A leading figure within the UK private rented sector has highlighted how official data published by the Scottish government reveals that claims by leading campaigning organisations that rents are rising faster than inflation are ‘untrue’.

David Alexander has pointed that these claims, which are also often repeated by the Scottish government, contradict the research within its own recent rental reform proposals, A New Deal for Tenantswhich is out for consultation.

This says that since 2006/2007 the proportion of income spent on housing in the PRS is 26% compared to 24% in social housing.

Two-bedroom PRS rents over the last eleven years have risen at a rate comparable to inflation (25.1% compared to inflation of 24.3% over the same period) and that median gross earnings have also increased broadly ahead of rents (26% since 2010 compared to 25% rise in rents).

Not true

“The Scottish Government states that rents have been increasing at a higher rate in the PRS than wages, that rents have been increasing above inflation and that people can’t afford for this to continue without intervention all of which is not true,” he says.

“The consultation states that the government wants rent controls to be introduced.

“Rent control does nothing to tackle the reason for rising rents which is simply too many people wanting to live in certain areas with insufficient homes for them to live in.

“The key to reducing rents is to increase housing stock. Unfortunately, the general outcome of rent controls is to create the exact opposite by reducing supply as investors leave the market.”

Alexander runs Scots lettings agency giant DJ Alexander and national renting platform Apropos.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Sadly, it seems all too common for organisaitons and governments with an agenda to spin their own spin, regardless of the evidence, and this is no less true when it comes to demonising landlords for the lack of government long term planning.

  2. Many tenants got rent increases in the last year or two that were way above inflation and rental prices are absurd, so yea whatever mr david alexander, pull the other one.

    • Dave, generally, rents increased probably to claw back some of the rent arrears which Government failed to address so the market addressed the problem. simple economics and reality.

    • Dave my dear chap rent increases are as a result of market conditions.
      Inflation is but one aspect that feeds into rent increases.

      Perhaps if you consider all the bonkers anti-PRS regulations introduced since 2015 you will understand why market rents are increasing.

      Throw in mass rent defaulting during the pandemic with the eviction ban has just added further rent increase pressures.

      Rents will continue to increase as even more bonkers anti-LL policies are introduced.

      It DOESN’T really bother LL as they can just sell up or increase rents.

      All the bonkers policies just result in fewer rental properties being available and cause rents to increase further.

      The market CAN’T be bucked!!

  3. Totally agree with Paul. Dave you are way off beat.

    Rents are increasing … for example … in Student HMOs, back to where they were before COVID.

    We also have to deal with false claims that we are bad landlords, especially during COVID when we were unable to carry out a lot of inspections because the tenants were in quarantine. I had requests for additional freezers during COVID which I put in to help them. Then we had a series of problems, typically one person flooded the upstairs bathroom with water coming down into the kitchen and a video claiming a burst pipe, with refusal to allow inspection and refusal to allow repair (I was only told about the problem after they complained to the Council). Before I was even able to go and check they wanted FREE RENT because the property was uninhabitable. When I did check, the water had stopped, the floor in the bathroom had dried up, no sign of a burst pipe and the council were on the way to check if it was uninhabitable. the council agreed that it was a bathroom problem not a burst pipe and did not want to reinspect after the kitchen ceiling was re-plastered and decorated. I was not the only landlord in the are with similar problems and claims for FREE RENT.

    Other landlords had similar problems, fire was the worst.

    All problems were deliberately caused by the tenants and whilst some were insurance claims, others were deposit deductions or repair charges.

    There are far more Bad Tenants than Bad Landlords.

    We need a reality check and clear advice on how tenants are expected to behave and what they are responsible for.

    • Wasn’t it Lord Denning the Chief Justice that stated tenants were expected to behave in a ‘ tenant like manner’

      REFUSING access to the LL to enable repairs to be carried out is clearly NOT behaving in a ‘tenant like manner!!!’

      It seems that quite a few tenants DON’T behave in a ‘tenant like manner’.

      Quelle surprise!!!

      As you intimate I suggest that lots of LL have had their fill of tenants.

      They will be moving away from AST letting.

      • There needs to be an update with good publicity on what “tenant like manner” means today. Not that good manners have changed, just that more people don’t have good manners. Every time I go into an HMO kitchen it is a mess, I do not know how people live like that. We all were tenants at some time.

        In one house we had a clean kitchen, everyone was friendly, and we all washed up and put our pots and pans, etc., away. In another house, it was a mess. I preferred the clean kitchen and was there for about 2 years, and put up with the dirty one for a year, before moving out.

        Just because we have emails, text messages, chat groups, etc., does not mean that we have to be always on-line and respond within minutes/hours. I responded yesterday to a “broken” washing machine. Apparently it had been stuck for several hours and stopped working with an error code. When I arrived 3 hours after getting the message (quick because I was fixing a fence next door) I got a load of abuse about how I should have been there as soon as I was told it was broken. I looked at the error code, switched the machine off (switched spur above the worktop) waited a bit, and turned it back on again. It worked fine. the problem was that it had been overloaded and stuck on the spin cycle. I then got more abuse about how their clothing had been ruined because it was sat in water and the dye had come out and it was faded, etc.

        It is impossible to underestimate the ability of tenants to behave sensibly.

  4. Campaigning groups have their agenda. They should not have a charity non profit status, if they are in reality they political organisations. They plant a juicy stories to the media. We live in an age of Fake News.

    They will distort the truth. Use social media campaigns.

    As a landlord I had n’t increased the rent for many years. The Government have increased the taxation and regulation. All to satisfy the campaign groups. It is still not enough. Landlords are the punch bags for any one in politics.

    As a landlord, I am looking putting my property the market. I am sick and tired of it. My experience and skill as a landlord will be lost.

    • If you are able then you may convert to a resi mortgage.

      Then take in lodgers.
      Stay at your 2nd home once per month
      If you can afford a 4 bed place then you could have 4 lodgers

      Let us say £600 per room.
      So £1800 pcm

      No eviction issues with rent defaulters.

      Lots of LL could sell all their BTL rental properties and convert to a resi mortgage on one of them.
      Then take in lodgers.

      Of course there are other more viable options than BTL.

      AirBnB
      SA
      FHL

      Before LL sell up consideration should be given to the 4 other options.

      However it is clear that the PTB DON’T like LL escaping S24 etc by using these other strategies.

      The beauty of lodgers is that it never enters the mind of the looney Shelter etc that homeowners are letting to lodgers who have few tenure rights.

      But isn’t it strange that even though lodgers have few tenure rights the sector is in rude health………………funny that!!

      Almost that if LL know they can get rid of dud occupants they can risk letting to risky occupant types.

      So those more risky types get to occupy a home.

      The only problem with lodgers is that they do not qualify for the UC room rate no matter what age they are.

      Invariably a live-in LL would need to give Notice to Leave to a lodger as the LHA shared room rate would be insufficient to pau the room rent.

      But certainly BTL LL need to actively consider the lodger LL strategy.

      It is of course difficult to fund a potential 2nd resi mortgage but if LL sell off they should be able to fund a 2nd resi home and mortgage.

      As evidenced by West Country LL and in other holiday areas LL are abandoning the AST sector.
      The risks of feckless rent defaulting tenants just AREN’T worth bothering with.

      I believe if it is possible to reduce mortgage debt to 50% LL can have an IO offset mortgage.
      There are only about 3 of these in the UK.

      So effectively a resi BTL IO mortgage with offset flexibility.

      The lodger market is huge.
      There are millions of spare rooms that could be utilised to house all the desperate homeless tenants.

      Of course being a lodger for many tenants WOULDN’T be acceptable but I know for fact that many homeless tenants would love to share a home with the homeowner.

      There are lots of homeowners rattling around in big houses with the wasting asset of available rooms.

      Lodgers can be highly profitable!!

    • I’m constantly surprised at the intentions of so many long standing LL that are now determined to leave the PRS.

      These LL are long experienced and as such there ISN’T much they haven’t seen in the time they have been LL.

      The determination they have for leaving the PRS is quite disturbing.

      These experienced LL are usually the ones that persevere through thick and thin and yet it seems a straw has broken the camel’s back.
      For so many of these LL to have had enough means all that experience and their properties will be lost to the PRS.

      This is indeed a massive loss to the industry.

      The PRS will be poorer for their loss.

      It seems the PTB have no understanding that losing these LL and their properties seriously undermines rental stock availability.

      The effects on tenants will be devastating.

      Tenant homelessness will exponentially increase.

      None of these homeless tenants will be capable of buying former rental properties.

      This as there has been plenty of properties to buy that tenants haven’t bought.

      Introducing more properties for sale WON’T magically make them affordable for tenants to buy.

      Essentially properties will be bought by homeowners who are probably still with parents.

      You could say these aspirant homeowners are homeless.

      Well once bought those former rental properties have been bought they are no longer available rental properties.

      That then results in the tenants being homeless.

      It would seem the PTB AREN’T interested in the fate of homeless tenants who are far more than aspirant homeowners.

      As more LL seem determined to leave the sector I am at a loss as to where all the evicted tenants will go.

      Fortunately I will be out of the game very soon………………………..with great relief!!

      For those LL staying in the game as AST LL I wish them well.

      They need all the good fortune that they do indeed deserve.

      The PRS as far as small LL is concerned is under concerted attack by Govt like never before.

      We only have history to educate us as to how bad things can get for the PRS.
      Things will be returning to how things were before 1997.

      This is what Govt seems to be attempting to achieve.
      A most peculiar aspiration!!

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