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Landlords selling property is a major reason for loss of a private tenancy, Government data finds

The latest statutory homelessness statistics published by the Government, covering the period July to September 2023, show that landlords selling their property was a major reason for the loss of private rented Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST) in England.

Analysis of AST loss data


Of the 14,340 households owed a homelessness prevention duty by the council as a result of the loss of an AST, 46.7% (6,700) of these were because a landlord sold their property. Furthermore, 18.8% (2,700) were due to a landlord re-letting the property. Just 2.4% (340) of lost ASTs were due to an increase in rent, but a further 4.7% were because of tenants experiencing difficulties budgeting or making other payments.


The data does not provide an indication of the reasons why landlords are selling their properties, and the extent to which this can be attributed to the increase in interest rates over the last two years. This quarter marks the first time the Government has published separate breakdowns for end of AST due to landlord wishing to re-sell versus landlord wishing to re-let a property, and it is, therefore, not comparable with previous years. What is notable, however, according to the data, is that the end of AST was the most common reason for households being owed a prevention duty, accounting for 40.1% of households. This increased by 3.4% from the same quarter in 2022.


Voice of the Landlord survey


The TDS Charitable Foundation is set to launch a national ‘Voice of the Landlord’ survey, which will explore the range of factors influencing landlords’ decisions to sell their properties. The Foundation is also currently running a research project with homelessness charity DENS, who operate in Dacorum (where the TDS headquarters are located), in order to explore how tenancy sustainment could be improved in the private rented sector, and homelessness reduced.



About TDS Charitable Foundation

The TDS Charitable Foundation seeks to raise standards in the private rented sector by advancing education about best practice in housing management. More resources for landlords, letting agents and tenants can be found here.


About the Author

Dr Jennifer Harris, Head of Policy and Research at The Dispute Service

Dr Jennifer Harris is Head of Policy, Research and Strategy at The Dispute Service where she is establishing a new department to support an impartial and evidence-based approach towards improving standards in the private rented sector. Jennifer holds a PhD from the University of Bristol Law school. Prior to joining The Dispute Service she led the Raising Standards in the UK Private Rented Sector research programme within the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) and has also worked as the Research Manager at the national organisation Homeless Link.

The views expressed in this content are solely those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the views of TDS, its officers, or employees.


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