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Graham Awards


Many tenants forced into bidding wars and pay well above asking rent - claim

A think tank claims that four in 10 households renting privately that moved within the last year are paying an average £1,200 a year above the advertised rate. 

A poll of 1,001 adults, carried out for the New Economics Foundations, claims to show that renters are often forced into bidding wars.

The NEF says 39 per cent of private renters that have moved in the last year are paying above the advertised rent for their property. The median amount paid over the asking rent by the household is £100 a month and the mean amount is £190 a month.  


The think tank also claims that 45 per cent of new private renters had to pay more than one month of rent upfront to secure their home and that 21 per cent have seen their rent hiked mid-way through a tenancy “without their agreement.”

It also claims that 17 per cent were charged a fee to view the property while 19 per cent were asked for a copy of their CV.

Alex Diner, senior researcher at NEF, says: “This data shows just how difficult it can be for many people to find somewhere to call home. 

“The lack of affordable housing across the country forces people to enter into bidding wars, which end up meaning the rent they pay goes through the roof. And all too often, the properties they end up living in are cold and damp, with landlords who are not always willing to help. 

“Not only must the government stop backsliding on its commitment to reform the private rental sector, it also has an opportunity to make a real difference here. 

“In the short term, ministers must take action to ban these bidding wars. In the long term, building a new generation of high-quality, genuinely affordable social homes would ease the pressures on the housing market and provide people across the country with somewhere to live, rest and flourish.” 

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    17% were charged a fee? Surely this “Think tank” is aware that is illegal? Alex Diner needs to go away and think again about these claims.

    21% had their Rent hiked midway during a tenancy? Do they really mean that after three months of a six month tenancy a landlord raised the rent? As Victor Meldrew would say, “I don’t believe it”.


    Totally agree. It all sounds Wishy Washy unrealistic, landlord thrashing 'news'🎈


    100% Agreed, this article is complete BS!

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    Yada, Yada , Yada 🤔 And ? Build millions of social properties and stop attacking us , and maybe, just maybe all this will go away 🤔

  • icon

    A poll of The New Economic 1001 Foundation, looks like Brand New are they Carpet Cleaners.



  • icon

    Must be worth half a Crown.

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    If the tenants offer considerably more than the asking price in order to secure the flat, then there is a definite likelihood that they won't be able to afford the rent and will end up defaulting on it.

    It is the most dishonest tenants who will say anything to get into a flat.

    For that reason, I keep my rents low and don't accept higher offers. In fact, I recently reduced a "low" rent because only one person was going to occupy a two double bedroom flat. I was concerned about letting the flat to one person, but he said my rent was considerably cheaper than the rent he was currently paying for one room. He didn't ask me to reduce the rent.

    My primary consideration is that they want to rent for only a short time. I would rather charge a low rent than leave the flats empty.


    I don't where your properties are, I would charge more if people wanted to stay short term. It wouldn't stay empty as in London the demand is high. I have been offered higher than asking rent to cover for their lacking in other areas. I will not accept higher rent in those circumstances.
    My son and his two friends have been trying to get a central London 3 bed flat starting at £4500 pcm and above and the agents have been trying to create a bidding war there. They want to enjoy the London that never sleeps and walk home, then they have to pay those prices.


    Thanks Pat, I know short lets are usually expensive, but I like my tenants to be happy.

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    Nobody is forcing tenants to do anything. If they want to offer more, then that's up to them. I just rented one of mine, and I had offers over the asking rent, but I didn't take them. It was rented to someone who is paying exactly what was advertised. I have my own criteria and a bit more rent doesn't sway me to choose unsuitable people.

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    As Ellie say’s some will say anything to get in.

  • Peter Why Do I Bother

    I do have to say I am genuinely worried when I see this kind of statement:

    genuinely affordable social homes would ease the pressures on the housing market and provide people across the country with somewhere to live, rest and flourish.

    I was brought up on an estate and yes I lived, not much rest because of noise and as for flourishing that only happened when I got to work and plotted my own way through life.

    These statements all coming out with the same thing, cold, damp, draughty, rents too high. Political BS at its finest.

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    This article is totally bulshit, no proof of a bidding war, or charge to tenants to view property, etc.
    There is a clear shortage of properties and all successive government for the last 30 to 40 years have all been without any vision or foresight in building properties, keeping them and maintaining them for social housing. Rents are going up and will continue to do so. It is pure and simple economics and as such the price is based on supply and demand. No government can interfere with that. Renters on UC cannot and will not be able to afford private rentals. The government is responsible for providing housing, pure and simple without passing the buck. Where and how does Alex Diner get his data from? Just starting a trend of misinformation to fume and aggravate renters.

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    If we saw a headline "Prospective buyers forced into a bidding war" we would say the housing market was booming and celebrate the fact.

    Personally I took an offer of an extra £200 from a group of students who recognised they needed to differentiate themselves and they have been excellent tenants and appreciate the chance I gave them.

    Better to have tenants who can afford the higher rent and don't moan about being ripped off.

    That group also made me realise that my asking rents were still less than people were prepared to pay and allowed me to get back to full market rents after five years of no increases for existing tenancies.


    I don’t have an issue accepting a higher bid, if, and this is vital, they meet or exceed my expectations as to suitability. Then they get it, it’s a business after all.

  • jeremy clarke

    In new poll, 98% of tenants when asked would you like to pay less rent and have all bills included said yes, 2% didn't understand the question. Total number of tenants polled = 10, poll taken in the Dog & Duck at 21.00 on Saturday night.
    What we need on all these articles are more facts about who when how and why they were asked and a decent number and cross section of the population. In truth, it will be tenants that already have a gripe, certainly not the 99% of tenants who are happy with their lot!

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    I can't really say if this article is BS for the UK market, but to be honest I believe it. Take a look at what has been happening in Ireland over the last year or 2 of government meddling. 100 people showing up for student lets, house prices going through the roof and bidding wars. Just check the news, don't believe me. I have friends there and know of this first hand. The UK is heading the same way. The government is just too stupid to see it. I guess if you hang in there you will make a lot of money in the next few years.


    Scotland is already there and rents are soaring but families are suffering as we don't want to lose control over when tenancies end, which makes students more desirable tenants over families as they won't stay long term.

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    The article may not be the most accurate piece of journalism this year, but it does reflect the general picture of renters paying eye watering increases, while at the same time, landlords charging these increases are making less than before or just breaking even. This awful situation amounts to a huge cash grab by the government and is 100% their doing, from the huge levels of inflation (due to their irresponsibly high money printing during Covid), along with relentless anti landlord measures and over a dozen consecutive interest rate rises have led to a perfect storm of inflation and landlords exiting the market. If the politicians had any honour at all they would hang their heads in shame and quit in self disgust. But they carry on pretending to try and fix the problem while hoping the average person on the street doesn’t figure out where the real problem LIES.


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