Alongside reports of a drop in the number of UK owner-occupiers, to 64%, the number of tenants renting privately has increased from 9% to 15%. With the private rental sector absorbing much of the move away from home owning, standards are likely to come under increased scrutiny.
Ian Potter, managing director of ARLA, said: “The census data confirms what our members have already told us, that would-be home owners are increasingly turning to the private rented sector after being priced out of buying their own property.
“As the PRS continues to expand, it is imperative that the government takes decisive action on regulating letting agents.
“This will help prevent less scrupulous landlords from taking advantage of the unprecedented level of consumer demand. Renting should be a positive experience for both tenant and landlords, and a professional agent will be able to guide them both through the process.
“In the absence of regulation, we would always advise tenants to rent their properties through an ARLA member agent. All ARLA agents must adhere to a strict code of conduct, as well as offering client money protection and redress schemes, which protect you if things go wrong.”