More tenants faced rent rises in the UK in March than a year ago
More tenants in the private rented sector are experiencing rent rises than a year ago at a time when demand for rented homes and supply on offer are both increasing.
Overall the number of tenants experiencing rent hikes increased to 23% in March, less than in the same month in 2017 when it was 25%, according to the latest monthly report from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
This was the highest level since September 2017 when 27% of landlords put rent costs up for tenants but well down on the 32% who faced hikes in March 2016 and 2015.
The report also shows that demand is rising. The number of prospective tenants registered per member branch increased by 8% in March. In February, agents had 61 on their books on average, compared to 66 in March. This comes after an increase in January which saw the number of tenants registered per branch jump to 70.
Supply has increased slightly. The number of rental properties letting agents managed increased marginally in March to 179 per branch from 175 in February. This is down year on year with the figure recorded at 183 per branch in March 2017.
‘This month’s results very much show a business as usual period for the private rented sector, but this isn’t necessarily a good thing,’ said David Cox, ARLA chief executive.
‘Supply is still too low and almost a quarter of tenants are experiencing rent hikes every month as landlords try to recoup the costs lost trying to keep on top of all the recent legislative changes, including the recent energy efficiency deadline,’ he explained.
‘For the last two decades, successive Governments have passed significant amounts of complex legislation for landlords, none of which have been properly policed or adequately enforced but most of which cost decent landlords a lot of money,’ Cox pointed out.
‘This is why we’re so supportive of the Government’s proposals to crack down on rogue agents, and more recently, plans to confiscate properties from criminal landlords. The announcements mark a sensible shift towards focusing on the root cause of the issues affecting the sector, rather than trying to find solutions to individual problems. This, coupled with greater rental stock is the key to fixing Britain’s broken rental sector,’ he added.