Buy to Let

UK’s most vulnerable tenants pushed out of the private rental market

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

Rising rents and benefits cuts are punishing vulnerable private rented sector tenants

The UK’s most vulnerable tenants are being pushed out of the private rental market, according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Residential Market Survey.

Following its findings, the RICS is joining forces with Crisis to call for greater support for vulnerable tenants.

Access denied

In its latest survey, RICS found that a third of respondents believe access to private rented properties had fallen among people on housing benefits.

Recent caps to housing benefits were cited by 29% as a key reason why those on lower incomes were being pushed out of the rental market.

And with rents set to rise by over 20% in the next five years, those on lower incomes are set to face further financial difficulties.

Government guarantee

More than half of the UK’s private landlords could be prepared to rent their properties to homeless people or those on housing benefits if the Government introduced some form of state-endorsed deposit guarantor scheme.

A majority (52%) of those surveyed said that they would consider letting properties to households in receipt of housing benefit and/or homeless households if central government provided financial guarantees for both deposits and rent, and ongoing support for both parties.

RICS is joining forces with Crisis to call on Government to do more to support vulnerable tenants through the introduction of help to rent measures.

Crisis CEO, Jon Sparkes, said: “With growing numbers of people stuck in this homelessness trap, we need to find ways to reassure landlords whilst supporting homeless people to find a place to live. That’s why Crisis is calling on the Government to underwrite a national rent deposit guarantee to ensure more support is made available to those trying to find a home to rent. They already help first-time buyers struggling for a deposit – we’d like to see them extend this help to those who need it most.”

A spokesperson for RICS added: “We see this as a matter of public interest. The housing market is falling increasingly out of step with the majority of household incomes. In the current climate, it can be hard enough for young professionals to make ends meet. But for those on benefits, the pressures may be insurmountable.”