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UK to become a nation of renters

This is according to the chief executive of Belvoir Lettings, who believes the country is on its way to becoming a "nation of renters".

The UK private rented sector (PRS) is set for further expansion in 2014.

This is according to the chief executive of Belvoir Lettings, who believes the country is on its way to becoming a "nation of renters".

Dorian Gonsalves said the PRS currently accounts for 15 per cent of all UK homes and this is expected to grow to 20 per cent by 2012.

He claimed the recovery of the housing market and availability of buy-to-let mortgage lending will see more landlords aiming to invest in the sector.

The industry expert said many of these people will be looking for capital gains on top of rental returns - a trend that has not been witnessed since before the 2008 financial crisis.

He also claimed more "novice investors" are aiming to enter the PRS due to the sector's continued expansion.

"We predict that buy to let will become increasingly attractive and accessible for these smaller investors wanting to add another asset class alongside their existing savings and pension portfolios," Mr Gonsalves stated.

The Belvoir leader believes 2014 may see a drop in the number of accidental landlords however, with these individuals finding it easier to sell their properties.

Mr Gonsalves also claimed rental increases have not been as severe as some media reports have suggested and said many people are opting to rent because they know it provides good value for money.

"They are secure in the knowledge that they can live in well-managed and maintained property that is both flexible and easy to budget for," he stated.

Mr Gonsalves also discussed the consumer redress scheme that will be compulsory for all letting agents in England and Wales from this year onwards.

He welcomed the measure and said it will help to improve standards in the letting sector.

The Belvoir leader added the company has already been part of a voluntary scheme for several years and said the new obligatory redress programme "points to a much tighter-regulated PRS in the future".

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