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There is an increase in demand for property in the UK private rental sector with new tenants seeing a rise in monthly rents from a third of lettings agents. Indeed some 31% of letting agents saw an increase in the cost of monthly rent for tenants from January to February, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) monthly Private Rented Sector Report. The South East of England saw the highest number of landlords increasing rent per calendar month with 41% of agents in the region reporting an increase whereas in contrast in Wales only 13% of agent’s reported uplift in rent prices. An increase in rents may be down to the fierce competition for rental property. ARLA licensed agents reported an average of 40 prospective tenants per branch in February, up from 38 in January. The report points out that whilst only 13% of Welsh tenants saw an increase in rents, they are facing the most competition for housing, with 46 tenants registered per member branch. Tenants in the East of England are also facing fierce competition with an average of 45 house hunters registered at each branch. Overall the report says that supply in the rental market remains steady, with an average of 184 properties managed per member branch, which is the same as last month. The East Midlands boasts the highest level of supply, with an average of 269 properties per branch, whilst supply in London has dropped to an average of 122 per branch, down from 140 in January, increasing already intense competition in the capital. According to David Cox, ARLA managing director, it shows that demand for rented accommodation is still on the increase, and monthly rents are following suit. ‘When demand is high then the premium for a home increases. House prices are still sky high and are unlikely to reduce anytime soon, which means that getting onto the property ladder is a challenging and unlikely task for many, so renting a property is the only option available,’ he explained. Looking ahead to the general election in A RLA Letting agents are strongly against Labour’s proposal to introduce three year tenancy agreements with rent controls and strict rules to make it more difficult to evict tenants The survey found that 70% of agents believe this would result in landlords pulling out of the market and creating a decrease in the supply of rental property, which would have detrimental effects on the industry. Just under half of agents, 46%, argue that three year tenancy agreements would cause them to lose flexibility over the duration of their tenancy agreements and 69% of ARLA agents think point blank that the proposal would not benefit tenants. When it comes to building new homes to help kick start the property market, some 37% of ARLA agents believe that the Conservatives’ pledge to… Continue reading →
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