New landlord instructions were broadly flat last month following a modest increase in July, while tenant demand continues to increase sharply, according to the latest report from the RICS.
The study also found that rental growth expectations over the near term have now strengthened in each of the past three months, with a net balance of 31% of contributors now anticipating an increase, up from 22% in July.
James Forrester, managing director of Barrows and Forrester, said: “Although well-intentioned, the ban on tenant evictions imposed and extended by the government has effectively left landlords to prop up the rental sector.
“The ironic consequence is that landlords are now treading very carefully. As a result, stock entering the market remains flat while demand from tenants who can pay their way continues to increase.”
With demand for rental homes outstripping supply, this further imbalance is likely to result in rental prices increasing, potentially causing even more tenants to find themselves in financial difficulty, according to Forrester.
He continued: “It’s important to remember that most landlords are individuals, not corporate giants. Having received little support, they are now struggling while shouldering the burden of a Government that once again seems hell-bent on persecuting the property-owning class.
“Until more is done to aid them through this challenging phase, who can blame them for sitting on the sideline rather than risking months of potential lost income and laborious court proceedings.”