Landlords say demand for rental properties is at a historical all-time high, a poll by the NRLA has discovered.

The survey of private landlords across England and Wales, conducted in partnership with the research consultancy BVA/BDRC, found that 57 per cent confirmed that demand for homes to rent had increased in the third quarter of 2021 – up from 39 per cent in the second quarter of the year.

At the beginning of the first Covid lockdown in the second quarter of 2020 just 14 per cent of landlords reported tenant demand having increased.

In a sign of recovery in the market, landlords operating in London have seen a significant increase in demand compared to the levels reported throughout the pandemic as workers returned to the capital.

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Workers return

68 per cent of landlords operating in outer London reported demand having increased, up from 25 per cent in the third quarter of 2020. In central London, 54 per cent reported increased demand, up from 16 per cent at the same time last year.

Elsewhere, landlords operating in the South West reported the strongest demand with 79 per cent saying that demand had increased in the third quarter of the year.

This was followed by 74 per cent in the South East (excluding London), 73 per cent in Wales and 71 per cent in the West Midlands.

Despite the booming demand, the same proportion of landlords plan to reduce the number of properties they rent out as plan to increase them at 19 per cent.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, says: “As demand picks up following lockdown measures, we need a stimulus to support responsible landlords to provide the homes to rent we vitally need.

“Without this, it will ultimately be tenants that suffer as a result of less choice, higher rents and the resulting difficulties they will encounter when looking to become homeowners.”

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