Rents have surged enormously in the three months since the tenants fees ban was introduced, says one agent.
Linley & Simpson, an independent with 16 branches across North and West Yorkshire, said it is seeing an average rent increase of between 4% and 5% on new lets agreed.
CEO Will Linley said that in his 30 years of working in the sector, the uplift in rent is unprecedented.
He said: “Agents like us warned the Government long and hard about the unintended consequences of its approach, yet our voice and our suggested alternatives were ignored.
“Our fears are now being borne out with tenants facing higher rents almost overnight.
“And with rising demand and a shortage of new buy-to-let activity – another far-reaching result of the ban – the upward trend in monthly rents is only going to accelerate.”
He added: “The anti-landlord tax regime being pursued by Government is supressing supply and, in the longer term, the problem will deepen as some landlords choose to off-load their portfolio.
“Supply and demand is increasingly out of kilter and we are striving hard to redress this imbalance.
“Meanwhile, there is added pressure from landlords to increase returns, in the face of rising tax liabilities and higher agency costs following the fee ban.
“These are complex dynamics which regrettably, turning to the future, look set to deliver a poor deal for tenants.”
The agency’s data shows that average rents in its portfolio of more than 8,000 properties have risen by 5.6% year-on-year, but that the uplift on new lets agreed since the start of the fee ban on June 1 has been between 4% and 5%.
The Linley & Simpson research also put into perspective the number of tenants who delayed their move until the ban came into force.
The number of move-ins during the first three months of the ban almost matched the total for the previous five months of 2019.
Some branches – such as the in-demand Leeds city centre – reported record numbers of move-ins during June itself, more than double its monthly average.