Property brokers blamed for frenzy in UK rental market

Letting brokers whose revenues have been boosted by larger rents have been blamed for fuelling prices which are “making life more durable for tenants”.

Rents on new tenancies within the UK elevated 12 per cent within the 12 months to December, in line with Zoopla, in contrast with an inflation charge of round 9 per cent.

In London, common rents have risen 17 per cent in a 12 months, including to the stress on tenants who’re additionally contending with steep rises within the prices of meals, vitality and gas.

Technology Lease and the London Renters Union, teams that characterize tenants, urged the frenzied market circumstances had been being fanned by landlords and their letting brokers.

When tenants going through hire rises requested their landlords for a proof, 17 per cent cited letting agent recommendation as the explanation for elevating the hire, in line with a survey of greater than 1,000 renters in England carried out by Technology Lease.

That in contrast with 11 per cent of landlords citing mortgage prices as the explanation for rising hire.

The survey discovered {that a} third of potential tenants had been requested to attend mass viewings with different renters, 1 / 4 had been requested for a number of months’ hire prematurely and a fifth had been advised to bid up rents to safe a house.

Dan Wilson Craw, deputy director of Technology Lease, mentioned hire will increase had been “signs of a market the place there’s a scarcity of properties, however letting brokers are making life more durable for tenants, making the entire course of extra anxious” with aggressive bidding processes and mass viewings.

Brokers refuted the claims that their behaviour had distorted the market.

“Costs are going up due to tenants competing and making competing affords,” mentioned Greg Tsuman, letting director at property agent Martyn Gerard and president-elect of commerce physique the Affiliation of Residential Letting Brokers.

Man Gittins, chief government of property agent Foxtons, mentioned: “Folks need to see these properties. If everyone seems to be combating for the property, it’s anxious. Guess what, it’s anxious for the agent too, it’s not an atmosphere we welcome.”

“We sympathise with the renters of London; it’s a provide and demand dynamic that isn’t wholesome,” mentioned Gittins, including that Foxtons was registering 18,000 tenants per week within the peak summer season months.

The surge in rental demand has been a boon for brokers — Foxtons’ income from its lettings enterprise elevated 18 per cent 12 months on 12 months within the third quarter.

Quite than driving up costs, Tsuman claimed letting brokers had been typically advising landlords to go for decrease costs as a result of they might be extra sustainable in the long term.

Excessive tenant turnover might be within the curiosity of letting brokers, who typically cost additional to landlords for locating new tenants, in line with Wilson Craw.

Michael Deas, a co-ordinator for the London Renters Union, mentioned: “Rents don’t simply go up — they’re inflated by . . . brokers and the market reviews they put out.”

The LRU mentioned considered one of its members confronted being evicted over Christmas after their landlord elevated the hire by about 10 per cent.

“After we spoke with [the managing agent] they revealed they had been solely prioritising potential tenants who may pay a 12 months’s hire upfront — which for our property is £21,000. We felt completely dehumanised. We’re dropping our house over the vacations,” mentioned the tenant.

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