ARLA Propertymark has reported that the number of tenants experiencing rent rises increased to the highest figure on record in May, with 45% of agents witnessing landlords increasing them.
Year-on-year, this figure is up 61 percentage points, from 27% in May 2017, and 28% in May 2018.
In May, the number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions fell from 1.9% in April to 1.6%. This is the lowest figure seen since January 2016 when it stood at 1.5%.
The number of properties available to rent dropped marginally to 201 per member branch in May, from 202 in April.
Demand from prospective tenants increased in May, with the number of house hunters registered per branch rising to 69 on average, compared to 64 in April.
Year on year, demand is up 15 percentage points, from 60 house hunters registered per branch in May 2018.
In May, letting agents saw a slight decrease in the number of landlords selling their buy-to-let properties.
The number of landlords exiting the market fell from five per branch in April, to four in May.
David Cox, ARLA Propertymark chief executive, said: “As predicted, last month’s findings have shown an increase in rent prices in advance of the Tenant Fees Act coming into force. This rise in the number of tenants experiencing rent hikes is the highest we’ve ever had recorded, and rents will likely continue to rise as they must now cover the agent’s legitimate costs for setting up a tenancy.
“Competition for properties will be increasing as the supply of properties available to rent falls, but the demand from prospective tenants grows. This ultimately pushes up rent prices on well-managed properties and leaves tenants feeling the pinch.”