Most landlords have continued supporting tenants during the pandemic by keeping rent increases at a minimum, according to ARLA Propertymark.
Its November Private Rented Sector report reveals that the number of tenants experiencing a rent increase fell for the third month in a row, with less than one in three (28%) agents seeing landlords increasing rents compared with 37% in October and 40% in September.
Its survey of 209 letting agents shows this is four percentage points lower than in November 2019, when the figure stood at 32%.
But the number of new prospective tenants fell to an average of 65 registered per branch, down from 88 the previous month.
Regionally, the North West had the highest number of new tenants registered per agency branch with an average of 121, while Northern Ireland recorded the lowest number with an average of 26 registered per branch.
ARLA Propertymark reports there was no change in the number of landlords selling their buy-to-let properties, with an average of four per branch in November – the same as one year ago.
Chief policy adviser Mark Hayward (pictured) says the consistent figures illustrate a steady rental market, with letting agents continuing to support landlords and their tenants.
He adds: “The continuing fall of increased rents in particular is testament to the understanding being shown across the sector.
“As the UK experiences ever changing lockdown measures and regional restrictions, it’s vital that tenancies are maintained to keep the rent flowing, as the stability of the private rental sector is essential to the wider economy’s bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis.”