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The Private Rented Sector Review

The private rented sector has altered substantially since the publication of The Private Rented Sector: Its Contribution and Potential in 2008. At that time it was possible to state that the tenure was often overlooked; now it is much more likely that the private rented sector (PRS) is regarded as a key element of the housing market. A number of commentators are looking to the PRS to increase overall property supply, to provide an attractive alternative to owner occupation, and to deliver suitable accommodation for lower-income households unable to secure a social sector tenancy.

It is timely to repeat the process of review, using the 2008 data as a baseline. Since 2008, the PRS has increased in size and now houses more people than the social rented sector. Many aspects of the supply-side elements of the private rented sector (PRS) have changed over the same time, including a substantial increase in institutional investment in the market, housing associations and local authorities developing properties for market rental, and the creation of new rental products targeted at particular user groups.

It is also appropriate to consider whether and how far a range of policy interventions have influenced the development of the sector. Financial, environmental health, planning, welfare and regulatory policy interventions currently frame the operation of the PRS, and are delivered at national, regional and local levels. The devolution of certain statutory functions to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has introduced the opportunity to learn from alternative approaches to issues, such as landlord licensing.

However, problems are still associated with the sector, including concerns about access and affordability, property and management quality, and security of tenure. The increasing proportion of households presenting as homeless and citing the ending of an assured shorthold tenancy as the reason also brings into question the ability of the sector to deliver long-term affordable housing, and questions remain as to the ability of the sector to accommodate vulnerable households.

The Review aims are:

  • to provide a comprehensive analysis of the ‘state of play’ of the PRS;
  • to assessment the range of policy interventions currently impacting on the sector; and
  • to consider possible policy options contributing to more effective operation of the sector.

Full information sheet available here

Call for evidence

We need robust local-level data in order to understand the particular characteristics of the private rented sector in areas across England.

Please respond by answering the following questions:

  1. Describe your local private rented sector. Please indicate how you have evidenced your account.
  2. Are there any problems relating to the private rented sector in your area? Again, please present evidence for those problems.
  3. What would you say are the major obstacles you face in attempts to resolve those problems?
  4. Have you implemented any solutions that have had a demonstrable impact in dealing with the problems in your local private rented sector?

Please send your information as a word/PDF document to:

Deadline for submissions: 29th September 2017.

Note that all submissions will be made publically available following the Review launch in June, 2018.