Buy to Let Tenants Negotiating Rent Reductions

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The number of buy to let tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions increased by 85 per cent in October, according to the latest figures from ARLA Propertymark.

Alongside the number of rent reductions achieved, the number of buy to let landlords putting rents up dropped to the lowest level in seven months.

The percentage of tenants negotiating rent reductions rose from 2 per cent in September to 3.7 per cent in October, whilst the number of tenants experiencing rent increases fell for the second month running in October, with 24 per cent of agents reporting that landlords increased rents, compared to 31 per cent in September and 40 per cent in August.

Demand from tenants actually rose in October, with the number of prospective tenants per branch increasing from 63 in September to 71 in October.

However, the number of available rental properties also rose from 194 in September to 198 in October. This constitutes the highest figure seen since December 2017, when supply stood at 200 and is up by nine per cent year-on-year.

This rise in the number of rental properties available is likely to have improved the chances of tenants negotiating rent reductions, however it is widely expected to just be a bump in the road of rising rents.

ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive, David Cox, said: ‘Last month’s findings indicate that power in the rental market could be shifting towards tenants, with a record number negotiating rent reductions, and less landlords hiking rent costs. However, it’s more likely that this is indicative of the time of year and come the New Year, we’ll see rent prices starting to creep up again.

‘There’s no real way of avoiding it unfortunately – with landlords facing continued regulatory change, increasing costs will be passed on to tenants. Those who don’t pass the costs on will eventually have to exit the market, which will increase competition and boost prices. It’s the ultimate ‘lose, lose’ situation.’

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