MPs back Ben Beadle after Guardian slam claims of landlord exodus

MPs back Ben Beadle after Guardian slam claims of landlord exodus

11:47 AM, 13th March 2023, About 7 months ago 5

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MPs have backed the National Residential Landlords Association’s Ben Beadle after the Guardian newspaper claimed he was ‘making up stories’ about a landlord exodus from the Private Rented Sector (PRS).

In its report, the Guardian said Mr Beadle made the claim as part of a lobbying effort last September to change the tax rules for landlords – but he acknowledged in a recent webinar that the buy to let sector is expanding.

Mark Alexander, the founder of Property118, last week denounced the article as ‘tosh’ and ‘nothing more than twisted words to suit the narrative of a left-wing rag’.

Tax measures cost landlords around £1bn every year

Mr Beadle had been speaking to the Levelling up, Housing and Communities select committee about why tax rules should be relaxed to help boost the PRS because the tax measures cost landlords around £1bn every year.

However, the Guardian points to an industry webinar held earlier this month in which Mr Beadle acknowledged that the PRS is growing, and this was ‘not terribly helpful’ to the NRLA’s case.

That webinar appearance led Conservative MP Natalie Elphicke, who sits on the select committee, to declare that Mr Beadle and the NRLA had been ‘caught red-handed making up stories about a ‘shortage’ of rental stock so landlords can jack up rents and to scare politicians who should know better’.

Mr Beadle’s ‘story’ was at odds with what he told MPs

The Guardian said that Mr Beadle’s ‘story’ was at odds with what he told MPs in September 2022 when he told them that landlords are leaving the sector and ‘the exodus is well under way’.

When approached by the newspaper, Labour MP Clive Betts, the chair of the select committee, said that they would be looking at the evidence given and whether Mr Beadle would need to explain or make a correction.

However, the committee has now declared: “At no point has he ever provided misleading information to the Committee.”

‘Comments were made before the most recent English Housing Survey’

Mr Beadle told Property118: “My comments to the select committee were made before the most recent English Housing Survey was published.

“At the time, the latest figures showed that the number of households in the private rented sector had fallen by almost 260,000 between 2016/17 and 2020/21.

“I did not mislead the committee.”

‘Households in the private rented sector increased’

He added: “Since my appearance before the committee, new English Housing Survey data has been published, which has suggested the number of households in the private rented sector increased between 2020/21 and 2021/22.

“It was to this that I was referring to on the webinar.

“However, my comments did not provide the full context.

“The latest English Housing Survey data remains an outlier when compared to all empirical evidence and other key industry data.”

Mr Beadle highlights:

  • Zoopla compared a five-year average that shows demand from tenants is up 46%, with rental property numbers down by 38%
  • The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) says that tenant demand continues to increase but the number of new landlord instructions continues to fall
  • Savills warns that ‘surging demand and dwindling supply are driving rental value growth’
  • An NRLA survey shows that in the final quarter of 2022, 65% of landlords in England and Wales said that demand for private rented housing had increased – up from 56% in the year before.

‘The highest level of planned disinvestment’

Mr Beadle said: “Despite the strong demand, 30% of landlords said they plan to cut the size of their portfolio in 2023, the highest level of planned disinvestment seen in more than six years.

“And finally, despite what the official English Housing Survey shows, even the Government has admitted that there is a supply problem in the sector.”

He adds: “In a letter to the Housing Select Committee at the end of last year, the Minister for the Private Rented Sector noted that ‘demand is currently outstripping the supply of properties available to let’.”

Rather than apologise, the Guardian has added a footnote to its story and explains that the committee is satisfied that Mr Beadle’s evidence ‘had not been misleading’ and that Parliamentary researchers have now been asked to provide further information on the extent of landlords leaving the market.

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Chris @ Possession Friend

12:06 PM, 13th March 2023, About 7 months ago

Mark is right, left-wing rag will try to twist statistics to suit their biased narrative.

Its The Guardian that should be held to account !!

Robert Taylor

12:12 PM, 13th March 2023, About 7 months ago

I had a small portfolio of six rental properties until November last year. Due to the change in capital gains allowances over the next two years and the upcoming property insulation laws I decided to sell the properties. I completed on the sale of one in November and kept £24,000 tax free. (joint ownership). I am in the process of a Section 21 to regain another so that I can sell that for a tax free allowance of £12000. After that when tenants leave I will sell them. It is a small number but that will be six properties less available to rent. This is all due to successive governments slowly eroding benefits of renting properties. I am fed up with being attacked as a private landlord and being down at the level of Rigsby as a profiteering and uncaring landlord.


12:41 PM, 13th March 2023, About 7 months ago

I suspect that the real change in the market is that small landlords are being driven out and that if there is any growth it is coming from incorporated landlords.


12:51 PM, 13th March 2023, About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 13/03/2023 - 12:41
I'm one of those 'smaller' landlords, and have already taken my profits in London, sold one in the North [at a loss!] in 2022, and have one more to sell [which is also likely to be at a loss].

The NRLA is it's own worst enemy. Everything I've read over the past year, and my own experience, points to a meltdown in the PRS. Yes, there will be landlords with cash who will exploit the situation, but they will not make up for the massive drop since 2019.

The Guardian can obfuscate as much as it wants, but it doesn't change the facts. Too few rental properties, for far too many renters.

Mick Roberts

12:47 PM, 14th March 2023, About 7 months ago

We all know there is a shortage.

I've sold 7 houses since 2019 & am still receiving the same amount of rent annually as I was 2019. That shun't be happening. I should really be down by about 50-60k.
And I've only had a few leave me or swap around to take advantage of increased rents by supply demand. Govt & Councils are making us into very sought after desirable Kings.

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