Some landlords say enough is enough!
Councils have warned of a growing crisis in the private rented housing sector, with a sharp rise in landlords selling up or converting their properties into Airbnb’s.
Of the 76% of councils surveyed by the District Councils’ Network (DCN), they reported that this issue led to more people losing their homes and made it harder to find a permanent home for those in need.
Half of these councils said they were experiencing a significant increase in the pressure on their housing services.
In one area in the southwest of England, the local council has reported that 80% of the rental accommodation available for long term use is no longer available.
Many local landlords in the area have left the market or are now offering short-term accommodation for holidaymakers instead or invested in other non-property related investments.
The news comes simultaneously as a report by property agent Zoopla, which reveals that rents in the private rented sector have reached a 13 year high. This trend is good news for landlords as rents are expected to continue rising over the next year.
The price of rent is increasing across the UK, and some tenants are finding that they have to pay more than the average wage in their area. This is forcing some long-term tenants to seek hardship support from their local council, who are forced to increase their housing benefit payments.
Councils are concerned that there may not be enough money for people who need support due to hardship. As a result, the government may keep Local Housing Allowance rates, which determine the amount of benefits received, frozen over the next year.
A study by the DCN has shown that the rental market is struggling due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and renters are unable to pay their rent due to the economic impact of the virus.
Factors causing a Housing shortage
Some landlords require vacant possession of their property so they can move into a property themselves. People staying at home for vacation instead of travelling abroad is causing a surge in the short-term holiday let market. This has caused landlords to adapt properties for short holiday lets.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, a group representing more than 200 councils is asking for more investment in council housing and the provision of tools that help councils create their own homes for residents in need.
DCN believes that councils should work with the government to increase the supply and quality of housing for those in need, ensuring that these people can live in their local communities.
Dr William Masih, director of communication at the British Landlords Association, said:
“We have been warning the government policy is leading private residential landlords to exit the letting business. Some landlords feel they are treated like criminals. The legislation in some areas punishes landlords and tax incentives simply no longer make property investment viable for some investors.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to numerous changes in the way local authorities and the government operate. As a result, the government has now announced a plan for the return to normality. One of the major ways this will be achieved is protecting vulnerable people from the effects of the coronavirus is to support private landlords.”
Author: Amanda Goldsmith
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