Rents look set to rise across much of the UK this year as the supply and demand gap continues to widen in the private rented sector.
ARLA Propertymark’s latest Private Rented Sector report shows that the number of letting agents witnessing rent increases remained at 32% in December.
However, the number of tenants negotiating a rent reduction dropped to just 1.1% last month, from 1.6% in November, which is the lowest figure since records began.
ARLA Propertymark recently asked its members to share their predictions for the private rented sector and found that more than four-fifths - 84% - of letting agents think rent prices will rise in 2020, up from 65% when agents were asked the same question last year, looking ahead to 2019.
David Cox, ARLA Propertymark chief executive, said: “Since the tenant fees ban came into effect, our data shows that rents reached an all-time high last year. While we have seen a slight drop in the number of agents witnessing landlords increasing rents since then, overall rents remain high and now it seems that tenants are finding it harder than ever to negotiate a reduction in rent.
“As rents continue to rise, tenants will find it even more difficult to find suitable accommodation. Now that we have a new government in place, it’s important that long overdue legislative changes are implemented to make the market attractive again for both tenants and landlords.”