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Tenants paying over the odds for rental homes, says Countrywide

In the last year 12% of lets were agreed at more than the initial asking price, according to the latest figures from Countrywide.

The UK’s largest letting agent reports that the average tenant has paid 99.9% of the initial asking rent in the past 12 months, the highest figure recorded since 2007.

This figure is highest in London where the average let was agreed at 100.9% of the asking price. 


The report calculates that this works out as an extra £94 per month for the average London tenant and subsequently an extra £1,578 in rent over a typical 17 month tenancy.

At the other end of the scale, Countrywide reports that just one in twelve Welsh tenants paid more than the asking rent over the last year.

In 2008, just 3.5% of deals were agreed at above the asking price while 23.5% of tenants were able to negotiate money off the asking rent. 

By 2016 the proportion of tenants able to renegotiate prices down has dropped to 8%.

Countrywide’s latest index also reports that the average UK rent has grown by 3.2% so far this year. 

The agency says rents are growing fastest in the South East of England, followed by the South West and Greater London.

Moreover, rents at the top end of the London market have continued to suffer, with the average price of a new let now 8.4% lower than it was a year ago.

However, on the whole London has seen the largest growth in rents anywhere in the country since 2007, with rents 34% above their pre-recession record compared to 12% across the UK. 

“The combined effect of growing numbers of people renting and a lack of supply has seen tenants’ ability to negotiate diminish,” says Johnny Morris, Research Director at Countrywide.

“Tenants are having to compete more often and with more people in order to rent the home they want, meaning they need to offer more money in order to push ahead of the crowd.”

*Graham Norwood is away on annual leave until March 17th. Conor Shilling will be undertaking editorial duties in his absence. Please send any press enquiries to press@lettingagenttoday.co.uk 


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