Ban on fees will inevitably raise rents, says ARLA boss

The ban on letting agent fees combined with tax hikes on landlords will “unpreventably” raise rents, ARLA managing director David Cox said.

ARLA yesterday said that the number  of agents reporting rent rises has been steadily falling since March.

Just 18% of agents reported increases in October.

This is down 6% from September when 24% of agents saw rent increases, and down 14% from March when a record 32% of agents witnessed rises in rental levels.

ARLA also reported that demand from prospective tenants fell in October, with 34 prospective tenants registered per letting agent branch compared to 40 in September, which was the highest number this year.

David Cox, managing director of ARLA, was critical of the announcement in the Autumn Statement.

He said: “Just when rents were starting to stabilise, the Chancellor has thrown the biggest curve ball, meaning that rents will unpreventably rise when the tax changes and letting fees ban come into effect.

“In terms of supply and demand, our findings reflect seasonal expectations and show the market is slowing in the final quarter.

“With fewer properties available to rent and a drop in the number of prospective tenants registering interest, tenants tend to stay in their current properties until the New Year arrives.”

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