ensure further reform of the sector is balanced and includes policies to maintain existing investment and encourage more. This is the long-term solution to rebalancing the supply vs need problem which our member agents say is placing great strain on the market.”