Private Sector Rents Rise in August

Private sector rents rose in August, as buy to let investors passed on increasing costs from new government legislation, including reducing mortgage interest tax relief for landlords.

The number of letting agents who saw landlords increasing rent costs for tenants rose to 35 per cent in August, representing the highest level since 37 per cent of landlords increased rents in July 2015.

The latest figures from the ARLA Propertymark report note a strong increase year-on-year from August 2016 when only 27 per cent of landlords increased rents on their rental properties.

Furthermore, the ARLA report showed that only 2 per cent of tenants successfully negotiated a rent reduction from their landlord. A 20 per cent drop from the previous month when 2.5 per cent managed to secure a rent reduction.

The number of properties managed per member branch decreased marginally in August, to 189 – slightly down from 192 in July. However, this figure was higher year-on-year from August 2016 when agents were only managing 183 properties on average.

Rental demand from prospective new tenants increased to 72 in August, from 70 in July, while the number of landlords trying to sell their buy to let properties remained the same as May, June and July this year, with an average of three for sale per branch, indicating that most buy to let investors are holding strong.

ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive, David Cox, said: ‘This month’s findings paint another bleak picture for tenants. In November last year, only 16 per cent of agents saw landlords increasing rent costs, but that figure now stands at 35 per cent – which is likely to continue rising.’

He continued: ‘Landlords have had a rough ride at the hands of policy changes at Government level, and it’s becoming clear that these additional costs are now being passed onto tenants.’

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