There was an increase in the number of tenants in the private rented sector experiencing a rent increase in May compared with a month earlier at a time when supply of rented homes on offer is rising.
Overall the number of tenants experiencing rent hikes increased to 28% in May, up from 26% in April, data released as part of ARLA Propertymark’s latest monthly Private Rented Sector Report has found.
This is the highest level since August last year when 35% of landlords put rents up for tenants.
Meanwhile, the number of rental properties letting agents managed rose by 4% in May, with 186 on average per branch.
David Cox, ARLA Propertymark chief executive, said: “There’s a chronic supply shortage in the rental market at the moment, and while it’s positive that the number of properties available to rent seems to be rising, this is just a drop in the ocean; it isn’t nearly enough to fix the market for tenants.
“Competition is getting more and more fierce, and with legislative changes hitting landlords from all sides, the cost of renting is only increasing.
“The government’s recent announcement around licensing changes for landlords is a prime example; licensing doesn’t work and it never has done. It means councils will spend time and energy administering schemes, rather than concentrating on increasing housing stock in their areas, and enforcing against rogue, criminal landlords.”
The number of prospective tenants registered per member branch dropped significantly in May, with 60 per branch compared to 72 in April – a 16% fall.
This is the lowest demand seen since December 2017, when there were 59 registered per branch.
Cox added: “Coupled with the gradual removal of mortgage interest relief, new energy standards for landlords and the ever-increasing fees for these schemes, landlords are being expected to bear more and more costs; which is probably why the number of landlord leaving the market has remained at the all-time high we saw last month.
“We’re all striving for the same end goal of improving the private rental sector for consumers, but the only thing which will truly create a better – fairer – market, is a dramatic increase in supply.”