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Tenants find it ‘harder than ever to negotiate a reduction in rent’

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.”

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Poll: Do you think rents will rise in 2020?


  •  G romit

    Government cannot keep loading more and more costs & taxes on Landlords and not expect rents not to rise.
    Couple that with Licencing fees from Local Authorities, escalating arrears due to Universal Credit, incessant demonisination by the likes of Shelter, Generation Rent, et al. , so is it any wonder why Landlords are leaving the sector at a rate in excess of 50,000 per year, so creating a supply problem.


    Great post of FB about how much Shelter have pulled in over the years and how many houses that would have built. Best thing that could happen for renters is for the so-called 'charity' to be shut down. Obviously a similar argument could be made about GR as they've campaigned for all the things that are driving rents up.

    • 29 January 2020 10:52 AM

    Crikey are that many LL leaving the PRS annually!
    Probably an average of 2 properties per LL that is a lot of rental properties no longer available.
    Trouble is I still see plenty of rental properties avail in LA windows.
    We need blank LA windows for the shortage of stock to really start hitting tenants.
    We need to start having sealed bids for rental property.
    Then the LL will be back in charge.
    Currently there is simply too many rental properties available.


    You are lucky Paul Barrett. We have very little rental property available in our area at the moment. Consequently any property that comes on has multiple applications even though the rent has been hiked up.

  • Daniela Provvedi

    My properties are in the centre of London. My prices are high to cover all the crap the Government throws at me. And I only take tenants who prove to me that they are worthy of living there. That's why my rents are not negotiable.

  • icon

    Of course you can pay a lower rent! Just rent an inferior property. BTW, my offer to rent to you is now withdrawn. Next please!

  • icon
    • 31 January 2020 00:23 AM

    @Gordon Brown

    Very interesting anecdotal evidence of rental stock shortages.
    Obviously your experience isn't countrywide but certainly it could well be the start of how things could go.

    One wonders whether in year or so whether the likes of Shelter and GR will be complaining about the shortage of rental stock and the high cost of rent for those properties that are available!!?

    Of course every LL will be able to retort that this is what LL advised if S24 etc etc remained.
    As a matter of interest 300 Ryanair cabin crew are due to arrive in Stansted.
    There isn't sufficient rental stock in the nearest town which is Bishop's Stortford.
    So where are these 300 cabin crew going to live!!??
    Many LL for various reasons refuse to even take on Ryanair cabin crew.
    But I still see plenty of stock in LA windows.
    So your anectdotal evidence and mine seem to contradict eachother and I confess it is far from clear what is going on in the PRS.
    But as it stands I consider that my perspective of still too much rental supply is correct.
    Until I see blank property spaces in LA windows I will remain unconvinced that there is already a widespread shortage of rental property.

    This I find most disappointing as I consider it would be most gratifying if there was a nationwide shortage of rental property.
    But we have a very long way to go before that happy situation might occur.


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