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Majority of tenants have experienced rent rises in past year

Nick Cheek
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Nick Cheek

Around 60% of renters were asked to pay higher rent in the last year, up from 50% in November and 45% a year ago, research has found.

According to Generation Rent, who surveyed 1,021 supporters, around 20% of all private renters were asked to pay an additional £100 or more a month, up from 12% in November.

Two third of people facing rises of £100 or more are already paying that amount, with 15% negotiating it down and 10% moving out.

Around 90% of people facing rises of £50 or less successfully negotiated the rent increase down.

Why are rents rising?

When asked for the reasoning for the rent increase, the most common reason was higher market rents at 17%, an increase from 16% in November. Around 12% of renters said that their rent had increased due to higher mortgage payments, which is up from 4% in November.

Cost of living and inflation was also a prominent reason cited by 11% of private renters. This is up from 7% in November.

Generation Rent said based on UK Finance and Bank of England figures around 14% of private tenancies are “vulnerable to unsustainable increases in mortgage rates”.

It said this was equivalent to around 800,000 households and meant “interest rates are less of a factor in setting rents than wider market forces”.

The report added that 20% of private renters had been forced to move in the past year, up from 14% in 2022.

Around 12% were given a formal Section 21 notice and 5% were asked to leave without a formal notice.

Mass viewings, bidding wars and photo ID on the rise

The firm said that mass viewings were up from 9% five years ago to 39% in the past year and bidding wars were now more prominent at 21%. The latter is up from 3% pre-2018.

Offering CV photos has also become more common, going from 9% pre-2018 to 22% now.

Tenants are also being asked to sign longer tenancies, offer multiple months’ rent up front and being asked for a guarantor.

Generation Rent is calling on the government to abolish Section 21 evictions and to make it easier for tenants to challenge rent rises. It is also calling for Local Housing Allowances to be relinked with market rents and build more homes.

Govt needs to put tenants first

Ben Twomey, chief executive of Generation Rent, said: “A cost of renting crisis is forcing tenants to bear the worst of the economic turmoil right now. While many mortgage holders have yet to see their monthly payments increase, most private renters have already faced a rent hike this past year.

“So far only a minority of landlords have been affected so badly by rising rates that they are passing them on to tenants. But the rising cost of rent is a much wider problem caused by the failure to build enough homes where people want to live, and the ability of landlords to raise rents regardless of what their tenant can afford.”

He continued: “The Government’s response to this needs to put tenants first: prevent unaffordable rent increases, and protect tenants in their homes if their landlord needs to sell. Tenants relying on benefits need their housing support raised to cover what rents actually cost, and, to meet demand, we need a massive programme of building, particularly of social housing.”