A key supplier is warning that landlords penalised by ever higher government taxes and rules will be forced to increase rents.
Andy Halstead, HomeLet and Let Alliance chief executive, says the private rental sector works best when there’s a balance with agents and landlords working with tenants to provide quality property at an affordable price.
"With almost one in five people living in the private rented sector, it's fitting that the government should focus on it, with an informed policy that strives to achieve a balance between letting agents, landlords and their tenants, but unfortunately that isn't the case at the moment.
“The continued increase in rents above the rate of inflation is a symptom of current policy.
"Property is a long-term investment, and the narrative that landlords and letting agents are driving up rental costs simply isn't true.
“... The continued assault on landlords through policies that disincentivises property investment will only drive rental value upwards for tenants.
"Whilst tenants may aspire to homeownership in the long term, the private rented sector will always play a vital role in the mobility of the nation and the overall housing supply chain.
“As demand increases, the UK needs more rental stock for tenants, not less and without policy informed fully by property professionals, rents will rocket to record levels this summer."
Halstead was speaking as his latest HomeLet index showed rents across the UK rising for the fourth time in as many months.
Typical rent is now £992 per month - and when London is excluded, it’s £847. Nine of the 12 regions monitored by HomeLet show a monthly rise - the largest is in Northern Ireland, up 2.9 per cent between the end of February and the end of March.
However, rents in London continue to fall year on year, showing a two per cent drop between March 2020 and March 2021.
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