More tenants seeing rents falling in October

The number of tenants in the private rented sector in the UK successfully negotiating rent reductions jumped from 2% in September to 3.7% in October, according to the latest monthly report from letting agents.

It was the highest figure seen since records began in January 2015, the report from the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA), confirms.

In line with this, the number of tenants experiencing rent increases fell for the second month running in October, with 24% of agents reporting that landlords increased rents, compared to 31% in September and 40% in August.

The report also shows that the supply of available properties rose from 194 in September to 198 in October, the highest figure seen since December 2017, when supply stood at 200 and up 9% year on year.

Demand from prospective tenants also increased in October, with the number of house hunters registered per branch rising to 71 on average, compared to 63 in September.

‘The 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,’ said David Cox, ARLA chief executive.

‘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,’ he explained.

‘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,’ he added.