Two million tenants likely to be clobbered by rent hikes as landlords face further costs

Two million tenants across the UK could be hit with rent rises totalling £46m a month, as 40% of landlords say they will increase rents in 2018.

The finding has been scaled up after a survey of 1,000 landlords conducted for online letting agent MakeUrMove.

The average monthly rent in the UK already stands at £918, according to MakeUrMove’s own figures.

A further rise, says Alexandra Morris, managing director of  the firm, will pile the pressure on tenants already struggling with stagnant wages and the rising cost of living.

She said the impending tenant fees ban, loss of mortgage interest tax reliefs and regulatory changes have all combined to create a perfect storm of financial pressures on landlords, leaving nearly half of them with no choice but to hike up tenants’ rents to cover their costs.

As a result, tenants face paying an average of £23 a month more, totalling £414 across a typical 18-month tenancy.

Tenants will feel the impact most severely in London where half of landlords say they are planning to increase rents. In the capital,  tenants are already paying an average monthly rent of £1,274.

In the north-east and Scotland, tenants will also be badly affected, with 46% and 45% respectively of landlords saying they will be forced to increase rents due to new laws and regulations.

Nearly all (97%) of the landlords surveyed  believed it was important to keep tenants happy, suggesting rent increases are a last resort.

Morris said: “Rents have already been increasing year on year, and it’s likely that this will be the year that sees UK tenants feel the biggest impact yet from the recent changes introduced to the private rental sector.

“From our experience, we know many tenants are already stretching their monthly budgets to afford rental properties, and additional rent increases could be the final straw, tipping them into debt or rent arrears.”

Morris is also forecasting that, as a direct result of the Government’s landlord-bashing agenda, between 400,000 and 500,000 rental properties will be put on the sales market. Only a proportion, she says, are likely to be bought by other landlords.

Morris said that around half of private landlords are casual or accidental, and own just one rental property. Attempts to professionalise these individuals are doomed to failure.

She said that the Government should instead recognise the contribution they make to the housing market “and start to support them” for the sake of tenants.

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17 Comments

  1. jeremy1960

    No **** Sherlock!

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  2. Sunbeam175

    And the letters that go out to tenants telling them about the rent hikes should read ‘ Dear Tenant, due to Shelter and the Government interfering with a sector that they clearly have little understanding, they have created a situation whereby landlords have no choice but to increase your rent …………etc

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    1. Peter

      to play devil’s advocate, might I suggest you also add:- and the agents that charge such high fees.

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      1. Robert May

        and to add some balance, some agents charged such high fees.

        A lot of tenants think the deposit is a fee and the rent is a fee; of a fairly typical £2500 for an AST an agent will get £150, the government £40 in VAT and tax on profit, about £900 is rent and the rest is deposit.

         

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        1. Peter

          I should have said those agents rather than the agents as I can see how my comment could infer all agents, which was not my intention. Still, only one thumbs down!

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          1. CountryLass

            And that was a mistake from me I’m afraid! I read it quickly and clicked down, then re-read it and it wouldn’t let me change it!

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            1. Peter

              Forgiven

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    2. Room101

      Taking part in a charitable event of some magnitude, some years ago, I raised a not insignificant amount of money for Shelter.  Would it be rude of me to ask for the money back so I can give it to a charity who doesn’t verschlimmbesserung

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  3. Realitycheck97

    Add to the above the cost of local licensing; not just the fees but associated compliance costs (although landlords should be fit and proper; no issue with that).

    No one has totted up the CUMULATIVE effect of all recent measures.

    No one has carried out an impact assessment on the viability of letting, and the effect on PRS supply, of these measures.

    Thus no one knows how many landlords will exit, and by how much rents will rise due to constructed supply. But rise they will.

    It is those who are most vulnerable, the low paid, the single income families, those who cannot work, who are already suffering most as landlord cherry pick the best tenants.

    Driving SME landlords out will marginally increase supply for FTBs. But 3 years ago, RICS modelled a 10% transfer of PRS stock to owner occupied. Result on house prices for FTBs? A 1% drop. The landlord-bashing dogma helps no one. But it really hurts the poorest tenants.

    Well done local and Westminster Government and Treasury (all disjointed, knee-jerking your policy calls). Well done lobbyists for leveraging the politics of envy for your blinkered campaigns.

    PS. Most PRS landlords don’t increase rents even in line with inflation during tenancies, skewing average rent statistics downwards. This creates a latency to rental growth figures that will shake out when relet to new tenants. But check out new asking rents; we’re seeing 10-20% uplifts on the year. Watch this space – calls for rent control will grow.

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    1. JMK

      Agree completely.  Look at the appalling cost to councils due to making the low income families homeless.

      https://www.24housing.co.uk/news/councils-spend-near-500m-on-temporary-accommodation/

      And this is only just the beginning of it.

      We know from what happened in Ireland that the same will happen here, only worse because S24 (plus everything else) is more draconian than the Irish experiment.

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  4. CountryLass

    Well, Duh!

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  5. Deltic2130

    Couldn’t agree more. It’s already happening and will get worse. Much worse. The idiot landlord haters refuse to believe homelessness is rocketing and that rents will rise. But they’ll see. Its interesting too that this report thinks rent will rise by £23 a month because only the other day that complete buffoon Patrick Collinson in the Guardian was bemoaning the fact that tenants only had £23 a month left after they have paid their current ‘extortionate’ rent! A perfect storm is brewing, for which we all will continue to get the blame!

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  6. The_Maluka

    Calm down everybody, to unencumbered landlords like me this is a golden opportunity to increase rents, make more profit and then blame it on section 24.  Well done George (Osborne) for making enabling me to make even greater profit.

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  7. IWONDER36

    The government could’ve helped by scrapping VAT on application fees, instead of forcing agents to hide it. Now they stand to gain again by increased tax revenue from higher rents and the incorporation of Landlord portfolios.

    Just who are they supposed to be helping!

    Smoke and mirrors policies!

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  8. Will

    Of course the future problem will be that commy corbyn and his comrades will then use the inevitable rent increases as further justification to demand rent control. All of this fed by the daft conservatives policies of forcing rent increases by never ending extreme policies to tackle a few rogue landlords.  It is a sad fact that landlords are politically weak as the market is fractured. A mass protest by landlords such as refusing to accept any benefits clients whatsoever would really pile the pressure on, and show musle – as nasty as this might be how can landlords demostrate their displeasure?. The RLA & NLA may do their best but are largely ignored by Government.  The PRS was not orinigally set up for local authorities and social landlords to asset strip their supply knowing the PRS would soak up their target tenants. You will never have landlords praised for their investment, no matter how good any landlord is, so don’t expect it. My feelings are we are given a hard time so perhaps we should live up to their expectations!!!!  If someone tries to bully me I tend to fight back as a natural response.

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    1. JMK

      I think it’s already happening Will.  Landlords are leaving the social market in their droves.  Councils are begging for more private landlords to house social tenants, offering golden hello’s and anything else they can think of to entice the PRS to take their people.  It’s rarely working from what I can see.  S24, UC, benefit caps, selective licensing and the ever-increasing legislation is making it impossible to work with councils.

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      1. CountryLass

        And it is unfair, as some of my Landlords have refused Tenants who claim any sort of benefit, even tax credits! I claimed some credits myself before I got promoted, I was entitled to them and it eased things in school holidays when I had to pay for extra childcare. The Government 3year free childcare for all only applies to term-time, leaving parents with over 2 months of extra childcare to fund.
        So I would have been ineligible to rent some of the properties I was marketing, a fact I found most amusing!

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