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Fewer rent rises in November

The number of agents seeing a rent increase fell to 32% in November, ARLA Propertymark’s November Private Rented Sector Report has found.

This is the lowest figure since March, and represents a fall from 50% in October.

Demand from prospective tenants fell in for the third successive month. There were 67 registered prospective tenants per member branch in November, down from 72 in October.

David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said: “It’s good news for tenants that rents have fallen this month. However, demand for properties has also dropped.

“The ongoing uncertainties of Brexit and the General Election have caused people to hold off on their property search until some political clarity is reached, which has led to this fall in demand. ”

In November the number of properties managed per branch rose marginally to 203 from 201.

Year-on-year supply is up from 183 in November 2018 and 192 in November 2017.

Cox added: “Now that the election has brought some political stability, tenants will likely be looking for properties again and the new government must recognise the importance of making the market attractive for both tenants and landlords.

“They must be very careful about reforming Section 21 which could cause supply to plummet, and if it is to be abolished, Section 8 must be reformed first and a new specialist Housing tribunal created. Without this, supply will almost certainly fall which will have the consequential effect of raising rents.

“Further, the government should seek to reassure tenants by implementing the recommendations set out by the Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) working group; something we have long called for. These are substantial changes, but it’s important that the government ensures everyone in the industry is qualified and adheres to a strict code of practice.”