Letting fees ban blamed for private sector hike in rent

 

The number of landlords in the UK’s private rental sector who put up rent in January rose to the highest figure since September 2018.

 

Just over a quarter (26%) of members of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) reported an increase in the number of landlords on their books increasing their rent, a rise from 18% in December.

This is the highest figure recorded since September 2018 when 31% of landlords put up their rent.

 

Experts blame the hike in rent on the looming Tenant Fees Bill which will make it illegal for letting agents to charge tenants admin fees.

 

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The legislation, they say, is forcing many landlords to sell up, reducing the number of available properties and putting a squeeze on demand which in turn has forced rent increases.

 

Data from the report does show a small increase in the number of available rental properties in January, up by just four from December to 197.

 

Meanwhile, demand from prospective tenants also increased in January. The number of registered house-hunters per branch was up from 50 in December to 73 on average.

 

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David Cox, ARLA chief executive said: “This month’s results are another huge blow for tenants. With demand increasing by 46% from December, and rents starting to rise in response to all of the cost increases landlords have experienced over the last few years, tenants are in for a rough ride.

 

“Last month, there were three landlords selling their buy to let properties per branch, and as landlords continue to exit the market, rent prices will only continue to rise.”

 

He said that the passing of the Tenant Fees Act in March would mean tenants continuing to bear “the brunt” in a “post tenant fees world”.

 

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6th March 2019