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Majority of landlords will freeze rents in first half of 2016

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Nine in 10 landlords say they will not raise rents on existing tenancies during the first half of 2016, research reveals. 

In 10 out of 12 regions of the UK, rents on new tenancies stayed the same or dropped over the three months to November, Homelet’s latest rental index shows.

Just 34% of landlords say they plan to push up rents over the next 12 months.

Martin Totty, CEO of Barbon Insurance Group, which owns Homelet, said the research showed that most landlords have a positive relationship with their tenants and are keen to keep them.

“Just 4% [of landlords] said they were unhappy with their current tenants, while 18% said high tenant turnover was the most stressful part of being a landlord, more than any other single issue.

“Being a landlord is a long-term investment and attrition of tenants is not something landlords desire; our own clients tell us they would rather retain a good tenant over the longer period than seek additional income,” he added.

During the three-month period covering September to November, the average rent on a tenancy outside of London totalled £743 a month, 0.7% down on the previous three months. Rents in London also fell during the same period by 1% to average £1,544.

Yorkshire and Humberside and the East Midlands were home to the highest rise in rental prices, increasing by 0.8% and 1.2%, respectively.

Wales and the South West experienced the biggest fall in rents on new tenancies from September to November, with prices dropping by 3.2% in Wales to total £595, and 2.6% in the South West where new tenancies cost an average of £849 a month.

While rents fell in the three months to November, Homelet found that on an annual basis, rents on new tenancies surged by 3.8%. Growth in London was even more significant over the 12 months to November, with the average rent on new tenancies rising 7.5%.

However, the annual growth in rental values in the capital slowed from a peak of over 12% in January to 6% in September. In contrast, the rest of the UK saw a marked increase in average rents throughout the spring and summer months.

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