Big landlord warns rising rents threaten ‘heart and soul’ of property market

Latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows annual private rental prices increased by 5.4% in England, 6.5% in Wales and 6.0% in Scotland.

kundan Badhuri

Rents rose 5.5% in the last 12 months up from 5.3% threatening ‘the heart and soul of the private rental market’.

Latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows annual private rental prices increased by 5.4% in England, 6.5% in Wales and 6.0% in Scotland.

Within England, London had the highest annual percentage change in private rental prices in the 12 months to August 2023 at 5.9%, while the North East and South West saw the lowest (4.8%).


Kundan Bhaduri (main pic), a property developer and portfolio landlord at The Kushman Group, believes Britain is at risk of ‘losing the heart and soul of the private rental market’.

He says: “This isn’t just a struggle against the odds – it’s a fight to preserve the very system that has served the public over the past 25-30 years.

“The bonds built between landlords and tenants, the trust formed over years of mutual respect, and the symbiotic relationship that lies at the heart of the rental market, are now at risk.”

And he adds: “Landlords aren’t mere property owners, they are the custodians of dreams, creators of homes and the pillars of a functioning society that has relied on private money to house the millions.

“The burden of red tape and rising interest rates is a threat not just to landlords but to tenants and the housing market as a whole. Policymakers and the government need to take note.”


Chris Druce, Senior Research Analyst at Knight Frank, says there’s been ‘no respite for tenants’ as average rents continue their upwards climb.

Chris Druce, Knight Frank
Chris Druce, Knight Frank

He adds: “With demand comfortably outstripping supply in a sector that is seeing smaller landlords leave the space due to political and cost pressures, we expect this particular story to unfortunately run for some time to come.”

And Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS Residential Chairman, says: “These more timely rental figures reflect what we’ve been seeing on the ground – that shortage of stock is continuing the upwards pressure on rents at a time when students are adding to tenant numbers.

Jeremy Leaf

“Higher mortgage rates as well as tax and regulatory issues are persuading landlords to quit the sector which is not helping keep rents in affordable territory.”

But he adds: “We have noticed the difference between the rents charged on new tenancies and those who are renewing existing arrangements as tenants are reaching an affordability ceiling.

“Landlords recognise the importance of reliable, long-term tenants rather than maximising their returns unless, of course, their costs are getting out of hand.”

Private rental price percentage change over 12 months, UK and London, January 2016 to August 2023
Source: Index of Private Housing Rental Prices from the Office for National Statistics

One Comment

  1. The mortgage interest cost on my Edwardian detached property in Reading have leapt from £440 pcm on a debt of £425K to over £2000 pcm, which means I make a loss every month, despite increasing my rents – something I have never done mid-tenancy in 25 years as a landlord. Every time I have to pay for insurance, a repair, my NRLA fee, it all comes out of my personal employed salary. The chances of me investing in any energy efficiency measures are zero.

    On top of this, I am, ludicrously, paying 40% income tax on these losses, because my mortgage interest cannot be deducted in full from the rents.

    In such circumstances, with the RRB to come and the Labour Party likely to restore the EPC Band C by 2025 rules next year, why would any mortgaged landlord in southern England consider remaining invested? The finances are bad enough but there is at least some hope they will abate, but the system and the general attitude taken towards landlords by HMRC and central and local Governments of all persuasions is cynical, immensely destructive, and will of course ultimately fall heaviest on tenants as landlords leave en masse. We are heading for a massive increase in poverty and even homelessness, as landlords are driven out of the market by fear and bullying and a total lack of any hope.

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