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Landlords quitting sector 'is key reason for homelessness', not high rents - claim


Landlords selling up or re-letting is now the biggest cause of homelessness among renters in England '� and not rising rents.

New Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities data reveals that 31,090 households were threatened with homelessness between October and December 2021, up 7.3% on the same quarter the previous year.

This includes 5,260 households who were served a Section 21 notice, an increase of 168% on the same period in 2020 and higher than the 3,830 in October to December 2019 before Covid.

A breakdown of households needing to be rehomed because their AST had ended shows that the biggest increase was due to landlords wanting to sell or re-let the property, which more than doubled (up 146%) compared to the same quarter in 2020 and was up 19% on the same period pre-Covid. The research also found that tenancies were 40 times less likely to be ended because the tenant couldn't afford the rent.

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Timothy Douglas (pictured), head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, says the statistics provide further evidence that the biggest issue facing the private rented sector is a lack of incentives for landlords to keep their properties in it.

'They also call into question the validity of calls for rent controls as rent increases are clearly not a major cause of homelessness,'� he says.

Adds Douglas: 'More challenges are coming down the line with the renters' reform agenda, which looks likely to pave the way for the removal of Section 21.

"The UK government must study these figures very closely and ensure further reform of the sector is balanced and includes policies to maintain existing investment and encourage more.'�


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