Impending Tenant Fee Bill will see tenants face further challenges, warns report
26% of landlords increased the rents for their tenants heading into 2019, as property investors prepare themselves for the upcoming tenant fee ban.
The latest survey from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) found that a total of 26% of their members had reported an increase in the level of rents, with a rising number of landlords setting a higher rate in January 2019 – an 8% increase on the figures from December.
According to the data, last month’s figures mark a year-on-year increase of 7%, making January’s rental increase rate the highest since September 2018, when agents reported that rents had risen for 31% of tenants in the UK.
The increase comes ahead of the passing of the Tenants Fee Bill, which was passed and given Royal Assent earlier this month.
The Act will see a ban on what the Secretary of State for Housing, James Brokenshire, called “unnecessary, costly fees” faced by tenants abolished under law – saving the average household around £70 per year.
Commenting on the latest findings from ARLA’s private rented sector report, the company’s chief executive, David Cox, said: “This month’s results are another huge blow for tenants.”
“With demand increasing by 46% from December, and rents starting to rise in response to all of the cost increases landlords have experienced over the last few years, tenants are in for a rough ride,” he continued.
Following a significant increase in the number of people looking to rent in January, a total of 73 per branch – up from 50 in December, tenants are likely to face further increases, warned Cox.
Earlier this month, official figures found that private rents in the UK rose by 1.0% in the year to January, as demand for rental properties continued apace.