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More than half of landlords increased rents in June, says latest lettings report

By: Barry Scott

The number of tenants in the UK’s private rented sector experiencing rent rises increased to the highest figure on record in June, the latest report from letting agents show.

More than half, some 55%, of agents reported landlords increasing rents, up 22% compared with May which was a previous record high, the report from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) reveals.

Year on year, the number of tenants facing rent increases also increased, up from 31% in June 2017, and higher than the 35% recorded in June 2018, the data also shows.

Letting agents had an average of 199 properties under management per member branch in June, a decrease from 201 in May.

Demand from prospective tenants also increased marginally in June, with the number of house hunters registered per branch rising to 70 on average, compared to 69 in May. Year on year, demand has fallen, from 71 house hunters registered per branch in June 2018.

The data also shows that in June, the number of landlords exiting the market remained at four per branch, unchanged from June 2018.

‘Unsurprisingly, rent costs hit a record high in June as tenants suffered the impact of the tenant fee ban. Ever since the Government proposed the ban, we warned that tenants would continue to pay the same amount, but the cost would be passed onto tenants through increased rents, rather than upfront costs,’ said David Cox, ARLA chief executive.

‘In addition to the repercussions of the Tenant Fees Act, the proposed abolition of Section 21, coupled with the Mayor of London’s recent call for rent controls, will only cause the sector to shrink further. In turn this will increase pressure on the sector because it will discourage new landlords from investing in the market, causing rents to rise for tenants as less rental accommodation is available,’ he added.

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