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Substantial majority of letting agents expect rent rises in 2017

Some 80 per cent of letting agents say they expect rents to rise next year.

In the latest market survey by the Association of Residential Letting Agents, four out of five agents say that following the Autumn Statement - in which Chancellor Phillip Hammond said he was to ban agents’ fees levied on tenants - they expect rents to increase in the next 12 months.

However, demand from prospective tenants fell again in November - when the survey of ARLA members was taken - as the rental market continues to cool ahead of Christmas; 32 prospective tenants were registered per letting agent branch, compared to 34 in October.

However, 53 per cent of agents expect to see a rise in demand next year.

In November, the number of rental properties managed per branch was 185, an increase from 180 in October. This is considerably lower than the level seen in September, when there were 193 properties managed per branch.

Following a year of increases in taxes for landlords, including stamp duty and capital gains tax, some 36 per cent of agents expect the supply of rental accommodation to decrease in 2017.

“The number of rent hikes reported by letting agents continued to decrease in November, and it’s a shame the ban on letting agent fees will have the opposite impact on rent prices when the measure comes into force” says David Cox, ARLA’s managing director.

“The buy to let market is becoming less attractive for investors as the ban on fees, combined with the scrapping of mortgage interest relief and the stamp duty increase on second homes push costs up for landlords. So unfortunately, regardless of the uplift we saw in supply this month, we expect to see the number of properties available to rent fall next year” he adds.

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    Why is it that David Cox keeps regurgitating the same nonsense!!
    Does ARLA really care that rents are on the way up? I doubt it, higher rents equals higher fees for agents, surely a good thing for an associations members!

    Or the more likely scenario - banning fees will leave some of it's members up "s#@+ creak" without a paddle, so the only way to try and stop the legislation coming into force is to spurt the rhetoric that "higher rents are bad for tennants", as if there is empathy towards the tennant. If that's true and ARLA have empathy for tennants and want to save the tennant a few quid, then surely a ban is a positive step?

    When the fee ban comes into force, ARLA will encourage it's member to try to up rents to offset some of the lost income from the fee ban - after all, ARLA will need to negate the danger that agents will 'cut their cloth accordingly' and possibly stop paying fees to such weak associations!

    Some (not all) agents have milked a captive market to such a great extent that even the government has had to step in to stop it and ARLA hasn't got a clue what to advise........!

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