November 6

Government Increases Scrutiny on Landlords Rents Adjustments


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Government Increases Scrutiny on Landlords Rents Adjustments. The government’s Office for National Statistics has a well-established practice of conducting periodic assessments to gauge the likelihood of rent increases by landlords in both England and Wales. This routine examination is carried out on an annual basis in England and every nine months in Wales. It serves as a vital tool for monitoring trends in the rental market and understanding the dynamics that influence rent adjustments.

The most recent assessment has provided some noteworthy insights. It reveals that in the period since the last assessment, the likelihood of landlords increasing rents has risen in both England and Wales. Specifically, in England, 63% of cases indicate rent hikes, signifying a considerable increase from the previous year. In Wales, the numbers show a similar trend, with 44% of instances indicating higher rents. These findings underline the evolving landscape of the rental market and its implications for both landlords and tenants.

As the government continues to monitor these rental trends, it becomes clear that the rental market is subject to ongoing shifts. These shifts are influenced by a variety of factors, including changes in demand for rental properties, economic conditions, and regulatory measures. These assessments offer valuable data for policymakers and property stakeholders, helping them to make informed decisions and shape the future of the rental market in England and Wales.

In the current landscape, rent hikes have become more pronounced. Notably, in Wales, rents have increased by 11.3%, while in England, the rise stands at 9.7% among properties where rent adjustments have been made. A year earlier, the figures were slightly lower, with Wales experiencing a 10.5% increase, and England seeing an 8.4% uptick.

Regional variations in rent increases are evident. In England, it’s London that leads the way, with a significant 77% of properties experiencing rent hikes. In contrast, the North West of England stands as the region least likely to witness rent increases, with 42% of cases reporting adjustments. Interestingly, in the North West, where rents did go up, the increase was more pronounced than in any other region, averaging at 12.3%.

Greg Tsuman, the President of ARLA Propertymark, emphasizes the challenging state of the rental market, which faces pressures from multiple fronts. He highlights a significant concern that the Treasury seems to be overlooking. Tsuman points out that the tax structure imposed on private landlords is inadvertently affecting the rental market. This tax structure might have wider implications on the affordability of housing for tenants.

The rental market’s increasing strain raises questions about the broader implications on tenants and property stakeholders. The substantial rent increases indicate that tenants may face greater financial burdens, particularly in regions like London where hikes are most prevalent. The North West, despite being less likely to experience rent adjustments, sees steeper increases when it does happen, adding complexity to the region’s rental landscape.

As the rental market grapples with these challenges, it’s essential for policymakers and industry stakeholders to consider the multifaceted factors affecting it. Striking a balance between addressing the concerns of landlords and ensuring affordable housing for tenants is crucial for the future stability and sustainability of the rental market in both Wales and England.

“Section 24 of the Finance Act has led to landlords paying taxes on their turnover, including interest payments, which have risen from 0.1% to 5.25%. While the Bank of England’s decision to keep the base interest rate unchanged is some relief, the overall rates remain high, prompting landlords to raise rents and pass the costs on to tenants. Unfortunately, this has led to a decline in the number of landlords staying in the market, with many choosing to sell their properties and exit, reducing the rental property supply and driving rents even higher.

There is a pressing need for a review of the tax system for private landlords and the reinstatement of mortgage interest relief by scrapping Section 24. It’s possible that the Treasury would generate more revenue from the buy-to-let sector if it hadn’t caused this exodus of landlords, resulting in fewer taxpayers. Rebuilding the landlord presence in the market is vital for maintaining competition and keeping rents affordable. It’s positive to see the government rejecting rent caps, but the fundamental issues contributing to the rental crisis must be addressed for lasting solutions.”


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Lettings Market, Rental News UK

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