Rents will rocket this summer without a change in government policy, the boss of tenant referencing firm HomeLet has warned.
CEO Andy Halstead says the government risks continuing to alienate landlords with its prolonged assault through policies that disincentivise property investment and drive up rental prices.
HomeLet’s Rental Index for March reveals the UK’s average rent is now at a record high of £992 – after the fourth increase in as many months. When London is excluded, average rent is £847, an increase of 1% on last month.
Halstead says that with almost one in five people living in the private rented sector, it’s fitting that the government should focus on it, with an informed policy that strives to achieve a balance between letting agents, landlords and their tenants. “Unfortunately, that isn’t the case at the moment,” he adds.
“The continued increase in rents above the rate of inflation is a symptom of current policy.”
Halstead (pictured) believes the narrative that landlords and letting agents are driving up rental costs simply isn’t true. “Professional letting agents and landlords welcome initiatives that improve standards in the sector,” he says Halstead.
“As demand increases, the UK needs more rental stock for tenants, not less. Without policy informed fully by property professionals, rents will rocket to record levels this summer.”
Nine of the 12 regions monitored by HomeLet showed a monthly increase in rental values between February and March, with Northern Ireland seeing the most significant rise of 2.9%.
However, London’s rents continue to fall year-on-year, showing a 5% drop between March 2020 and March 2021 – the tenth fall in annual variance over the year.