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Landlords raise rents as tenant numbers grow

Written by: Samantha Partington
Landlords have seized the opportunity to raise rents as growing numbers of tenants search for somewhere to live, a survey from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) found.

The average lettings branch registered 79 new tenants in June, the highest recorded for a June month when typically the summer lull begins to set in.

This is compared to 70 tenants on average in May and 82 in February, before lockdown began.

Just under 30 per cent of letting agents said landlords had increased rents in June, compared to 14 per cent in May. Despite this, it was still the lowest number of rent increases noted by agents for a June month since 2016.

Agents also reported an average of 200 properties being managed per branch; an all-time June high. This was down slightly from 208 in May, but represented strong activity for the time of year.

Regionally, Yorkshire & Humberside saw the highest number of properties managed, with an average of 264 per branch and Wales had the lowest number of properties on their books, with an average of just 104 per branch.

The average time properties were empty between tenancies decreased to four weeks in June from five weeks during May.

This is still the longest period on record properties have remained void between tenancies for the month of June, with a previously consistent figure of three weeks.

Phil Keddie, president of ARLA Propertymark, said: “Our latest figures show that the rental market is continuing to pick up following the Covid-19 lockdown.

“The record-breaking supply of rental stock and demand from tenants for this time of year paints an optimistic picture for the summer months, indicating that the market will be more active than the usual seasonal lull.

“As the market continues to recover from the pandemic, it’s essential that everyone continues to keep up with their rent in order to sustain the market and help boost the economy during these uncertain times.”

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