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Landlords have upper hand on rents as supply plummets - research

High level research shows that since the start of the pandemic - March 2020 - some 300,000 fewer properties have come onto the rental market than during the preceding 12 months. 

Lettings agency Hamptons says that last month, the number of rental homes on the market fell by double digit percentages in every region apart from London compared with the same time last year.  

London was the only region where there were more homes available to rent than in February 2020.  


The South West and Wales saw the largest declines, with 48 per cent fewer homes available to rent in February than the same time last year.

Hamptons adds that the urban-rural divide which first emerged at the start of the pandemic has continued to deepen.  

There were 16 per cent more homes available to rent in cities across Britain in February this year than at the same time in 2020, while towns and country locations recorded falls of 28 per cent and 52 per cent respectively.  

This divide was also evident in would-be tenant numbers which remained flat in the countryside, while dropping 10 per cent in cities.

The lack of rental homes on the market has meant that so far this year no fewer than 50 per cent of landlords letting a property were able to secure a higher rent than they had previously achieved, according to the agency.  

This is the highest proportion since 2016, with an average increase of £60 per month.  

In line with weak rental growth in the capital, fewer London landlords - just 37 per cent were able to secure higher rents, marking the lowest proportion recorded in any region.  

In contrast, 62 per cent of landlords in the South West were able to achieve higher rents on their properties.


“Tenants are now faced with significantly less choice, which in turn is pushing up rents. And with many landlords having multiple offers on the table, half of investors have been able to increase the rent they charge” according to Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons.

“Rental stock levels have also been hit with the onset of the pandemic causing investors to hold back.  This has been compounded by emergency legislation which saw landlords having to extend a tenant’s notice period to a minimum of six months, reducing turnover further.  

“At the same time, many renters who were looking to buy had to put their plans on ice and continue renting, as banks sought larger deposits for house purchases.

“However, there are signs that this could change.  Over the last five months, and in an effort to beat the original stamp duty deadline of the end of March, landlord purchases started to rise, which will add to stock levels when these homes complete.”

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    Yep well don’t want to say we told you this would happen but we did

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    Shelter , GR and the government all intent on making life difficult for landlords = increased rents, not rocket science is it ?

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    • 15 March 2021 09:11 AM

    Who cares - More cost for me is higher rental costs for tenants and I WILL add 15% on top of any increase they make me pay!

    So carry on boys and girls, you are helping a lot to my bank account. Keep it up. The more the better.

    And thing of the pressure on the people you claim to be helping.

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    High level Research indeed hardly needed to know that, 300'000 less letting properties came onto the market in 2020/21 why would that be news, when they can stay as long as they like pay or not.

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    • 15 March 2021 09:32 AM

    Restrict supply and prices inevitably go up.
    I love it....A free rent increase. Thanks all you people who make this happen.
    You make me even richer.

    I am so happy. Please carry on the good work and carry on hurting your people whom you claim you help.

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    You can keep pushing the rents up but eventually they will become unadfordable.. Bottom line is.... When they stop paying the rent you can't get them out.. I know through bitter experience... That's why I'm selling my portfolio... Been doing this for 20 plus years... Time to try something else... Not sure what though


    Shane, as always it'll be those at the lower end of the market who will suffer. As mine become empty, I've been refurbishing to a high standard .... higher rents, better choice of tenants. I've sold off a couple of houses as well, and a couple more to go. Plan is to have a much smaller portfolio of really good houses. Ironically it looks like that is panning out to be a more profitable end game than my original plan when I started all those years ago. Every cloud ...


    I’m doing the same as you Shane. This has had its day.

    • 15 March 2021 10:19 AM

    You can ALWAYS get them out. It may take time, but there are many ways to get them out of MY house.

    Most are legal too. Some not so much.


    G D I agree that's what I'm doing together with many other landlords locally, too expensive to buy more property so when they become vacant we are spending money on them in order to get a better class of tenant and a higher rent.


    It’s becoming a 2 tier system - and like others here I am aiming for the top tier. All the time demand outstrips supply good quality houses will rent.


    Hi Shane (and Adrian), I'm in the market looking to buy portfolios, I'd be interested in talking more if either of you are?

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    There's a general trend to move out of London - partly white flight with perceived rising levels of crime and a diminishing quality of life under Covid. The departure of many non-UK workers (who mysteriously were not furloughed...) adds to the woes of London landlords.

    The growth of remote working will add to demand in more "lifestyle" locations within an hour or so commute of London.

    The abolition of mortgage interest relief for private BTL landlords and increasingly "woke" tenant first policy means landlords in the provinces are more likely to sell up or switch to short let Airbnb style letting.

    So supply will fall and rents will increase. It's still early days, expect this trend to escalate.

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    • 15 March 2021 09:59 AM

    If the stock does not increase, then the prices will certainly go up. There will always be people who will pay. I am not talking about the low end of the market, but middle and high.

    The Govt. will be forced to wake up too, according to the monies then have been given to build more affordable housing.

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    • 15 March 2021 10:01 AM

    Anyway - I am not the one who is putting up the costs. It is Councils and Governments.
    They are causing the shortages by not building and making me put my prices up.

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    Everything was alright for my tenants rent wise before Section 24 Shelter GR & Acorn interfered. I actually want rents at a reasonable level for working families pockets so that they can save and buy their own home. That's the normal process. I was prepared to buy more properties to house more people that were starting out,couldn't afford, wanted flexibility or plain didn't want to own the property. I would have accepted less profit and worked harder but I dont feel incentivised in this sector as it has become risky (due to Section 24 Shelter GR & Acorn interference) The people behind these organisations need to examine their conscience & realise that they have made life really difficult & expensive for the two parties that count tenants & landlords just to gain more likely political scores.

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    I agree with Shane. Rents are going up too much due to some privileged do gooders or ill informed academics. Government and Councils need to realise that the majority of Landlords and tenants enter into a good partnership and by putting financial pressure on the Landlord can only lead to one choice, increase in rents. Thus far this has been mitigated by low interest rates, this will change over the coming years. Tenants will move to cheaper rents, e.g move north. The ones that can will take advantage of the 95% mortgages.
    I'm selling my properties in the South as they become vacant. I will consider purchasing one further North but i also wish to bring down mortgages due to Section 24.
    Interesting times!

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    Shelter, Crisis, GR, JRF, LRU, the govt... all of them must be absolutely moronic not to believe that endlessly attacking the PRS doesn’t lead to higher prices. We’ve been shouting this from the rooftops for 5 years now, but all they do is stick their fingers in their ears and go ‘la-la-laaaa’ whilst claiming it’s all our fault. We were criticised by the loonies for calling the S24 campaign ‘the tenant tax’ but it turns out that we were right all along. What a surprise!


    Absolutely, since the changes came into force, I have to pay a substantial penalty by way of extra stamp duty just to make a property available to the rental market, even though every one has been empty prior to purchase. At the same time as massively increasing costs and reducing availability, tenant demand has gone up, so I have raised my rents whenever I have a change of tenant. I would have been quite happy to leave them towards the lower end but the government's desire to screw us all means I have to give a higher priority to my own interests than I used to do.


    I'm laughing all the awy to the bank, Shelter, Generation Rent, Rowntree foundation, Crisis, Acorn and all the rest of the dogooder campaigners have got what they asked for.

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    • 15 March 2021 13:21 PM

    I am with you David P.
    I love those guys.

  • George Dawes

    Depends what part of London you’re talking about , the labour controlled dumps definitely, the Tory controlled not so

    Let a commercial unit in just 5 weeks , fastest ever

    3 beds going on the market in 2 weeks for big money 💰

  • icon

    as fanciful as bedknobs and broomsticks ?..


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