Rents continuing to rise in private rented sector, UK lettings agents report

More than a quarter of letting agents in the UK reported that rents increased for tenants in May, the highest level since July 2016, the latest industry data shows.

Some 27% said rents rose and for the second month in a row and private rents have now increased by 1.8% in the 12 months to May 2017.

Only a very small percentage of tenants successfully negotiated a rent reduction, according to the private rented sector report from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

Just 2.8% of tenants negotiated a fall on their rent, following on from 2.2% in February and compared to 3.6% in March.

The data also shows that over the last 12 months, the supply of rental stock has risen by 11%. In May 2016, letting agents managed 171 properties on average per branch whereas in May this year they managed 189.

The number of landlords selling up has fallen. In April letting agents reported four sales per branch, but this figure dropped to three in May and ARLA members had 65 prospective tenants registered per branch.

According to David Cox, ARLA chief executive, the last thing tenants need is for rents to get even higher but he believes that the ban on letting fees in England as confirmed in the Queen’s Speech could result in rents rising up to £103 a year.

‘This is on top of any natural organic rent growth as well. The only thing which could offset this would be to significantly increase rental stock, but until this happens and supply and demand meet in the middle, rents will only become more and more unaffordable,’ Cox said.