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Campaigner rebuts Propertymark’s big ‘rental shortage’ claims

Dan Wilson Craw of campaign group Generation Rent disagrees with several of the key points claimed by agents in the report.

Nigel Lewis

dan wilson craw generation rent

Campaigning group Generation Rent has slammed Propertymark’s claims yesterday that rising rental prices are down to the government’s ongoing attempts to shrink the private rented sector.

Generation Rent rarely comments on research published by Propertymark, but has been moved to do so after the report, called ‘A Shrinking Private Sector’ claimed that the number of properties rented via agents has halved over the past four years.

Dan Wilson Craw, Deputy Director, Generation Rent (main picture), says: “Rents are rising and would-be tenants face bidding wars or demands for multiple months’ rent up-front.

“That is a result of large numbers of people moving back to cities since summer 2021 as universities and offices reopened, putting a strain on homes coming to market. We’re seeing similar rent inflation in the US and Australia.

“When landlords sell up, their properties don’t disappear. They continue to be lived in, either by tenants of the new owner or by an owner-occupier whose old home is now available for a private renter to buy. Supply and demand stay the same so rents are unaffected.

Better quality

Reforms to the rental market are necessary to give private tenants better quality, longer-term homes.

“The government has said that landlords will be able to evict in order to sell or move in – though we believe these grounds should come with protections against abuse. If some landlords are unhappy with that, they won’t be missed.

“Government plans aside, rents are too expensive, so we need to build more of every tenure in the places people want to live, to make sure everyone can afford a home.”

June 7, 2022


  1. Do they teach nothing at school anymore?
    Simple economics Mr Deputy Director (even though Companies House does not have that on record).
    Over the past 5 years, I, as an agent have seen how disillusioned landlords have become with taxation and with government policy which seems to be completely driven by pressure groups rather than discussion with the industry. As a result in this area (Christchurch in Dorset) many landlords have simply given up in the past 5 years, last year 10% of our property stock was sold by landlords. That is 10% less stock available for tenants and, as a result rents on the few properties that do become available have been driven up. demand is increasing as the population grows and as it becomes more transient.
    As a landlord myself I have disposed of properties, I have just 1 left now to give me a little bit of pension but that will go if it gets any tougher. None of my properties went to other landlords, neither did the stock sold via my office, it went to buyers who would have purchased anyway so all in all tenants have lost out!

    Rather than spouting utter rubbish, these pressure groups need to go back to school and learn some basic facts!

  2. Sam – let me explain. We have had more landlords sell in the last 12 months and withdraw from the rental market than before. This has caused a shortage of property to rent, much higher demand for the property that becomes available to let. In the same period the only section 21 notice’s we have served is on the tenants of the properties that the landlord’s are selling. I cant confirm if Propertymark’s figures are accurate but the market observations made are consistent with what we are experiencing.

    • Concur with that absolutely hence our friend Mr Craw has it hugely wrong. I’ve presided over 11 Section 21 matters through court to possession since the turn of the year.

      Thought you were going to explain his position! 🙂 Where he loses me is the investment property is sold, the new owner then leaves a property vacant for a renter to buy. It takes years for a renter to save for a deposit to buy. Mr Craw needs to spend some time in an estate/letting agents’ office or conduct his own research to back up this position. Propertymark’s survey results are a good reflection of what is happening with the letting market.

  3. This has hit harder than a triple espresso this morning. Dan Wilson Craw you are well out of touch. You have just demonstrated a total lack of understanding on how the PRS market works. Shrinking supply and demand it’s simple.

    Landlord after Landlord exiting the market due to rising costs and bureaucracy. No those properties DO NOT stay in the PRS and the trend of people moving out of Cities continues as most companies have staff working from home swelling prices further out.

    Talking absolute rubbish. Picking a fight rather than engaging and working together. Trying to make a name for himself. Totally out of touch. Show some data to back up your claim!

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