Rents in Scotland appear to have risen sharply following the ban on fees charged to tenants.
The rise also follows Shelter’s campaign encouraging tenants to reclaim their fees, and the implementation of tenancy deposit protection, requiring agents to physically hand over both current and ongoing deposits to a banking scheme.
According to the website Citylets, which has tracked rents for over five years, it is the start of a new era for the rental sector in Scotland. The latest rent rises it has reported are the highest it has seen.
It has found that rents have gone up across the country, but particularly in the cities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
Figures from the firm’s latest quarterly report show the average price of renting in Scotland has risen to £671, an increase of 2.3%.
Dan Cookson, senior analyst at Citylets, said the rise could be partly as a result of the abolition of tenant fees and other important changes made during 2012.
While many property commentators have predicted the changes would have an inflationary impact, the Citylets report is the first that seems to provide concrete evidence.
Cookson added: “Our report for the last quarter of 2012 is significant in that it is the first to cover a period after the changes in the sector in 2012 took hold.
“Two cities which have seen some of the biggest rises in rents – Edinburgh (up 5.1%) and Aberdeen (up 6.3%) – both experienced larger than inflation rises in average rents across all types of properties.
“There is certainly a suspicion that the recent banning of agent fees to tenants has had an upward impact on rents. Several agent clients have suggested this to be the case and our data seems to support this view.”
Alistair J McMurdo, director of Castlebrae Sales and Letting, said: “Given the recent change in legislation relating to the charging of tenant fees, many landlords are trying not to increase rents.
“However, we are finding that due to the increased costs being passed to landlords, rent rises are inevitable.”
The Citylets report reveals that Aberdeen is the most expensive place to rent in the country with the average rent in the Granite City coming in at £950.
Meanwhile in Edinburgh, prices rose to an average of £819.
Glasgow’s average rent increased by 2.2% and now stands at £612.
For more, follow the first link. And if you want some idea of how the ‘excellent’ (to quote the Guardian) Shelter campaign is picking up in England, go to the second link.