Critical shortage of rented homes, Rics warns

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has cautioned that the UK is facing a ‘critical rental shortage’ and has called on the government to offer tax breaks to encourage building and investment in the sector.

The surveyor’s body has claimed that at east 1.8 million more households will be looking to rend as opted to buy in 2025. It is also cited statistics which showed that the number of UK households renting property rose from 2.3 million in 2001 to 5.4 million in 2014.

Changes to stamp duty mean that anyone buying a property which will not be their main place of residence must pay a three per cent stamp duty surcharge. Meanwhile, the equivalent Land and Buildings Transaction Tax has also been up-rated.

Rics has suggested that the stamp duty increase should be reversed.

It has also called for: private house builders to be encouraged to build specifically for the rental sector; pension funds to be given tax breaks to fund large scale rental properties; and councils to be encouraged to release brownfield sites for building homes for tenants.