Property group Belvoir has called for the government to introduce a loan scheme for tenants to stand alongside protections for homeowners.
In Wales tenants can apply for the Welsh Government Tenancy Saver Loan Scheme, which enables tenants to apply for loans with a 1% APR, which are paid directly to landlords and agents, which can be repaid for a period of up to five years.
Dorian Gonsalves, chief executive of Belvoir, said: “There is undoubtedly an urgent need for further government intervention and improved strategies to ensure that tenants are able to access and benefit from the same levels of assistance as homeowners.
“Without further government support, such as the introduction of a tenant loan scheme similar to that already operational in Wales, there will be increased risk of further rises in arrears and more likelihood of landlords selling up.
“This will result in further shortage of good quality rental properties and will leave tenants vulnerable to rogue landlords offering substandard accommodation.”
Belvoir expects high tenant demand, plus a shortage of properties, to increase rents in 2021.
Gonsalves added: “Looking ahead to 2021, 90% of Belvoir offices surveyed are predicting that house rents will increase or remain static, while 82% predict that rents on flats will increase or remain static.
“Predictions regarding the likelihood of rising or decreasing rents vary from region to region, and even for offices within a specific region, so I recommend that landlords contact a reputable professional agent in their area to discuss how the market is likely to perform in their area before making any decisions about taking advantage of opportunities to expand their portfolios, or selling properties.”