For the first time since the 1960s, more people are now living in private rented accommodation than in social housing, with 3.8 million tenants in the private rented sector – a 17.4% rise since 1999.
Ian Potter, managing director of ARLA, said: “We fully supported the government in the introduction of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, which included a requirement that all letting and property management agents in England should be members of a redress scheme. This was a crucial step towards better regulation in the sector, but is not a silver bullet.
“We believe that that full mandatory government regulation of sales and letting agents is the quickest and most effective method to eliminate unprofessional, unqualified and unethical agents from the rental market. This action is more important than ever before as growing numbers of people now rely on the PRS for their accommodation.
“The government must also act to encourage landlords to make improvements to existing properties. A suspension of VAT on the purchases of material and labour for capital expenditure or capital allowances for home improvement work could be useful incentives to help upgrade rented housing stock around the UK.”