Will a general election be good news for Landlords?

Will a general election be good news for Landlords?

The latest Private Rented Sector Report from ARLA Propertymark, the UK’s foremost professional and regulatory body for letting agents suggests that government need to recognise the importance of increasing supply for tenants at a sensible price point, and the only way this can be achieved is by making the market more attractive for landlords.

With the tightening of the tax regime and the recent lettings fee ban, landlords are finding it increasing difficult to maintain their returns. This inevitably means that a landlord either suffers the lower returns, increases the rent or decides to pull out of the market.

This is evident by the latest research which shows the number of tenants experiencing rent rises fell marginally in September, with 58 per cent of agents witnessing landlords increasing them. This is a decrease from August where 63 per cent of agents witnessed landlords increasing them. However, year-on-year, this figure is up from 27 per cent in September 2017 and 31 per cent in September 2018, as rent prices remain high. Tenants in the North East of England were the worst affected with 86 per cent of agents witnessing an increase in rent prices.

Number of tenants receiving rent hikes year on year in September

Letting agents managed 193 properties per member branch on average in September, down from 197 in August. The number of properties under management is the highest in the West Midlands, where agents managed 271 properties on average per branch. Supply of properties is lowest in the South East where agents typically had 152 properties on their books.

Average Number of Properties per office under management by region in September

Demand for rental properties dropped marginally in September, with letting agents registering interest from 72 new prospective tenants, as opposed to 76 in August. The number of tenants registered per branch is the highest in London, where agents had 103 new prospective tenants on their books. Demand from tenants is at its lowest in the North East of England with 40 tenants on average per branch.

Demand from tenants by office and region in September

The number of landlords selling their BTL properties remained at an average of four per member branch in September. Letting agents in the East of England and Scotland witnessed the lowest number, at three per member branch.

In September, the number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions fell marginally to 1.2 per cent, from 1.3 per cent in August. Year on year this is down from 2 per cent in September 2018 and 2.4 per cent in September 2017. It was highest London where 2.6 per cent of tenants negotiated reductions, but lowest in Wales where only 0.3 per cent of tenants did.

In September, tenants stayed in their properties for 19 months on average, down from 20 months in August. Those in the East Midlands stayed in their properties for the longest at 24 months, compared to just 12 months in Scotland and the North East.

The average time properties were empty between tenancies remained at three weeks in September.

So let's hope that once Brexit and the General election is out of the way, who ever comes out on top recognises the importance of increasing supply and give landlords a break.

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