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The Strategic Network annual conference: The future of the private rented sector

  • Type HQN Event (Virtual)
  • Venue Virtual conference
  • Start 24 Mar 2022 10:00
  • End 24 Mar 2022 15:45


The Strategic Network annual conference: The future of the private rented sector

Virtual conference

This year’s annual conference looks at how we can make the most of the private sector.

The strategic approach: how could it operate at a local level? Can HAs and councils build more homes for rent? This conference will focus on these key issues, along with the opportunities offered by the Affordable Housing Commission for a conversion fund to buy up properties that landlords are disposing of and convert them to affordable housing.

What will be covered:

  • The Strategic Network covers a vast range of issues. The important part played by the private rented sector (PRS) and the challenges and opportunities it presents is something all councils and housing associations recognise and can relate to:
  • The PRS has grown from under 10% to over 20% of the housing stock over the last two decades. There are currently estimated to be 4.4 million households in England living in the PRS
  • It’s a diverse sector, ranging from depressingly poor conditions for some of the most vulnerable households to middle income families and upwardly mobile young people, through new-build to rent schemes.
  • Demand has grown because of the high cost of the owner-occupation ladder and the inability to access social housing. For some, it’s becoming a tenure of choice. Nevertheless, there are many vulnerable groups trapped in poor-quality housing that impacts negatively on their mental and physical health
  • Supply of rented property is dominated by small providers owning fewer than five properties – some of whom are accidental landlords. There are also landlords operating on the margins of legality that flout or are ignorant of the legislation and regulations
  • But there are an increasing number of institutional landlords (including councils and registered providers) that are providing new-build to rent apartment blocks following the government’s Montague Review in 2012
  • Regulations are complex, with over 30 Acts and numerous statutory instruments. The government has promised that a White Paper will be published in 2022 that could result in further legislation. But will this simplify the rules or add a further level of complication to an already crowded field?

The National Audit Office report on the regulation of the PRS (published in December 2021) highlights that “it is not effective in ensuring the sector is consistently fair for renters or that housing is safe and secure”. Both the Local Government Association and the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) have welcomed the focus on developing a more strategic approach.

Taking such an approach at local and national levels is becoming even more important because of changes in the sector. A District Councils’ Network survey recently found strong evidence that landlords are selling up or converting their properties to Airbnb-type accommodation, while a study by the London School of Economics for the NRLA in December 2021 found that over 50% of landlords said that tax changes (eg, stamp duty) had deterred them from making further investment and acquiring more properties.

Furthermore, studies by organisations such as the Resolution Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation show that the pandemic has had a major immediate impact with, for example, tenants unable to pay rents and landlords losing income.

The conference will focus on these issues, with an emphasis on the roles and activities of councils and housing associations:

  • What might a strategic approach look like at the local level?
  • What’s the future for licensing schemes as part of a new strategic framework?
  • Are there further opportunities for build to rent by housing associations and councils?
  • Are there opportunities for housing associations to take forward the proposal by the Affordable Housing Commission for a conversion fund to buy up properties that landlords are disposing of and convert them to affordable housing? 

Why you should attend:

You’ll get fully up to date with everything you need to know about the opportunities for increasing your supply of affordable housing for rent.

What you’ll take away from the event:

  • Up-to-date state of play on current and proposed legislation and regulations
  • Good practice on developing local strategies
  • Good practice on licensing schemes
  • Opportunities and challenges of build to rent and a national conversion fund.

Essential for:

  • Local authority private rented sector teams
  • Housing strategy officers
  • Councillors with a portfolio that incorporates the PRS 
  • Councils and registered providers involved and / or interested in build-to-rent provision.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Emma Lindley, HQN Associate
  • Roger Jarman, HQN Associate
  • Tim Brown, HQN Associate
  • Dr Jennifer Harris, University of Bristol / CaCHE
  • Lydia Dlaboha, HQN
  • Janis Bright, HQN.


"Great event, incredibly thought-provoking, inspiring and always leave these events with a long to-do list"

"The whole event worked very smoothly, and I was impressed by the speakers and the quality of the presentations"

"Fantastic conference today and great presentations from all. Thank you"

"Very informative with lots of practical ideas to take away"

If you are members of the following networks, this event will be beneficial. Not a member? Click the below links to find out more: 

The Housing Quality Network | The Leasehold Network | The Residents Network | The Strategic Network | The Housing Management Network

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Further information

Delegate fees:
1 delegate: £200.00 *
2 delegates: £175.00 *
3+: £150.00 *

Members of any HQN network:
1 delegate: £175.00 *
2 delegates: £150.00 *
3+: £125.00 *

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* Please note that all prices are subject to standard VAT. Byte Size members do not qualify for member discounts or free places at this event. Please call 01904 557150 for more information.


Click here to download the programme

Cancellations and substitutions:

If you are unable to attend an event or public training course, please let us know in writing (email is fine) at least 48 hours before. Please email

Otherwise, a cancellation fee of £60 plus VAT will be chargeable.

If you are using a package place to attend and do not inform us within the agreed time frame, then a place will be taken to cover your non-attendance.

Cancellations must be made in writing, and will be acknowledged by HQN Limited.

The Strategic Network



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