Private Rented Sector Report: December 2019

Number of tenants negotiating rent reductions reaches all time low

Key findings:

  • The number of tenants negotiating rent reductions fell to 1.1 per cent in December
  • The number of agents witnessing rents increases remained at 32 per cent
  • Demand from prospective tenants continued to fall with an average of 56 prospective tenants registered per branch

Rent prices

  • The number of tenants negotiating a rent reduction fell to 1.1 per cent from 1.6 per cent in November, which is the lowest figure since records began. 
  • However, the number of agents witnessing rent increases remained at 32 per cent in December.
  • Year-on-year, this figure is still up from 16 per cent in December 2017 and 18 per cent in December 2018 [Figure 1].

Rent hikes

Figure 1: Average number of tenants experiencing rent hikes in October year-on-year

Demand from tenants

  • Demand from prospective tenants fell last month with 56 prospective tenants registered per member branch, down from 67 in November.
  • Demand from prospective tenants has now fallen for the third consecutive month.

Supply of rental stock

  • However, the number of properties managed per branch rose last month from 203 to 206.
  • Year-on-year supply is up from 200 in December 2017 and 193 in December 2018.

Quote mark

Since the tenant fees ban came into effect, our data shows that rents reached an all-time high last year. While we have seen a slight drop in the number of agents witnessing landlords increasing rents since then, overall rents remain high and now it seems that tenants are finding it harder than ever to negotiate a reduction in rent.

As rents continue to rise, tenants will find it even more difficult to find suitable accommodation. Now that we have a new government in place, it’s important that long overdue legislative changes are implemented to make the market attractive again for both tenants and landlords.

David Cox

David Cox
ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive