Letting agents from across the UK have reported a significant shortage of available rental properties as tenant demand far exceeds supply.
Ian Potter, operations director of ARLA, said: “The market has bounced back in a way that no one could have predicted to levels of demand that have not been seen since the last century.
“More than 70% of our agents have stated that consumers coming to their offices are being forced to rent because of the pressure exerted on potential home buyers. This is real evidence of a generation forced into renting and the Government must recognise the need for regulatory protection for them.
“As a minimum this must include consumer redress through an Ombudsman and Client Money Protection similar to an ABTA Bond. Our members offer these benefits to the consumer be it a landlord or tenant.”
The levels of demand are the highest since the ARLA survey began nearly a decade ago and are more than double those experienced at the peak of the property boom in 2007.
Demand is highest in the south east of England where 81% of agents have stated that there are more tenants than properties compared to 6% in the rest of the UK and 73% in Central London.
“It has to be hoped that this unprecedented growth in the rental market will attract much needed investment into the private rental sector as it copes with the huge surge in demand from a generation who cannot afford to buy,” explained Potter.
“But we must ensure that ‘Generation Rent’ receives as much help as possible from the Government to ensure the proper regulation of the sector.”