A lettings agent who describes himself as “a responsible and ethical property professional” has met with a Liberal Democrat MP to debate a city’s rental crisis.
Toby Martin is the general manager of the independent agency Reside in Bath, a location that has seen spectacular shortages of rental properties compared to growing demand.
He met with local MP Wera Hobhouse.
Local media in Bath report Martin as saying: “Unless the imbalance between supply and demand is addressed, rents in Bath will continue to increase due to the number of tenants competing for each rental home that goes on the market.
“For some landlords, recent changes to the way in which they are taxed, coupled with increased mortgage rates, have rendered their rental homes financially unviable, with many instead looking to the lucrative and unregulated holiday lets sector.
“I am deeply grateful to Wera Hobhouse for discussing these important issues with me.
“As a responsible and ethical property professional, I believe it is vital to work towards a balanced and fair private rented sector, where landlords are valued as suppliers of good quality homes and tenants are not having to compete with one another when looking for a place to live.”
Meanwhile Hobhouse is quoted as saying: “The significant rise in rental prices in our city has left many renters struggling to afford their homes, and it is unacceptable that so many people are being priced out of the city they call home.
“It is time for the government to take action to fix our broken rental system once and for all. Bath residents deserve better.”
Hobhouse and her party are calling for minimum standards for rental properties, a rental sector Ombudsman, and a speeding up of the Renters Reform Bill now going through Parliament.