A letting agency has been criticised by local students after sending a touting letter to landlords saying it could increase rents if they came on board.
The Brighton and Hove Argus newspaper suggests the letter has come from Harrington's Lettings, and says the letter claims landlords could put up rents by as much as £334 a month.
A photograph of the letter, without any letterhead in shot, is reproduced in the paper and reads: “We are in desperate need of more student properties to let as we are currently already starting to let our properties for 2016.”
It then explains it has raised rents by up to £334 a month, from £3,033 a month to £3,367 a month saying “these are real rents being achieved for our landlords this month”.
Students have reacted strongly against the letter but the newspaper quotes a post on Facebook, from an account in the name of Harrington’s Lettings, which says: “We don’t have a large portfolio of student accommodation but we do have a few on our books and we appreciate there is a limit to what students can afford but there is also a limit on the minimum landlords need to make it viable for them.
“The market has dictated that rents have gone up dramatically, and our actions are in response to what the other student providers in town are telling us.
“Unfortunately the Government removing mortgage relief for landlords has put a lot of them in the position that they are unable to sustain their current rents.
“The only way they can keep their property is to put up rents or many will be forced to sell, reducing the number of properties available when there is already a shortage.”