Landlords see yo-yo rents edge up again

Rents are starting to recover in many parts of the UK, but not enough to stop another monthly average drop across the country.

More than half of regions in the UK recorded increases in February 2013, with the largest in Wales at 1.8% and then in the North East which recorded rents up 0.9% more than January.

The only factor which could undermine this return to rent rises is for the number of rental homes up for sale to increase significantly.

The increase in rents is good news just before the peak season for landlords with those in London seeing prices rise by 0.5%.

Regions which recorded a fall included the North West which saw a 1.3% drop, the East of England recorded a 1.1% fall and the South West which saw rents drop by 0.7%.

The South West is also the only region had rents fall over the past year, with costs paid by tenants now 1.2% below those of 12 months ago.

The figures come from LSL Property Services which also show that the biggest annual growth was seen in London with rents increasing by 6.2%, or £64.

The South East also saw a 3.3% rise and in Wales rents were 2.9% higher.

The firm’s commercial director David Brown said: “The rental market hasn’t yet burst into life but we are seeing more vitality than last year’s timid February market.”

That’s when, he said, home buyers rushed to beat the deadline for stamp duty and left rented properties.

To illustrate just how difficult the market is for UK landlords, the charity Shelter says that nearly three-quarters of tenants saw their rents cut or frozen last year.

The charity asked 4,300 renters and found that only 26% had seen their rent rise in the same period.

Ian Fletcher, a director of the British Property Federation, said the charity’s figures showed that rents were not rising and that government statistics revealed that where rents did increase they did not rise above the rate of inflation.

Shelter is now calling for stable rent contracts to be introduced which would see rents rising annually in line with inflation.


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