40% of agents saw landlords increasing rent in September, compared to 48% in August, according to the ARLA Propertymark September Private Rented Sector (PRS) report.
This is also 18% lower than in September 2019, when the figure stood at 58%, which ARLA claims shows that landlords are providing support for tenants during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The number of new prospective tenants also fell for the first time in September since the housing market reopened in May. The average letting agent branch registered 82 new tenants this month, a decrease from 101 in August. The number of new tenants per branch in September is the lowest figure recorded since February this year, when there were also 82 tenants registered ahead of the market temporarily closing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The number of rental properties available per letting agent branch fell from 208 in August to 193 in September. Year-on-year this is the same figure as in September 2019.
The number of landlords selling their buy-to-let properties rose from four per branch in August, to five in September. Year-on-year this is the highest figure on record2 for the month of September with the previous record sitting at four in both 2018 and 2019.
Angela Davey, president of ARLA Propertymark, said: “Our latest figures show that letting agents are continuing to support landlords and their tenants during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic with rent increases down by almost a fifth year on year and renters staying in their tenancies for longer. As we head towards winter and further uncertainty due to increasing lock down measures, it is vital that tenancies are maintained.
“To this end, with the furlough scheme finishing in October, Westminster must follow the Scottish and Welsh authorities in providing a package of support to tenants to keep the rent flowing. This is absolutely vital in keeping people with Covid-related arrears in their homes and ensuring that landlords continue to have funds to make mortgage payments.”