The UK’s most vulnerable tenants are being pushed out of the private rental market, according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Residential Market Survey.

New figures show that around one-third of respondents believe that access to private rented properties had fallen among people on housing benefits.

Recent caps to housing benefits were cited by 29 per cent of respondents as a key reason why those on lower incomes were being pushed out of the rental market.

Those on lower incomes are set to face further financial difficulties with rents expected by respondents to the survey to increase by in excess of 20 per cent over the next five years. By way of contrast, house prices are projected to increase by around 18 per cent over the same period.

“This survey highlights the uphill battle many homeless people face when trying to enter the private rented sector. Renting is often the only way out of homelessness, but the vast majority of landlords now consider it too risky to rent to homeless people. This is a desperate situation to be in: to be ready to move on and start rebuilding your life only to encounter financial barriers and closed doors. ” Crisis CEO, Jon Sparkes

“With growing numbers of people stuck in this homelessness trap, we need to find ways to reassure landlords whilst supporting homeless people to find a place to live. That’s why Crisis’ Home: No Less Will Do campaign is calling on the Government to underwrite a national rent deposit guarantee to ensure more support is made available to those trying to find a home to rent. They already help first-time buyers struggling for a deposit – we’d like to see them extend this help to those who need it most.”

Respondents indicated that modest growth was continuing across the housing market, with 24 per cent saying that they had seen a rise rather than a fall in prices over the past three months. The North West was seen to have performed particularly well with a net balance of 64 per cent reporting rising prices.

However, central London bucked the growth trend with 62 per cent of respondents saying that prices had fallen rather than risen during the same period.

Source: RICS