The rental market continues to show no sign of slowing, as demand for properties increased yet again and landlords raise rents for new tenancies.

ARLA Propertymark’s Private Rented Sector Report reveals that the average number of new prospective tenants registered per branch continued to rise to 82, up from January’s figure of 81 – the same as February 2020 but a big leap from the 65 recorded in 2019.

Regionally, West Midlands branches recorded the highest number of new tenants, with an average of 126, followed by the East Midlands with 123 new tenants. Northern Ireland and The Isle of Wight both recorded the lowest number, with an average of 26.

Healthy demand meant more landlords were able to increase rent, with 49% of agents reporting that they had done this in February compared with 39% in January. Year-on-year this figure is also up from 40% in February 2020. Meanwhile, the number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions remained at 2% – the same as during February 2020.

Management drop

ARLA says the number of properties managed per letting agent branch fell for the third month in a row, from 196 in January to 195 in February.

Branches in the North East had the highest number of properties with 284, while those in London – with an average of 94 properties – had the lowest stock per branch.

Four landlords at each branch sold their buy-to-let properties, the same for the fifth month in a row but slightly lower than the five recorded a year ago. 

Chief policy advisor Mark Hayward (pictured) says: “Letting agents have continued to support landlords and their tenants throughout the ongoing Covid-19 difficulties and it is essential that tenancies are maintained wherever possible to ensure rent keeps flowing.”


  1. Rents are certainly rising where I live. I was charging £450 pcm for my property, but a similar, slightly smaller, property in the same street has an asking rent of £595, and another round the corner is tenanted at £625 pcm. It’s a case of supply and demand.

    There are far fewer properties available and landlords are being more careful who they let to. Most of the landlords I know are selling up as properties become empty and some are selling up and asking tenants to move out.

    I suspect part of the rent increase is to cover the increases in running costs (no more 10% wear and tear, no more tenancy fees, no more mtg tax relief, any repairs to electrics, elec cert costs, licensing etc), and the threat of having to spend thousands on improving the EPC in a few years; and with the inability to remove tenants in arrears, rent has gone up to be above the HB UC/HE level so landlords can avoid the high risk of tenants who rely only on benefits, who might well decide not to pay the rent or trash the place and there’s no way a landlord will be able to recoup the lost money.


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