New research shows smaller landlords in the UK’s private rented sector (PRS) contribute a huge £45 billion to the UK economy and support almost 400,000 jobs. Here NRLA CEO Ben Beadle explains why it is vital they get the support they need.

It’s easy to think change in the rental market affects just landlords and tenants, yet a new report out last week (March 19th) lays bare the extent to which the UK economy is reliant on a thriving private rented sector.

 The report by PwC, which was commissioned by the NRLA and Paragon Bank, shows smaller landlords, with fewer than 15 rental properties, contribute £45 billion to the economy, and are supporting more than 390,000 jobs, from letting agents to tradespeople and mortgage brokers to builders.

These are impressive figures, and with hundreds of thousands of families’ livelihoods relying on a well-functioning sector, it’s clear the implications of any contraction in the number of homes to rent could have serious consequences on a macro and micro level.

Supply crisis

We know that the UK is currently facing a rental supply crisis. New figures from Zoopla show that there are now 15 tenants battling it out for each rental property.

This demand is only set to rise with predicted increases in the number of students studying at universities and the difficulties many face affording a deposit for a home of their own.

Despite this increased demand, challenging economic conditions combined with looming legislation change mean many landlords are considering their future in the sector.

Any exodus could have catastrophic consequences, with the report predicting a 10% reduction in the size of the PRS would not only make it even harder for tenants to find homes to rent, it also could deprive the UK economy of £4.5bn and put 39,000 jobs at risk.

On the opposite end of the scale a 10% increase could boost both the economy and the jobs market – as well as meeting the growing demand for homes.

More homes also make for a more mobile workforce and – as Richard Rowntree Managing Director of Mortgages at Paragon Bank pointed out at the launch of this report – the PRS has the highest proportion of tenants in employment compared to other tenures and allows workers and companies to quickly adapt to changes in demand.

This new data brings home the fact a robust and thriving PRS is vital to the economy – and it is vital that landlords providing much-needed homes are given the support they need.

I hope the report can now provide a springboard for further discussion with decision makers and others, about what steps can be taken to grow both the sector and the economy.    

More information

This report, entitled ‘Economic Contribution of the Private Rented Sector’ can be downloaded here.

About the author

Ben headshot

Ben Beadle is chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), the UK’s largest trade body for landlords.

A landlord himself since the age of 20, Ben started out as property manager before working his way up through the ranks at the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

He was then Operations Director at property management business Touchstone before overseeing the merger of the National Residential Landlords Association (NLA) and Residential Landlords Association (RLA) to create the new trade body earlier this year.

His key aims as head of the organisation are to strengthen the voice of landlords in Westminster and Cardiff, to improve the reputation of landlords in the media and to support members through information, training and accreditation.

NRLA: The NRLA updates landlords on all the latest legislation changes affecting the sector and offers expert advice, training and other exclusive services and benefits.

The views expressed in this content are solely those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the views of TDS, its officers, or employees. To read more on TDS views, visit our Policies & Procedures webpage.


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