The RLA’s State of the PRS research helps the RLA to develop essential insights into the issues affecting the Private Rented Sector (PRS).

Our thanks go to those landlords, letting agents and other participants in the PRS who have contributed their time to this research.  Over 1,600 individuals completed the survey

The RLA also produces a Landlord Confidence Index (LCI). The data which informs the index is provided via these quartely surveys. An analysis of LCI can be found in this report, and can also be accessed here

Good landlord schemes

Around one-third of RLA members stated they were in some type of Good Landlord scheme. 

Landlords identified a range of incentives which would increase the likelihood of landlords participating in these schemes: Gaining access to advice and support as well as recognition of being a good landlord were the type of incentive which would encourage participation in such schemes.

Incentives to improve property also feature highly.

The Property MOT

Most (55%) landlords had never heard of the Property MOT. That said,  there was support for the idea once it was outlined to them. For example, 39% of landlords felt it was a good idea, whilst a further 35% wished to find out more before passing judgment.

Of those who stated the Property MOT sounded like a good idea, presentation of good practice and quality assurance were seen as the main benefits.  Not surprisingly there is concern that the initiative could become yet another regulatory hoop.

To become fully successful Property MOTs will need to be a recognised option for local licensing regimes. This means a local authority may need to give up revenue streams from landlords to accept a Property MOT as an alternative to their own licensing/registration scheme.

Safer, warmer homes

This section of the report outlines the heating and security investment landlords have made to improve the properties they let.   

This section also looks at safety inspections – most (55.4%) landlords reported inspections were undertaken as part of a licensing scheme. Just 2% of landlords had been subject to an inspection as a result of a tenant complaint.

Only a small proportion of  landlords whose properties were inspected reported hazard-related (CAT I or CAT II) problems.  Fewer than 3% of landlords were found to have such hazards in their properties.

Property adaptations

The demographics of the PRS are changing. The profile of PRS tenants indicate they are becoming older and staying in the private rented sector for longer.

This section examines the issues landlords and letting agents (who are included here) face when requests are made for adaptations to property. 

Landlords often find themselves in a dilemma when it comes to tenant requests for property adaptations:

  1. The requests are varied and can be expensive.
  2. In many cases they are expected to meet the costs of installation.
  3. In addition, landlords then feel they are ‘left alone’ to face the costs of restoring a property once the installations are no longer needed.

The survey results indicate a clear opportunity for the public and voluntary sectors to work alongside landlords to ensure the supply of homes in this market is sustained – better linking available property to tenants with specific need would be a significant step forward.

 

Floods, flood damage and insurance

Landlords whose properties have been subject to flooding are likely to experience a subsequent increase in the cost of their insurance premiums. This is also true for landlords of properties in flood risk zones.

For reasons outlined in the report, it is highly possible these areas will face a shortage of available private rented property.