Landlords opt for rent rises as tenant demand grows


Growing demand for rental property among tenants is driving many landlords to implement rent rises, according to figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

In its April 2011 UK Residential Lettings Survey, the organisation reports a net balance of 42 per cent of surveyors who saw rents rise in the quarter up to and including the month of the report.

This is a barometer-style figure, calculated by subtracting the percentage who saw a fall from the proportion who saw a rise – meaning the actual gross figure for those who saw rents increase over the three-month period could be substantially higher.

James Scott-Lee, spokesperson for RICS UK, says: “Although we are beginning to see more mortgages aimed at first-time buyers, many potential homeowners are still restricted from getting a foot on the property ladder.”

This, he explains, leaves them forced to rent in a market for residential property that is already awash with tenant demand.

Over the quarter, flats were the most likely type of property to be added to the list of available rental property in the UK, with a net balance of six per cent of surveyors seeing instructions to let flats from private landlords.

Meanwhile, houses showed subdued performance, with just two per cent more surveyors seeing them added to portfolios than reported a decline in the availability of houses to rent – a fall of three percentage points over the quarter.