The UK is facing a “critical rental shortage” which requires a building programme to focus on providing for tenants, surveyors’ body has said.

By 2025 at least 1.8 million more households will be looking to rent rather than buy, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) claims.

It called on the government to address the situation by offering tax breaks to increase building and investment into the sector.

The Conservative party have their targets still set on home ownership.

Since 2001, rented property in the UK rose from 2.3 million to 5.4 million in 2014, according to Rics.

In addition to a call to reverse stamp duty, Rics have also called for:

  • Pension funds to be given tax breaks to fund large scale rental properties
  • Councils to be encouraged to release brownfield sites for building homes for tenants
  • Private house builders to be encouraged to build specifically for the rental sector

This has come days after Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, said the government would take “unprecedented steps” to encourage construction of homes for people to buy.

He told the Conservative Party conference that the housing shortage was “a huge issue for our country” and would be his “number-one priority”.

Among the plans announced was an Accelerated Construction scheme, using £2bn of new sector borrowing to make public land with outline planning permission available to builders