Rent rises slowing in UK but fee ban set to reverse the trend

The number of rents rises in the UK recorded by letting agents has reaches the lowest since December last year but the decision to ban letting agent fees in England will reverse this slow down, it is claimed.

The latest private rental sector report from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) reveals that just 18% of agents saw rents rising in October, down 6% from September and 14% below March when 32% saw rent rises.

However, given last week’s autumn statement announcement that letting agent fees will be banned in England, ARLA says this is unlikely to last, with rents projected to rise significantly.

The report also shows that in October the number of rental properties managed per branch was 180, a significant decrease from September when there were a record 193 properties managed per branch and the lowest level seen since June when agents managed 176 properties on average.

Demand from prospective tenants fell in October, with 34 prospective tenants registered per letting agent branch compared to 40 in September, which was the highest number this year.

‘Just when rents were starting to stabilise, the Chancellor has thrown the biggest curve ball, meaning that rents will unpreventably rise when the tax changes and letting fees ban come into effect,’ said David Cox, ARLA managing director.

‘In terms of supply and demand, this month’s findings reflect seasonal expectations and show the market is slowing in the final quarter. With fewer properties available to rent and a drop in the number of prospective tenants registering interest, tenants tend to stay in their current properties until the New Year arrives,’ he added.

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Written by: Houseladder