Agents' fee ban will reverse trend of fewer rent rises, says ARLA

Wednesday 30th November 2016

The ban on letting agent fees charged to tenants - which was announced as part of last week's Autumn Statement - will have a significant impact on a trend of slowing rent hikes, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
The organisation says that during October its member agents witnessed the lowest level of rent rises from landlords since December last year.
Just 18% of the letting agents surveyed by ARLA indicated they'd witnessed tenants' costs rising last month, down from 24% in September and a high of 32% recorded in March.
The association's latest report also shows that the supply of rental properties per letting agency branch dipped to 180 during October - down from 193 the previous month. 
This is the lowest supply figure recorded since June, when the average agency branch managed 176 properties.
Tenant demand also decreased last month, with an average of 34 prospective tenants registered per letting agency. This is down from 40 in September, which was the highest average number of applicants recorded in 2016 so far.
"Just when rents were starting to stabilise, the Chancellor has thrown the biggest curve ball, meaning that rents will unpreventably rise when the tax changes and letting fees ban come into effect," comments David Cox, managing director of ARLA.
“In terms of supply and demand, this month’s findings reflect seasonal expectations and show the market is slowing in the final quarter."
"With fewer properties available to rent and a drop in the number of prospective tenants registering interest, tenants tend to stay in their current properties until the New Year arrives.”

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