In its June Private Rented Sector report, ARLA Propertymark said 31% of letting agents saw rents rise for tenants in June, up from 27% in May. This is the highest level since April 2016 when the same percentage of agents reported hikes.
However, during the month the number of properties available for rent increased marginally, while tenant demand fell. David Cox, ARLA Propertymark chief executive, said this is a step towards rebalancing supply and demand.
Properties available went up to 190 managed per member branch, from 189 in May. Year-on-year, this has risen 8% from 176.
Tenant demand fell slightly, with 61 new tenants registered per branch. In April and May, agents registered 65 on average.
Overwhelmingly, letting agents said they would like government to scrap the impending ban on letting agent fees (83%). Almost three quarters (73%) would also like to see improved enforcement for rogue agents.
More than three in five (62%) want the new government to regulate the sector, while 26% think they should provide tax breaks to encourage longer term tenancies.
Cox said: “With the cost of living on the rise and inflationary pressures tightening, the last thing tenants need is for their rents to continue rising. However, the fact that supply looks to be rising, while demand has dropped slightly indicates a move in the right direction for the market.
“Ultimately, to stop rent prices from increasing too much, we need to find the balance between supply and demand. While there’s still a long way to go, if the supply of rental stock continues to increase, and the number of tenants searching for new properties drops off, we’ll be making headway towards achieving this.”