Landlords are continuing to support hard-pushed tenants during the pandemic by not raising rents, but won’t be able to maintain their efforts without more Government help, letting agents have warned.
ARLA Propertymark’s latest survey finds the number of renters experiencing rent increases fell by almost a fifth year-on-year in September; 40% of agents witnessed landlords increasing rent compared with 48% in August – 18% lower than in September 2019, when the figure stood at 58%.
President Angela Davey (left) says that as we head towards winter and further uncertainty due to increasing lock down measures, it’s vital that tenancies are maintained.
“To this end, with the furlough scheme finishing in October, Westminster must follow the Scottish and Welsh authorities in providing a package of support to tenants to keep the rent flowing,” says Davey.
“This is absolutely vital in keeping people with Covid-related arrears in their homes and ensuring that landlords continue to have funds to make mortgage payments.”
ARLA’s Private Rented Sector report also found that the number of new prospective tenants fell in September, the first time since the housing market reopened in May.
The average letting agent branch registered 82 new tenants – a drop from 101 in August and the lowest figure recorded since February. The number of rental properties available per branch fell from 208 in August to 193 in September – the same number seen in September 2019.
The number of landlords selling their buy-to-let properties rose from four per branch in August, to five in September. Year-on-year this is the highest figure since 2015 for September.