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Spike in landlords exiting rental market amidst Fees Ban, ARLA reports

UK letting agents reported a rise in the number of landlords selling up in April, according to ARLA Propertymark’s April Private Rented Sector (PRS) Report.

In April, letting agents saw the highest number of landlords selling their buy-to-let (BTL) properties since May 2018.

The number of landlords exiting the market rose to five per branch – up from four in March.

April also saw an increase in the number of tenants experiencing rent rises, with 33% of agents witnessing landlords increasing them, up from 30% in March.

Year-on-year, this figure is up from 24% in April 2017 and 26% in April 2018.

What’s more, the number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions fell from 2.9% in March to 1.9% in April. This is the lowest figure seen since May 2016 when it stood at the same.

In regards to the supply of rental stock, the number of properties available dropped marginally to 202 per member branch in April from 203 in March, which was the highest since records began in 2015.

Year-on-year, supply is up 13% from 179 per branch in April 2018.

Demand from prospective tenants also decreased in April, with the number of house hunters registered per branch falling to 64 on average, compared to 67 in March.

“As predicted, April’s findings have shown an upsurge in the number of landlords selling their buy-to-let properties," David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, commented.

He said with the Tenant Fees Act now in force and the scrapping of Section 21, landlords are being forced to either increase rents or leave the market altogether.

“As supply of rental accommodation falls further, tenants will only be faced with more competition for properties, pushing up rent prices on good-quality, well-managed properties and decreasing tenants’ ability to negotiate rent reductions,” Cox added.

“In order to remain profitable, landlords will increase rents to cover the additional fees they are now faced with and as a result, tenants will continue to feel the burn.”

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