ARLA: Rent increases hit record low

Ryan Fowler

June 29, 2020

Photo: RickDeacon / Shutterstock.com

The number of rent increases hit an all-time low in May as the coronavirus pandemic continued to hit the rental market. 

The ARLA Propertymark May Private Rented Sector (PRS) found that many landlords have chosen not to increase rents in an effort to recognise the financial difficulties facing many tenants.

As a result, the number of tenants experiencing rent increases fell to 14% in May – the lowest since records began.

Similarly, more tenants have been successful when asking for a rent reduction, with the number of tenants negotiating rent reductions increasing to 2.5% in May – the highest since March 2019 when the success rate was 2.9%.

Additionally, as a result of the housing market pause, landlords were unable to show prospective tenants’ new properties and therefore, the average time properties were empty between tenancies increased to five weeks in May.

This is the longest time properties have remained void between tenancies since records began as agents and landlords were unable to operate as normal between 23rd March and 13th May.

David Cox, ARLA Propertymark chief executive, said: “Our latest figures show that landlords and agents have been taking the brunt of the pandemic.

“They are aware of the financial difficulties facing tenants and have shown empathy with many landlords not increasing rents where they otherwise might have needed to.

“As we continue to move forward, it’s important that everyone aims to keep the rent flowing in order to sustain the market and help boost the economy following several months of uncertainty.”

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