Tenants are in for a rocky ride this year - and it’s chiefly the fault of government, says the chief executive of the Association of Residential Letting Agents.
David Cox says: "With the Tenant Fees Bill passing its final hurdle in Parliament last week, it is now waiting to receive Royal Assent before being passed into law and implemented on June 1.
“This means it’s only a matter of time until we could see rent prices starting to creep up again.
“As we’ve said repeatedly, landlords have faced continued regulatory change and increasing costs over the last few years, and the tenant fees ban will only add to this burden meaning many will either have to start increasing rents for tenants or exit the market.”
Meanwhile ARLA’s latest market snapshot shows the number of tenants experiencing rent increases falling for the fourth month running in December, with 18 per cent of agents reporting that landlords increased rents.
This is the lowest figure recorded since December 2017, when the number of tenants experiencing rent rises was 16 per cent.
Since August 2018, when the number of tenants experiencing rent rises rose to the highest level ever recorded by ARLA, it has continued to fall.
The supply of properties available to rent rose to 193 in December, up from 183 in November. Year-on-year, this is down four per cent, compared to 200 in December 2017.
Demand from prospective tenants decreased in December, with the number of house-hunters registered per branch dropping to 50 on average, compared to 55 in November.
Year-on-year this is also down as agents had 59 prospective tenants on their books per branch in December 2017.
The ARLA data is based on an online survey amongst 364 members in the first half of January.