‘Worse off being forced out of rental sector’

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

New figures show that around one-third of respondents believe that access to private rented properties had fallen among people on housing benefits.

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

Those on lower incomes are set to face further financial difficulties with rents expected to increase by in excess of 20 per cent over the next five years. By way of contrast, house prices are projected to increase by around 18 per cent over the same period.

However, the Government may be able to provide assistance, as respondents to the survey suggested that more than half of the North West’s private landlords would 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.

Fifty two per cent of those surveyed said that they would consider letting properties to households in receipt of housing benefit and/or homeless households if help was provided through central government which provided financial guarantees for both deposits and rent, and ongoing support for both parties.

RICS CEO, Sean Tompkins said: “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.

“Our figures show that more and more vulnerable tenants are being pushed out of the private rented sector.” most.”