Rural landowners attitudes to private renting

Mark Bevan, Lora Sanderling

A recent study of rural private renting demonstrated marked stability in the size of this sector.

The team, from York University, found that only a small number of landlords were intending to increase or decrease their holdings. They found:

  • About 1 in 7 rural households lived in this type of accommodation compared with 1 in 11 in urban areas.
  • Very few rural landlords had specifically acquired property for the purpose of letting it on the open market, and no landlords were letting property as their main business activity.
  • While some viewed letting as an important source of income and as a way of diversifying their business interests, others were making non-commercial letting decisions (for example, as an alternative to selling the property, or from semi-philanthropic reasons).
  • While most landlords were not interested in expanding their open market letting, there was evidence amongst those who were that financial incentives (such as a change in the taxation of private letting) would increase interest.