Tenants face the first rises in market rents since the autumn, as the private rented sector braces for anti-landlord policies, according to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from Your Move and Reeds Rains.
Average rents are now rising on a monthly basis for the first time since September 2015, up 0.1% between January and February.
Rents across England and Wales now stand at £791 per month as of February, 3.3% higher compared to this point last year – or an extra £25 per month for the average tenant.
Adrian Gill, director of lettings agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: “Spring is here for the rental market. Rents are rising and demand is growing. In a warming market, tenants are beginning to feel the heat when signing new tenancies.
“Landlords are increasingly deliberate in their actions and savvy in their business decisions. But all landlords investing steadily in new property to let are the heroes of the buy-to-let industry, not the villains. Thanks to the business acumen and persistence of landlords, Britain’s private rented sector has become home to millions of households and the only real backstop against the weakness of other tenures.
“All landlords, regardless of the number of properties they own, want to provide a quality service as part of earning a reliable return on their investment. For those with the right advice, this is part of operating a successful business model. Avoiding void periods and ensuring a good relationship with reliable tenants is essential. So it is hard to understand the logic behind restricting the flow of new investment, and the competition between existing landlords.
“Additional taxes on the purchase of new buy-to-let properties will not support the stated aims of these policies – namely to improve home ownership. By attacking buy-to-let, the government will only serve to push up market rents more quickly, stymieing the efforts of many tenants to raise a deposit to buy a home – while also boosting returns for existing landlords with the best advice to navigate new complications.”