Private rented housing expansion may be the way out of the current housing crisis Shelter said at the Conservative Party conference this morning.

Adam Sampson, chief executive of the housing charity, said there was ‘a real need for a more professionalised rental market to offer a better deal to consumers’.

He said that a corporate rental sector could present a ‘big opportunity’ to tackle issues around quality, supply and affordability.

Sampson said: ‘We have a community of amateur landlords that may be well intentioned but often don't know what they are doing. It would be fantastic if we used this opportunity to get pension funds to offer up a stream of investment into rental that is currently absent.

‘It may be that institutional investment is the way forward. There is a massive need for a professionalised rental sector to offer a better deal to consumers.’

Sampson also criticised Labour's record on building social rented housing, which he said had dropped to around 45,000 new homes a year, compared to 150,000 under the Tories.

‘Even Margaret Thatcher oversaw the building of 100,000 a year,’ he said.

Shadow housing minister Grant Shapps also announced Tory plans for two big housing reviews next year, looking at private and social rented accommodation.

'We need to find better answers,’ Shapps said and criticised current government policy that allows ‘nimbyism’ to thrive.

‘Politicians have only ever been elected for being against development,’ Shapps said. ‘The reason why politicians are against development is because there is nothing in it immediately to deal with local need. If you can find a way so that existing people benefit then eventually you could switch this to see people elected on a pro development ticket.’