Tenants are facing increasing competition as supply in the private rented sector dwindles, according to ARLA.
The reasons, it says, are that more landlords are selling up, while the number of ‘reluctant’ landlords has fallen.
According to ARLA, 17% of landlords are expected to sell one or all of their properties in the next 12 months – the highest proportion since 2008.
ARLA said its latest quarterly research found that 59% of agents reported more would-be tenants than properties available.
This figure represents the second successive increase, from 46% in Q3 2013 to 54% in Q1 2014.
Ian Potter, managing director of ARLA who retires this week, said: “Supply in the rental sector is suffering from the buoyant housing market, and there is a concern that some tenants may now face increased competition for the properties they want.
“While the departure of reluctant landlords is positive for those who are now able to sell, there is supply gap opening up in the private rental sector.”
* The Department for Communities and Local Government has launched a How to Rent guide for tenants. It recommends that tenants choose an agent that belongs to one of the accredited bodies and that they look for the SAFEagent logo.