Since 2001, the number of homes in the private rented sector has risen from 2.2 million to 3.7 million, whilst over the same period, local authority owned properties fell by exactly a million to 1.8 million. The number of housing association properties has increased from 1.4 million to 2 million, giving a total of 3.8m social houses.
Despite a survey confirming that 40% of all private rented stock was built prior to 1919, the sector has seen the biggest fall in the number of properties with damp problems, reducing from 21% of homes in 2001 to around 13% in 2010.
Commenting on the findings, RLA Chairman, Alan Ward said:
“The news that the private rented sector is now equal in size to the social rented sector demonstrates the ever-increasing importance of the sector in meeting the UK’s housing needs.
“Whilst the number of properties in the sector has increased by over a million in ten years, all the figures persistently show a chronic shortage of privately rented properties, denying tenants genuine choices over their housing needs, and serving only to drive up rents.
“With the Government’s review of investment in the sector and the Opposition’s private rented sector policy review both due to be published soon, Ministers and Shadow Ministers must ensure that reforming the way the sector is taxed is a priority to boost investment and growth in the sector to meet the demands of tenants.”
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