England’s private rental sector is valued at £1.3trn
The housing stock in England's private rental sector has been valued at £1.3 trillion, under the current market.
The findings from the buy to let consultants Sequre Property Investment show there are nearly 4,799,000 privately rented homes across the country.
That's down slightly from 2016's figure of 4,832,000.
And despite a series of government moves to dampen landlord enthusiasm, this is the second-highest level on record.
In addition, England's house prices have risen by 8.9% so landlords have also enjoyed strong capital appreciation.
The data reveals that London accounts for 22% of all the private rental stock in the country, which is just over 1 million private rented homes.
The value of these properties is an impressive £512 billion.
Most valuable rental sector in England
The second most valuable rental sector in England is found in the South East where homes are worth £229 billion, and account for 14% of all the country's private rental homes.
However, the third most valuable rental sector in the country is the East of England which is worth £156 billion - despite accounting for 10% of private rental homes.
Daniel Jackson, the firm's sales director, said: "The private rental market has grown with the level of stock available and the value of the stock.
"This not only demonstrates the sector's continued strength but also highlights the importance of the private rental market."
Mr Jackson added: "While buy to let investments will focus predominantly on the available yields, the capital appreciation is an additional benefit many landlords will reap on exit.
"An exodus of landlords would have followed had the government decided to penalise this."
Simon Thompson, the managing director of Accommodation for Students, said: "These figures are impressive and show how strong the private rental sector in England is.
"The continued hard work and investments from landlords in buy to let properties means the sector is providing homes for millions of people, but the government could still do more to help the sector."
'Sloppy referencing' leads to tenant discrimination
Meanwhile, one firm says that landlords and agents who carry out 'sloppy referencing' are effectively discriminating against their tenants.
The findings come from Homeppl, a PropTech firm, who say that referencing is usually reliant on an applicant's credit files.
That means those tenants who do not have a credit file are often not able to pass referencing checks or may face paying up to 100% of their rent upfront.
The firm's founder, Alexander Siedes, said: "For anyone who doesn't have a credit report, and that's common among the self-employed and students, will generally need to pay between 50% and 100% of their rent upfront."
He adds that to avoid paying all their rent, tenants will need a rent guarantor in the UK and that most tenant referencing is carried out by insurance firms who are using this as a loss-leading tactic for them to sell landlord’s rent guarantee insurance.