McKee K, Rolfe S, Feather J, Simcock T & Hoolachan J (2021) Making a home in the private rented sector: An evidence review. SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust. Stirling.
The growth of the private-rental sector (PRS) over the last two decades has led to significant questions over its ability to provide a homely environment for tenants. Much of the research in this area argues that legal frameworks, lack of regulation and financial motives of landlords are not conducive to the provision of homes which are secure, affordable, good quality and which offer tenants an opportunity to meet their health and wellbeing needs. However, recent legislative changes across the UK devolved nations – most notably in Scotland – are shifting the PRS towards greater professionalisation meaning landlords and letting agents are being held to higher account and there is increasing pressure for improvement for tenants. This report presents findings from an evidence review of research concerning home within the PRS across OECD countries. Rather than focusing on the experiences of tenants, it considers the impacts of landlord and letting agent behaviours on tenants’ ability to make a home in the sector. We argue that landlords and letting agents can play a positive role in helping their tenants create a home, and thereby sustain their tenancy.