2nd January 2015
Tenants should be allowed to stay in rented accommodation for as long as they need with their rent capped in line with inflation, a think-tank has said.
Think-tank Civitas has expressed concern about rising rents and said action needs to be taken to help tenants as the private rental sector grows.
By 2032 the private rental sector will account for more than one third of UK housing stock as buying a home is pushed further out of reach for many.
Civitas said that on average renters spend 40% of their income on their rent and there are fears that this proportion will grow as landlords take advantage of a housing shortage to push up rents.
In order to combat the problem Civitas has called for a new regulatory regime that would give tenants the right to stay in their home for as long as they want and guarantee that their rent would not be increased above the level of inflation.
Author of the report Daniel Bentley said: ‘As private renting grows it is important to ensure that it offers a fair deal to those who have little choice but to rely on it.’
Housing minister Brandon Lewis said that rents have fallen in real terms every year since 2010 but that more needed to be done to ‘create a bigger better private rented sector’.
‘The last thing we want to do is introduce new rent controls, which in the past led the private sector to shrink dramatically, reducing the choice for tenants,’ he said.
While Civitas’ recommendations may concern landlords it believes the plan would save taxpayers money.
The level of housing benefit paid out increased to £9.5 billion last year and Bentley said a ‘vicious cycle’ is being created where low income households claiming benefits in popular areas are propping up rent inflation by distorting the market.