Landlords under pressure to justify rent hikes as rate of rises increases

Tenants saw rents increase for the third consecutive month in February.

The latest index of private housing rental prices from the ONS shows rents rose by 1.1% annually in the UK last month, up from 1% in January.

The trend comes after rental growth remained flat for much of 2018, according to ONS data.

Northern Ireland had the highest rate of growth among the UK regions at 2%.

The slowest growth was in Scotland, where rents increased by just 0.7% in the 12 months to January, while prices were up 1.1% in both England and Wales.

When London – where rents rose 0.2% – is excluded from England, rents increased by 1.6%.

Commenting on the figures, Tom Mundy, chief operating officer at Goodlord, said: “The trend of rising rents that we’ve seen since January 2015 shows no signs of abating, despite prices in the London rental market only rising 0.2% in the 12 months to February 2019.

“Whilst this is good news for landlords, wage stagnation means these rent rises are set to hit generation rent extremely hard.

“Despite record levels of employment, more and more young people are on course to become life-long renters, meaning every month we see rents rise is another month where a whole generation will feel the impact on their bank balance and their standard of living.

“To justify these increases, I think now, more than ever, landlords and the wider market have an increasing responsibility to ensure the experience of renting is positive and enjoyable for everyone involved.”

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13 Comments

  1. ian@ferndownestates.com

    There is no need for landlords to justify the rent increases. Rents will continue to increase as demand increases and supply decreases.

    What landlords will need to more conscious of is that they are investing in their rental properties to ensure they maintain the levels required under HHSRS guidelines. This will be more critical than ever due to section 21 changes, but as importantly due to the fact that the tenants will be able to move freely after June 1 when tenant fees are removed from the marketplace.

    When tenants are able to vote with their feet more freely, we will see an interesting change to the lettings industry. Will those landlords who under invest in their properties be targeted by tenants who work the system to occupy and then demand / sue those landlords to get their rent returned (free living) or properties improved?

    Landlords offering quality properties will continue to benefit from increased rents but may need to consider how they choose to retain the best tenants. This could be by considering lower rent increases each anniversary

     

     

     

     

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  2. Will2

    It is no surprise such increases have been demanded by shelter, generation rent etc by their demanding changes in the market. Even government were made aware in their impact assessments when introducing legislation. Trade bodies and property professionals have been saying all these changes eg local authority licensing, deposit schemes, extra safety certification, extra admin, nonsense how to rent papers, right to rent checks, fee bans etc will all add costs. All that is happening is they are getting what they wished for. Welcome to the real world it is what shelter and the likes had demanded so don’t complain.

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  3. seenitall

    Sit down, welcome to Mystic Meg …..pass my palm with 1 gold coin and I will foretell the future……..   the crystal ball is murky,  wait……its clearing……I can see……in the not distant future……    1 June 2019 actually…….. that…. wait…..rents will increase……  they will jump when a property is re-let….its going murky again……..I can see smug faces who work in a company that sounds like Shell?  its gone murky again.   Pass me another gold coin and I will continue… 
    referal fee from Mike the Mage……..?    well yes a cup of tea and flowers…….  right to fortell the future?…..err well not I havnt checked- pass me some gold and I will….eh? I cant charge for that  I didnt forsee that. 
    Pass me 4x gold and I will fortell the future  – overheads dont you know.   

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    1. Will2

      Seenitall,  if I send you my gold coin to predict if Corbyn the comm is going to get in at some point so I can sell my investments before they are totally screwed up beyond redemption?  Please help save me from financial ruin.

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      1. seenitall

        I’ll ask Mystic Meg your question for free Will2 – oh dear  –      Mystic said ”  I can often predict and see strange things but ‘The Corbyn’ is on the dark side of the mist and I dare not open that portal after my last foray there when asked about  ‘The Abbott and Home Secretary’.   ”  then my old crystal ball shattered and the pieces turned to jelly and resembled an  amoeba  ?!?         I’ll leave you to interpret that message means nothing to me.

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        1. Will2

          Well thanks for your efforts.  I had feared it would have been on the dark side.

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  4. DASH94

    “To justify these increases, I think now, more than ever, landlords and the wider market have an increasing responsibility to ensure the experience of renting is positive and enjoyable for everyone involved.”

    Positive and enjoyable?   It’s a daily struggle to make it legal and profitable at the moment.

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  5. natural_selection

    Simple, two words, Supply & Demand.

     

    Goodlord agent bashing again, surprise surprise. Renters have the similar pressures as first time buyers, who end up paying more as house prices increase and competing with BTL investors. Welcome to capitalism. Maybe a more productive stance would be to lobby the government to build more affordable housing and more social housing for those who cannot afford to be in the PRS?

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  6. Gromit

    “Whilst this is good news for landlords, wage stagnation means these rent rises are set to hit generation rent extremely hard.”

     

    Which do you live on? Average rents up 1.1% average wages up 3.4%.  How exactly is this going to make harder for renters?

     

    CPI is 1.8% i.e. everything else we buy is increasing 50% faster than rents. Why don’t you ask Tesco, ASDA et al to justify their higher price rises?

    Pillock!

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    1. JMK

      Yea Gromit.  Any renter that is only seeing this small increase should think themselves lucky.  S24, Selective Licensing, maintenance costs (materials and labour), rules & regulations are all adding to landlord costs.  This level of increase is nothing.  Renters should also think themselves lucky if they can find anywhere to rent.  With the PRS contracting by around 1000 properties a week it will get harder and harder to find somewhere to call home.

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  7. Andy Halstead

    Tom Monday pays a lot to be an expert!

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  8. Vanessa Warwick

    I am curious as to the claim that living in rented accommodation impacts on your “standard of living”.  That seems something of an assumption.

    A friend of mine rents a luxury farmhouse and it doesn’t cost the earth. He is a wealthy and successful business man but has made an active choice not to buy his own home and start paying a mortgage, maintenance costs etc.

    Two of our rental properties are of better standard than our own home!  When the TV programme “The Week the Landlords Moved In” contacted me and asked me to stay in one of our rental properties, I suggested one of these houses and sent them the photos.  They declined to have me as a contributor as it did not fit their narrative of landlords offering sub-standard accommodation.  The researcher kept saying “haven’t you got anything we could visit that’s in need of refurbishment and that you’ve lost touch with the condition of … ?”.

    The rental market is highly diverse with properties to suit all pockets – that is healthy.  There are people who have no intention of ever buying a home, but might like to live in a 4 bed house in a leafy street in London.  Not all rentals are sub-standard, damp, poorly maintained etc.  Those that are – tenants should have awareness to report their landlord to the local authority, not suffer in silence.

    If rents rise, which I personally don’t believe they are at present, then it will be because the supply of rental stock is diminishing due to landlords being forced out of the sector by Section 24 tax regime.

    I am hearing more and more of landlords selling up and more and more adverts are appearing on facebook from tenants seeking properties to rent because their landlord is exiting.  Obviously this is only anecdotal evidence and any changes in supply/demand will take a long time to filter through.

    This piece is somewhat weak as seems to be based on assumption that the private rented sector is “second class” to owning your own home.  I don’t find that narrative particularly accurate or appropriate.

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    1. Will2

      Spot on Vanessa, but you are in property.  If you were a BBC reporter or other journalist wishing to provide entertainment such a truthful representation just would not do,  ask Mr Richard Bilton of Panorama.  The impact (Osbourne effect) of S24 was known and its effects predicted and indeed predicable  by those is with CSE grade 5/O level grade F  in simple economics.  So who is responible;  the Government.  The term Assured Shorthold gives a clue to the market Government wanted to create; the terms of which most landlord invested into and in what people were signing up to. However, the politicians will twist whatever they want to mean the opposite when it suits them.  They already knew that long term secure tenancies as created by the 1977 Rent Act were not an area private investors would want to invest in. THUS IT HAS ALL BEEN A BIG POLITICAL CON. Every time a polictician opens their mouth lies come out!

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