The number of private landlords has hit a seven-year low with 222,570 leaving the sector as the government cuts tax reliefs and increases the regulatory burden.

The exodus has reduced the number of privately rented homes by 156,410 since its peak of 5.29m in 2017, according to Hamptons International.

The figures suggest that the majority of those who have left are ‘accidental landlords’ with one property each.

Tighter mortgage restrictions, an extra 3% stamp duty on additional homes and the replacement of interest rate relief with a tax credit have all contributed to make the sector less appealing.

Landlords are also nervous about the forthcoming Renters’ Reform Bill.