There was an 85% rise in the number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions in October as the supply of available properties increased, according to new figures from ARLA Propertymark.
The data shows that the volume of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions rose from 2% in September to record high of 3.7% in October - the highest level since records began in January 2015.
In line with this, the number of tenants experiencing rent increases dropped for the second month running in October, with 24% of agents reporting that landlords increased rents, compared to 31% in September and 40% in August.
Demand from prospective tenants increased in October, with the number of house-hunters registered per branch rising to 71 on average, compared to 63 in September, while the supply of rental stock edged up from 194 in September to 198 in October, which is the highest level seen since December last year.
David Cox, ARLA Propertymark chief executive, said: “Last month’s findings indicate that power in the rental market could be shifting towards tenants, with a record number negotiating rent reductions, and less landlords hiking rent costs. However, it’s more likely that this is indicative of the time of year and come the New Year, we’ll see rent prices starting to creep up again.
“There’s no real way of avoiding it unfortunately – with landlords facing continued regulatory change, increasing costs will be passed on to tenants.
“Those who don’t pass the costs on will eventually have to exit the market, which will increase competition and boost prices. It’s the ultimate ‘lose, lose’ situation.”