More than a quarter of letting agents saw private rents rise in May despite an increase in the supply of rental stock on the market, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
The 27% hike in the number of agents reporting rent rises in May is the highest level since July 2016 when 28% saw rents increase.
Over the past 12 months, the supply of rental stock has risen by 11% with letting agent managing 189 properties on average per branch in May this year, up from 171 in the same month last year.
The increase in housing stock is owed in part to the fact that the number of landlords selling up fell in May, with agents reporting three sales per branch, down from four properties in April.
ARLA’s chief executive, David Cox, said: “Private rents rose by 1.8% in the 12 months to May 2017, and the last thing tenants need is for them to get even higher.
“With the new government confirming a tenants’ fee bill in last week’s Queen’s Speech, we can expect them to rise by up to £103 a year, hitting loyal tenants looking for long-term agreements hardest. This is on top of any natural organic rent growth as well.
“The only thing which could offset this would be to significantly increase rental stock, but until this happens and supply and demand meet in the middle, rents will only become more and more unaffordable.”