Rental demand hits new record

Steve Lumley·6 July 2021·4 min read
Rental demand hits new record

Rental demand hits new record

Rental demand from tenants has hit a new record for May, according to one organisation.

The figures from Arla Propertymark show the number of new prospective tenants registering on average per member branch has risen from April's figure of 82, to 97 in May.

The previous record was set for May last year when there was an average of 70 prospective tenants being registered per branch.

The region with the highest number of new tenants registering is for agents in the West Midlands.

Arla members there saw an average of 132 new tenants registering, while the lowest was for members in Northern Ireland with an average of 25 new tenants.

Landlords have been increasing rents

Other figures published by Arla reveal that 68% of agents say that landlords have been increasing rents in May, compared with April's figure of 67%.

The average number of properties being managed rose from April's figure of 201, to May's figure of 203.

In May 2020, the average figure being managed per agent was 208.

Tenants are negotiating a rent reduction

However, the number of tenants who are successfully negotiating a rent reduction has fallen from April's figure of 1.3%, to May's figure of 0.9% - that's the lowest figure for May since records began.

Arla Propertymark's chief policy adviser, Mark Hayward, said: "We continue seeing incredible tenant demand with a record-breaking number of prospective tenants registering for May per branch."

He added that this is ‘showcasing the booming rental market’.

Mr Hayward also pointed out that Arla will be monitoring the rental sector over the coming months to see whether private rental investors are being put off by the strength of the sales market - and for any potential taxation plans on landlord-owned properties.

The managing director of Accommodation for Students, Simon Thompson, said: "The news from Arla Propertymark is to be welcomed because it shows the continuing strength of the rental sector.

"For those landlords with the right properties in the right area, there will be strong demand for their rental home and help make their property investment a success."

Call to clarify Right to Rent for landlords

Meanwhile, one organisation is calling for the government to clarify the future of Right to Rent checks for landlords in England.

The inventory service provider No Letting Go says that more transparency is needed post-Brexit and post-pandemic.

They say that the transition phase to leave the European Union had a grace period on the checks which was set to end on June 30.

However, they say that landlords face uncertainty and confusion over what will happen to the checks after that date with the Home Office providing some information about the potential changes.

The firm's founder, Nick Lyons, said: "With so many people in the system waiting to be approved (under the transition phase), we could have from July a situation where the status of hundreds of thousands of people is in limbo or unknown.

"This will cause problems for landlords and letting agents when it comes to confirming someone's eligibility to rent."