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Tenant Demand Spiked in June Following Fees Act

Rental housing demand from tenants in June was seven times higher than previous four-year average

Average asking rents up by 2.7% both quarterly and annually in Q2 2019

The average asking cost for rent was at a record high in June, according to the latest Rental Trends Tracker Index by Rightmove.

Excluding London, tenants were asked to spend an average of £817 a month on rent in the second quarter of the year, 2.7% higher compared to both Q1 2019 and Q2 2018.

In the capital, asking rents declined between Q1 and Q2 by 1.6%, but remained 3.0% higher than the same period in 2018.

In addition, the latest Rightmove index highlights a significant surge in tenant demand, following on from the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act at the beginning of June.

At 7%, the jump in demand between May and June is seven times larger than the previous four-year average for this time of year, with tenant demand typically growing by just 1% during this period.

Tenant demand likewise grew by 13% in London, up from the capital’s four-year average of 4%, with anecdotal evidence from agents suggesting tenant enquiries have spiked now that the majority of fees associated with tenancies have been removed.

The removal of these fees could in some cases save tenants hundreds of pounds as a result, although the index warns that tenants may have difficulty finding the right rental home, as a result of a shortage of housing supply available to rent.

Miles Shipside, Commercial Director of Rightmove, said: “Asking rents are at a new record, rising at nearly 3% a year as demand for quality properties outstrips supply.

“However, the rise in rental prices may also mean some agents or landlords have attempted to raise rents to help compensate for a loss of tenant fees. More build to rent developments with more premium offerings and rents could also be adding to the average increase.”

The Residential Landlords Association recently released the results of a survey which warned that scrapping Section 21 could further reduce rental housing stock for tenants.

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