More than a quarter (27%) of agents saw rent costs rise for tenants in May, according to ARLA Propertymark.
This is the highest level since July 2016 when 28% saw rents increase. For the second month running, only 2.8% of tenants successfully negotiated a rent reduction – this figure rose to 3.6% in March from 2.2% in February.
Over the last 12 months, the supply of rental stock has risen by 11%. In May 2016, letting agents managed 171 properties on average per branch whereas in May this year they managed 189. The number of landlords selling up fell in May – in April agents reported four sales per branch, but this figure dropped to three in May.
David Cox, ARLA Propertymark chief executive, said: “Private rents rose by 1.8% in the 12 months to May 2017, and the last thing tenants need is for them to get even higher.
“With the new government confirming a Tenants’ Fee Bill in last week’s Queen’s Speech, we can expect them to rise by up to £103 a year, hitting loyal tenants looking for long-term agreements hardest. This is on top of any natural organic rent growth as well.
“The only thing which could offset this would be to significantly increase rental stock, but until this happens and supply and demand meet in the middle, rents will only become more and more unaffordable.”