Landlords trying to make up for their tax losses with rent hikes, says ARLA

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The number of tenants experiencing rent hikes has hit a six month high, lettings agents claim.

ARLA Propertymark’s Private Rented Sector Report for March showed 23% of tenants saw their rents increased last month, and attributed this to landlords trying to recoup losses from recent buy-to-let tax changes.

This is the highest level seen since September 2017 when 27% of landlords put rent costs up for tenants

However, this figure is down year-on-year from 25%.

The analysis, among 286 members, found demand and supply had also increased during March.

The number of prospective tenants registered per member branch increased from 61 in February to 66 last month, while the number of rental properties letting agents managed increased marginally from 175 to 179 over the same period.

Agency stock was however down annually from 183 on average in March 2017.

David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said: “This month’s results very much show a ‘business as usual’ period for the private rented sector, but this isn’t necessarily a good thing.

“Supply is still too low and almost a quarter of tenants are experiencing rent hikes every month as landlords try to recoup the costs lost trying to keep on top of all the recent legislative changes – including the recent energy efficiency deadline.

“For the last two decades, successive Governments have passed significant amounts of complex legislation for landlords, none of which have been properly policed or adequately enforced – but most of which cost decent landlords a lot of money.

“This is why we’re so supportive of the Government’s proposals to crack down on rogue agents, and more recently, plans to confiscate properties from criminal landlords.

“The announcements mark a sensible shift towards focusing on the root cause of the issues affecting the sector, rather than trying to find solutions to individual problems.

“This, coupled with greater rental stock is the key to fixing Britain’s broken rental sector.”

 

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