Private Rented Sector Report: October 2019

Rent costs fall but offer tenants little reassurance

Key findings:

  • The number of agents witnessing rents increases fell by 8 per cent in October
  • The number of tenants successfully negotiating a rent reduction rose to 1.6 per cent
  • The number of properties managed per letting agent branch increased in October


Rent prices

  • The number of tenants experiencing rent rises fell by eight percentage points in October with 50 per cent of agents witnessing an increase in rent prices, down from 58 per cent in September.
  • This is the lowest figure since June 2019, when the number of tenants experiencing rent rises was 55 per cent.
  • However, year-on-year, this figure is up from 24 per cent in October 2018, and 22 per cent in October 2017 [Figure 1].

Rent hikes

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

Rent negotiations

  • The number of tenants successfully negotiating a rent reduction increased to 1.6 per cent from 1.2 per cent in September.
  • Despite this increase, year-on-year this figure is down from 3.7 per cent in October 2018 and 2.5 per cent in October 2017.

Supply of rental stock and demand from tenants

  • The number of properties managed per branch rose by eight percentage points to 201 in October, from 193 in September.
  • Year-on-year supply is also up from 198 in October 2018 and 182 in October 2017.
  • Demand from prospective tenants remained the same with 72 registered prospective tenants per member branch.

Quote mark

'This month’s figures show some temporary relief for tenants; however, while the number of landlords increasing rents has fallen, year on year the figure remains worryingly high. Even looking at the increase in the number of tenants negotiating rent reductions, which should be a positive thing, when comparing year-on-year it is less than half of what it stood at in 2018.

'For far too long, successive governments of all political persuasions have passed significant amounts of complex legislation for landlords making the buy-to-let market a less attractive investment, and this coupled with Brexit uncertainty and a looming general election has left the sector strained. Unfortunately, rents are likely to remain high and tenants will continue to feel the pinch.'

David Cox

David Cox
Chief Executive
ARLA Propertymark