The number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions increased by 85% in October, according to ARLA Propertymark.
Its October Private Rented Sector (PRS) Report found the number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions jumped from 2% in September to 3.7% in October. This is the highest figure seen since records began in January 2015.
In line with this, the number of tenants experiencing rent increases fell for the second month running in October, with 24% of agents reporting that landlords increased rents, compared to 31% in September and 40% in August.
What’s more, the supply of available properties rose from 194 in September to 198 in October. This is the highest figure seen since December last year, when supply stood at 200, and is up 9% year-on-year.
Demand from prospective tenants also increased in October, with the number of house-hunters registered per branch rising to 71 on average, compared to 63 in September.
David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said the findings indicate that power in the rental market could be shifting towards tenants.
“However, it’s more likely that this is indicative of the time of year and come the New Year, we’ll see rent prices starting to creep up again,” he explained.
“There’s no real way of avoiding it unfortunately – with landlords facing continued regulatory change, increasing costs will be passed on to tenants.”
He concluded: “Those who don’t pass the costs on will eventually have to exit the market, which will increase the competition and boost prices. It’s a ‘lose, lose’ situation.”