Fee ban may kick off another round of rent rises

Fee ban may kick off another round of rent rises

Whilst the number of rent rises is currently at its lowest level since December 2015, the Autumn Statement’s decision to ban agent fees in England is forecast to reverse this trend, experts suggest.

The latest report from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) revealed that only 18% of agents recorded rent increases in October, a drop by 6% from September and 14% from March.

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After the announcement of a full ban of letting agent fees in this year’s Autumn Statement, ARLA now thinks rents are about to rise again.

The report also showed that in October the number of rental properties managed per branch dropped to 180. September recorded an average of 193. Demand from possible tenants fell as well to 34 tenants registered per branch, down from 40 one month earlier and this year’s highest number.

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“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,” said David Cox, ARLA managing director.

“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,” he added.

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