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Agents have got it wrong, insists tenants’ activist leader

A leading light in the Generation Rent group is disputing the findings of a Propertymark survey of letting agents. 

Agents from businesses with a total of over 4,000 branches were questioned with results that should have been regarded as worrying for renters. 

The number of properties available to rent has been diminishing with a large portion of landlords choosing to sell their properties, citing the increased risks of buy to let investment, as well as much greater red tape and higher taxation.


The data shows the number of properties available to rent through letting agents halved between March 2019 and March 2022 - over 90 per cent said their reason for withdrawing from the rental market was to sell.

However the deputy director of Generation Rent - Dan Wilson Craw - disputed the findings produced from 4,000 agency branches. He says it’s not a shortage of rental properties prompted by sell offs that has triggered rent rises and a difficulty in tenants finding accommodation.

“Rents are rising and would-be tenants face bidding wars or demands for multiple months' rent up-front. That is a result of large numbers of people moving back to cities since summer 2021 as universities and offices reopened, putting a strain on homes coming to market. We're seeing similar rent inflation in the US and Australia” he claims.


“When landlords sell up, their properties don’t disappear. They continue to be lived in, either by tenants of the new owner, or by an owner-occupier whose old home is now available for a private renter to buy. Supply and demand stay the same so rents are unaffected.

“Reforms to the rental market are necessary to give private tenants better quality, longer term homes. The government has said that landlords will be able to evict in order to sell or move in – though we believe these grounds should come with protections against abuse. If some landlords are unhappy with that, they won’t be missed.

“Government plans aside, rents are too expensive, so we need to build more of every tenure in the places people want to live, to make sure everyone can afford a home.”

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    Maybe Dan Wilson Craw and Generation Rent would like to help the PRS lobby to make ownership of available houses a better business proposition for their owners to make available for letting?
    I am South Wiltshire and demand for available property is tremendous. We have 'retiring' landlords who are liquidating their asset as they have had enough and the tax breaks, etc do not make it equitable alongside the rising costs and compliance requirements (for the right reasons), forcing the rent levels. Renting out a house is a business operation not a charitable one. For too long local authorities have considered the PRS an extension of their own diminishing housing stock, and the facilitators, are battered enough before the lobbyists start. We have many long-term UC & HB tenancies that are rock-solid but way beneath local market rents. I feel the more the PRS is attacked and their provision of property not given a shred of respect, then the stock will dwindle or go into private owner-occupier occupancy. Generation Rent, SHELTER, LA's really not bite the hand.....; however there are unregulated private operators that do tarnish the industry.

  • Billy the Fish

    So Landlords selling their BTL property does not actually mean stock is reducing? Erm, who is this guy?
    Our business in a coastal city is suffering from the below pressures:
    1. landlords selling and no new investors buying stock and instructing agents
    2. landlords moving across to AirBnB due to minimal tax regs and staycation demand
    3. tenants renewing rather than moving due to the high rents/complete lack of supply which further compounds the issue. The deputy director of Generation Rent would do well to understand that the churn of property from tenants moving results in the majority of available stock to rent. Solve 1 & 2 and 3 is also solved
    4. over the last 2 years Londoners who can WFH moving out of London and into this city, this has slowed recently but has certainly reduced stock for 'locals'
    I really wonder how much this chap understands the market he is preaching about.


    He doesn’t understand. None of them do. They stick to their view and twist the facts to suit their agenda.

  • jeremy clarke

    Deputy director of Generation Rent? this chap doesn't appear on GR latest accounts or at companies house, delusions of grandeur??
    Incidentally those latest accounts make interesting reading!
    Year end March 2020 are the latest filed accounts according to GR website link, they show total income of £162,000 all from grants and donations with staff costs of c£117,000 (72% of income!) The accounts show just 3 employees for the year end of 31 March 2020, that equates to a cost per employee of some £40,000!
    The latest accounts at Co House are restricted from last year end March 2021 showing reserves held of £75,000.
    Make what you will of it.


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