The number of tenants experiencing rent increases fell for the fourth month running in December, with 18% of agents reporting that landlords increased rents, ARLA Propertymark’s December Private Rented Sector has found.
This is the lowest figure recorded since December 2017, when the number of tenants experiencing rent rises was 16%.
Since August, when the number of tenants seeing rents rises increased to the highest level ever recorded (40%), it has continued to fall.
David Cox, ARLA Propertymark chief executive, said: “Although December’s figures indicate that tenants finished the year in the driving seat, they’re in for a rocky ride this year.
“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 1 June.
“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.”
The supply of properties available to rent rose to 193 in December, up from 183 in November, down 4% year-on-year, 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.