Advice for Landlords - the Changing Landscape of the Private Rental Sector (Video)

Julian Knight, Money and Property Editor for The Independent on Sunday, shares with us his thoughts on this topic and discusses the year ahead for the private rental sector.

He shares his advice on how landlords can best adapt to the changing needs of their tenants and discusses the rise of the accidental landlord, the shortage of rental supply and the increase in buy to let mortgages.
  • Excess demand for housing is pushing the private rental sector
  • Rents are rising in some parts of the UK and not all – this is due to supply and demand. There is a shortage of housing ‘supply’ through the UK
  • Accidental landlords should considering using an ARLA agent


I'm Julian Knight - I'm the money and property editor at The Independent on Sunday. I've been working in that role for 5 years, prior to that I was the BBC News Consumer Affairs and Personal Finance Reporter.

I think it's going to be another year of growth for the private rental sector and I do mean that almost nationwide because you just have to look at the transactions going on in the actual sales sector - it's still very low and this excess demand has got to go somewhere and that's going to be the private rental sector.

However there is more supply coming on stream in the private rental sector through such things as the accidental landlords and also through the development of more buy-to-let mortgages which will perhaps keep a cap on the price increases we have seen, but I think generally we could see things being quite buoyant.

We've seen a rise in the accidental landlord mainly because of the economy and the fact that the actual sales market is so moribund, and that means that in effect people can't move and maybe their jobs or their lives take them in a different direction and therefore they've had no other option than to actually rent out their properties.

I think that rents are rising in many parts of the UK but not all and I think basically it's a result of just supply and demand - the thing is that there are more people demanding rental property and there's a shortage of supply - there's a shortage of supply of all housing in the UK and intrinsically that just means that prices will rise.

I think this is a really good time in effect to be a landlord because we have this scenario whereby very few people are moving into their own homes to buy and therefore what's happening is that they're looking to rent, however landlords really have to rise to the challenge and understand that the tenants they're going to have are going to want to be there for a longer period and they're going to need therefore to think in terms of how they actually meet their needs over the long term. My advice to accidental landlords is to go the professional route - don't leave things to chance and make sure that you've got the backing that you actually need. The problem is that as an accidental landlord you may be in quite strained personal circumstances anyway - finances may be a little bit tight, so therefore you've got to think about who you're actually letting to and who you're actually getting to manage the property. I'd say go to an ARLA agent in most instances.