Lettings News

Supply of London Rental Properties at Critical Point

Rose Jinks - March 1, 2018

The supply of London rental properties on the lettings market has dropped to a critical point, according to the latest report from ARLA Propertymark (the Association of Residential Letting Agents).

The number of properties available to let in London stood at 46% below the national average in January, the study shows.

As landlords are increasingly priced out of investing and running their lettings businesses in the capital, tenants are finding themselves up against stiff competition for London rental properties.

In January, letting agents in the capital typically managed 99 properties per branch, compared to a national average of 184. It was also the lowest region for property supply in December, but stood at 130 during the month, compared to a national average of 200.

David Cox, the Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark, comments on the new findings: “The rental market in London should be thriving – the capital is a hub for business and culture, and attracts a huge influx of new residents every year. But the prospect of being a landlord is becoming less tenable, as potential buy-to-let investors are deterred by increased taxes and ever more complicated legislation – and higher property prices in London are making it becoming more and more difficult for landlords to make ends meet.

“Government policies designed to help renters now seem to be having the opposite effect, as landlords are moving away from using professional agents. This puts tenants at risk of falling into the hands of rogue landlords, or novice ones who don’t have any experience in the sector.”

Cox is of course referring to the upcoming ban on letting agent fees, which will prohibit agents from charging upfront fees to tenants. As such, many agents will pass on higher costs to landlords, who may then decide to ditch their agents in favour of self-managing their properties.

The latest ARLA Propertymark figures also indicate that Scottish tenants are experiencing rent hikes due to stricter tenancy rules.

We will continue to keep you up to date with all developments and changes throughout the UK private rental sector.