Housing: improving London's private rented sector housing

In the last 10 years, the private rented sector (PRS) has rarely been out of the public eye. Once a small proportion of the housing market catering for a specific need, the number of households in the PRS in England more than doubled in the past 20 years. London’s PRS doubled in just over a decade and continues to rise; 40% of London’s households could be private renters by 2030.

The ability of the PRS to adapt to shifts in the wider market is part of its potential. But with nearly a million people living in the PRS in poverty, 90,000 children in the PRS and spiralling costs of temporary accommodation, things need to change. Londoners deserve private-rented accommodation that is safe, affordable and secure. The status quo risks the health and well-being of many Londoners, and the economic success and productivity of the capital.

That is why we co-funded Future of London’s three year programme which set out to:

  • build a comprehensive picture of London’s PRS landscape
  • understand the roles local authorities, landlords, developers, investors and tenants can play in improving the sector
  • develop a series of policy and practice recommendations that both tackle the sector’s immediate challenges and foster a better and more consistent PRS for London long term.

The final report, launched today, outlines four main areas that would foster the more collaborative and equitable PRS London needs:

  1. Increasing the supply of affordable PRS homes
  2. Professionalising landlords
  3. Making the PRS work for tenants
  4. Improving energy efficiency and tackling fuel poverty

It combines policy analysis with best practice case studies to demonstrate the wealth of activity that is improving the PRS, and makes recommendations for further improvements. Each area has its own set of recommendations for different stakeholders.

The report concludes with three overarching recommendations for public and private sectors:

  1. Collaborate with tenants and landlords
  2. Engage with and support Build to Rent
  3. Create and share information and data

Future of London PRS report 1.8 MB