Government must ‘tread a fine line between protecting renters and disincentivising landlords’


While the majority of buy-to-let landlords feels that there is too much regulation in the private rental sector, most tenants say that there is not enough.

Market Financial Solutions (MFS) has commissioned an independent survey among a nationally-representative sample of 2,000 UK adults, which included 702 existing tenants and 211 landlords.

The study found that 73% of tenants say that the rental market needs tighter regulation to protect renters, but over three fifths – 63% – of landlords feel that the government has introduced too much.

Most (65%) landlords feel unfairly penalised and targeted by the Government in the past decade.

Yet a large majority (74%) of tenants say more needs to be done to improve the standard of rental properties. Even more (77%) want rental price controls.

A further 78% of tenants say that renters should be able to claim rent back if they are made to live in poor quality accommodation. Seven in ten (69%) say there should be more multi-year, long-term lets in the rental market.

In the 2022 Queen’s Speech, the government committed to scrapping Section 21 evictions for private tenants: 62% of tenants think the government was right to do this, but 40% of landlords say that the ban has left them with tenants whom they want to move out of their properties but cannot.

Paresh Raja, CEO of MFS, said: “Clearly, there is some discord between landlords and tenants on the topic of further regulation in the private rental sector. With rents rising, tenants obviously feel that not enough is being done to protect renters, with many showing clear support for rent controls and tenants being able to claim money back if their accommodation is not of a high enough standard.

“That said, the influx of regulations in the past decade has left a majority of landlords feeling unfairly targeted. We must work to strike a careful balance – we need a buoyant rental market, so squeezing landlords too tightly might result in a greater number of poor quality or empty rental properties. In a market that’s already grappling with an undersupply of properties and an ever-growing demand, this could have detrimental ramifications for rental prices in the future.

“As such, while it’s vitally important that tenants feel protected in the private rental sector, the government must tread a fine line between protecting renters and disincentivising landlords.”

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