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Landlords hike rents after lettings fee ban

The number of tenants experiencing rent rises has surged after the ban on letting agency fees, ARLA Propertymark’s June Private Rented Sector Report has found.

In June more than half (55%) of agents saw landlords hike their rents, a 22% increase from May.

The lettings fee ban took place at the start of June, two and a half years after the plan was first announced.

David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said: “Unsurprisingly, rent costs hit a record high in June as tenants suffered the impact of the tenant fee ban.

“Ever since the government proposed the ban, we warned that tenants would continue to pay the same amount, but the cost would be passed onto tenants through increased rents, rather than upfront costs.

“In addition to the repercussions of the Tenant Fees Act, the proposed abolition of Section 21, coupled with the Mayor of London’s recent call for rent controls, will only cause the sector to shrink further.

“In turn this will increase pressure on the sector because it will discourage new landlords from investing in the market, causing rents to rise for tenants as less rental accommodation is available.”

Year-on-year, the number of tenants facing rent increases is up from 31% in June 2017, and 35% in June 2018.

Letting agents had an average of 199 properties under management per member branch in June, a decrease from 201 in May.

Demand from prospective tenants increased marginally in June, with the average number of house hunters registered per branch rising from 69 in May to 70 in June.

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