Volume of landlords increasing rent hits 16-month high

by Gary Whittaker

In the last two years, the government has implemented various changes to the charges landlords face when investing and operating in the private rented sector, with experts predicting that these would not only mean landlords paying more, but tenants as well. 

It was feared that when owners started facing higher tax bills, many would pass these costs on to their tenants, raising the price of renting a property in the UK in general. And it now appears that this could be the case, with a study from the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) showing that the number of landlords charging more is now at a 16-month high. 

It said that this month's data shows as many as 31 per cent of letting agents across the UK have experienced landlords increasing the rent they ask their tenants to pay. It's the highest volume in this metric recorded since April 2016, when the first of the taxation changes came into effect. 

The data also shows a marked rise in the number of rent increases when compared to May, when only 27 per cent of letting agents said they had seen landlords charging tenants more. 

ARLA's chief executive David Cox said: "With the cost of living on the rise and inflationary pressures tightening, the last thing tenants need is for their rents to continue rising. However, the fact that supply looks to be rising, while demand has dropped slightly indicates a move in the right direction for the market."

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of letting agents also back calls for the government to reverse the changes it has made to taxation and other charges over the past two years. Of those who were surveyed, some 83 per cent said they wanted the government to scrap the ban on letting agent fees. 

Meanwhile, 62 per cent want to see more regulation in the sector to stamp out activity from rogue landlords and letting agents, a move which could also address price rises and balance the market out in the long run. 

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27-July-17General Lettings News