Rent rises inevitable as more tenants still chasing fewer homes to rent in UK

The number of people looking for a home to rent in the UK is much bigger than the rental supply available, the latest monthly research shows.

Lettings agents point out that the private rented sector is currently out of balance and it means that it is inevitable that as long as it stay that way rents will continue to rise.

The latest rented sector report from letting agents organisation ARLA Propertymark show that in January there were 34 prospective tenants registered per member branch, up 31% from December 2016.

The data also shows that in January 2016 there were 31 tenants registered per branch, meaning in 12 months demand for rental accommodation has risen by 10%.

The number of rental properties letting agents managed increased in January from 188 in December to 193 per branch, a rise of 3%. In January 2016 there were 12% less, with 173 properties managed per branch.

Almost a quarter, some 23% of agents said that tenants experiencing rent rises in January but this is less than the 30% registered in the same month in 2016.

‘As expected, the New Year brought with it a flurry of activity in the rental market. While supply of rental stock rose slightly, the number of prospective tenants increased by a much bigger margin,’ said David Cox, ARLA Propertymark chief executive.

‘When supply and demand are out of kilter, as they have been for so long now, the market isn’t balanced and fair for tenants, and rent prices will just continue to rise. Worse still, should the Government decide to implement an out-right ban on letting agent fees when the consultation takes place, the situation will likely get worse for tenants,’ he explained.

‘The costs of the vital services letting agent fees cover will need to be recouped, and this will get passed on to renters in inflated rental prices. This, combined with new landlords’ tax, particularly the upcoming changes to mortgage interest release, means the rental market is far from reaching equilibrium,’ he added.