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UK rents not affected by tenant fees ban, study suggests

The cost of renting a room in the UK remains steady, up just 1% on last year to an average monthly rent of £600.

That is according to SpareRoom’s Q3 2019 Rental Index – a comprehensive overview of how the rental market is performing across the country based on nearly 300,000 room listings.

It says the fact that rents remain unchanged signifies that the recently-introduced tenancy fees ban, which prohibits landlords and agents from charging fees to tenants, hasn’t resulted in rental increases.

Regionally, Northern Ireland was the cheapest area to rent in the UK, with average rents of £352. However, Galashiels in Scotland was revealed as the most affordable town in the UK, with rents of £303. This was followed by Northern Ireland’s Bangor (£318) and Craigavon (£320).

At the other end of the scale, Guernsey continues to outrank London as the most expensive place to live in the UK with rents of £796, compared to London’s average of £782.

Narrowing in on the capital specifically, rents are up 4%, which matches the previous quarter. The highest rental increases are in West Central London, up 5%, followed by East Central, North West, South West and West – which have all increased by 4%.

What’s more, North Finchley (10%), Camberwell (7%) and Lee (7%) are in the top 10 postcode districts where rents have risen the most over the last year.

For Londoner’s on a tighter budget, East, North and South East London have seen the slowest rental increases, up just 2%, while Abbey Wood remains the cheapest area to live with average rents of £533.

Matt Hutchinson, communications director for SpareRoom, says: “Despite repeated warnings that the tenancy fees ban would drive rents up, so far that’s not been the case. Even with July, August and September being the busiest months for new tenancies we haven’t seen a significant bump in rents. It’s still early days but, for now, tenants will be breathing a sigh of relief.”

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