Renting privately has seen something of a light revolution of sorts over the past decade, but with the world, economy and legislation changing so quickly over the past year there could be even more changes coming along the line.
Broadly speaking, the revolution has been to most party’s benefit, but probably more towards the tenant in the long run as rights and protections have been increased, ensuring that rogue landlords have less scope to try and break the rules.
The current legislation halting evictions is necessary to stop hardship but does little to help the long-term implications of serious arrears and loss of income. Landlords are understandably seeking more financial support as a result of loss of rental income, whilst tenants are unlikely to be able to dig themselves out of 6 months or more of rental arrears.
This, it seems, will need either the government to step in and provide relief, or provide alternative housing for these tenants outside of Private Rental Sector (PRS) whilst landlords seek alternative tenants. It’s not that there’s a lack of demand.
With all this in mind, what can we foresee changing the face of private renting in the years to come? It’s hardly revolutionary to say that ‘generation rent’ will continue to increase in size, but what other characteristics can we expect?
The Young Foundation recently released a report where they make some recommendations about how to improve the Private Rental Sector (PRS) in the near future.
Within their recommendations they identify five key areas that require addressing; promoting tenant sustainability, supporting transitions to independence, using technology to improve the market, growing affordable and appropriate housing stock and improving access to existing stock.
Helen Goulden, CEO at The Young Foundation said: “It is clear that no one policy, regulation or initiative or enterprise will shift some of the entrenched challenges facing housing in this country. It requires not only a supply of new ideas and ventures but innovative ways to implement regulation, new intermediaries, new policies and a commitment to socially responsible renting by landlords of all kinds.”
The report suggests that in the future we will see a much bigger focus on young adults accessing housing and rental properties through technology and innovative platforms in increasing numbers.
One other key suggestion is that good quality and reputable landlords should have easier access to investment in rental properties to increase the housing stock whilst making it easier for renters to find properties.
Certainly, the existing legislation is doing a good job in clamping down on rogue or unethical landlords but it’s doing little to promote the interests of socially responsible and reputable landlords, and this is identified as a problem.
In the future of renting, we should expect and hope to see this come to the fore as the stock is increased via better access to ethical landlords. We should also hope to see government tax relief and incentive programs that allows landlords to keep rents stable and affordable whilst maintaining good yields on their property.
The future of renting could, and should, become more ethical and more accessible not just for good quality tenants, but also good quality landlords.