Letting agents say rent rises are falling

Letting agents from around the UK are reporting that the rate of rental increases is beginning to fall for the first time in 2015, according to research.

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) is also saying that following a surge in supply of rental property in July, accommodation has fallen to June levels.

On average, ARLA members had 178 rental properties on their books in August, a fall from 189 recorded in July.

Despite this fall, the number of tenants registering with letting agents rose in August, up to 36 from the 35 average recorded in July.

However, just one in three letting agents said they had seen rent increases in August.

Landlords had increased rents in August

Of all the regions, 40% of agents in the south-west said landlords had increased rents in August compared with just 12% of letting agents in the north-west.

Letting agents in Wales said that rents have increased for 36% of them.

Tenants looking for rental property London are also struggling to find suitable homes with the number available for renting continuing to fall.

Of the London-based letting agents, the average number of registered properties is 110, a fall from July’s figure of 117.
ARLA says that for tenants in London, finding a rental property is ‘increasingly challenging’.

‘Third of agents are seeing landlords putting rents up’

ARLA’s managing director, David Cox, said: “Our findings are good news for most tenants though a third of our agents are seeing landlords putting rents up and it reflects the sorry state of the market.

“There’s a growing pressure with a falling supply of rental housing with growing numbers looking to rent and rent increases are now more common.”

He added: “Despite rent rises falling in August, it looks likely they will increase again over the coming months.”

Landlords and agents face jail for breaching Right to Rent rules

Meanwhile, it will be a criminal offence for letting agents and landlords to breach Right to Rent rules under the new Immigration Bill.

Whereas landlords and agents who were part of the pilot scheme in the West Midlands for the new legislation and who failed to conduct relevant checks on tenant’s immigration status were subject to a civil offence.

This will now change and it will become a criminal offence to offer rental property to someone who is an illegal immigrant.

Letting agents and landlords could face five years imprisonment

The result for breaking the law is that letting agents and landlords could face five years imprisonment.

The rules on evicting illegal migrants from a private rental property have also been clarified and the tenant can be served with a 28 days’ notice to leave – and this notice will have the power as if it had been issued by the High Court.

The new legislation does not apply to landlords in Scotland and the Scottish government has criticised the new rules for England and Wales.

A spokesman for the Scottish government said that the rules will increase homelessness and introduce discrimination against migrants.


About S Thompson

Simon Thompson is Editor of Landlord News and CEO of AccommodationforStudents.com

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