More than a quarter of letting agents saw a rise in rents last month, raising concerns about tenant affordability.
Some 27% of agents saw rent costs increase for tenants in September, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA Propertymark).
Although the number of letting agents who saw landlords increasing prices for tenants dropped last month compared with 35% in August – the first month-on-month decrease since May, when the figure also stood at 27% – on an annual basis, the volume of tenants experiencing rent hikes is up when compared with just 24% of agents in September 2016.
There is a growing concern that increasing inflation and slower wage growth is putting pressure on consumers’ spending power.
“As the cost of living increases, the last thing tenants need is for their rents to rise, so while it’s great that month on month we’re finally seeing a decrease in the number of landlords hiking costs, we need to look at the bigger picture,” said David Cox, ARLA Propertymark chief executive.
Demand for rental accommodation rose by 10% month-on-month in September, while supply remained the same, ARLA said.
Cox added: “There are still more than a quarter of tenants experiencing rent hikes every month – and that’s too high.
“As summer drew to a close in September, demand increased in line with our expectations, and while it’s too soon to see the effect of this on rent costs, we know that when supply and demand are conflicting, rent prices will just continue to rise.”