The number of landlords increasing rents declined last month but is still “worryingly high”, ARLA Propertymark warns.
The trade body’s October Private Rented Sector Report found that the number of tenants experiencing rent rises fell by eight percentage points in October, with 50% of letting agents witnessing an increase in rent prices, down from 58% in September.
This is the lowest figure since June, when the number of tenants experiencing rent rises was 55%, but it is still up compared with the 22% recorded in October 2018.
Agents reported that more tenants successfully negotiated rent reductions last month, at 1.6% from 1.2% in October.
Despite this increase, the figure is down year-on-year from 3.7% in October 2018 and 2.5% in October 2017.
Agents also reported an eight percentage point increase in stock per branch to 201 in October, from 193 in September.
This is up from 198 in October 2018 and 182 in October 2017.
Demand from prospective tenants remained the same with 72 registered prospective tenants per member branch.
David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said: “This month’s figures show some temporary relief for tenants. However, while the number of landlords increasing rents has fallen, year on year the figure remains worryingly high.
“Even looking at the increase in the number of tenants negotiating rent reductions, which should be a positive thing, when comparing year-on-year it is less than half of what it stood at in 2018.
“For far too long, successive governments of all political persuasions have passed significant amounts of complex legislation for landlords, making the buy-to-let market a less attractive investment, and this coupled with Brexit uncertainty and a looming General Election has left the sector strained.
“Unfortunately, rents are likely to remain high and tenants will continue to feel the pinch.”