The surge in private rental sector (PRS) tenants reported in the 2011 census and published on 11th December 2012 highlights the need for immediate government regulation, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
Alongside reports of a drop in the number of UK owner-occupiers, to 64%, the number of tenants renting privately has increased from 9% in 2001 to 15%. With the private rental sector absorbing much of the move away from home owning, standards are likely to come under increased scrutiny.
Ian Potter, Managing Director, ARLA said, “The census data confirms what our members have already told us, that would-be home owners are increasingly turning to the private rented sector after being priced out of buying their own property.
He added: “as the PRS continues to expand, it is imperative that the government takes decisive action on regulating letting agents. This will help prevent less scrupulous landlords from taking advantage of the unprecedented level of consumer demand. Renting should be a positive experience for both tenant and landlords, and a professional agent will be able to guide them both through the process.