The number of private rented homes in England now totals 3.7million, an increase of 1.5million since 2001. This means that there are now almost as many private sector rentals as social ones. Housing Associations have a total of 2 million properties while local authorities have a total of 1.8million.

In the last few years the number of local authority properties has reduced but there has been a marked increase in housing association and private sector rentals. Despite this, there still seems to be a shortage of properties to rent in many areas. This is usually good news for landlord insurance clients who are finding it quite easy to attract tenants at the moment. The Residential Landlords Association believes that the shortage of properties available to rent indicates that the tax treatment should be changed to encourage more investment in the private rented sector. The association is also concerned that regulation should be targeted at the minority of criminal landlords rather than the majority of law abiding ones.

Alan ward, the RLA Chairman commented:

“With over 400 separate regulations governing how the sector is run in one way or another, local authorities need to be freed up to better use finite resources to police existing regulation, allowing the majority of landlords who provide decent service and accommodation to continue doing so within the confines of a robust accreditation scheme”.