According to research conducted by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), the private rented sector is finally being given space to breathe. Their monthly Private Rented Sector Report shows that the supply of residential rental property increased in the month of July, while tenant demand fell.
ARLA agents managed an average of 189 properties per branch in July, up from 178 in June. There were an average of 36 prospective tenants registered per ARLA branch, compared to 35 the previous month.
Over a third (35%) of ARLA agents expect the supply of rental properties to continue to grow over the next five years.
To help ensure the supply of housing is not choked, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has warned that some local authorities are preparing to use Article 4 Directions to protect office space in their districts.
Although it is thought that the government intends to make permanent the planning reforms that were put into place in May 2013, which make it easier to convert disused office space into homes by dispensing with the need for planning permission, local council powers could override them.
RLA policy director David Smith said: “Between 1996 and 2013, 83% of new homes were sold into the private rented sector, so landlords have a good record of delivering the extra housing the country needs.
“With the sector expected to account for 25% of UK households by 2025, it is vital that the planning system does not put unnecessary obstacles in the way of landlords seeking to meet this demand.â€