UK Rents Increase Following Three Months of Decline: HomeLet

Credits: Action Properties

The rent increase highlighted by the lettings services firm comes as they call on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to address issues facing tenants in the upcoming Spring Budget. Rents have risen by 7.4% compared to a year ago, adding to the financial burden on tenants.

While there are rumors of income tax cuts and assistance for first-time buyers in the property market, no specific measures have been hinted at for the rental market. This lack of attention to the rental sector is concerning, especially as rental costs continue to rise.

In London, the average monthly rent fell slightly by 0.5% in February compared to the previous month but remains 4.8% higher than a year ago.

Conversely, in the North East, the cheapest region in England, rents increased by 1.5% since January, reaching £655 per month, which is 5.7% higher than the previous year.

UK Rents Increment (Credits: ET Realty)

The rent-to-income ratio for tenants has also increased, with renters now spending 33.3% of their wages on rent, before considering utilities and other living costs. This figure has risen by 2.3% since 2023, indicating a growing financial strain on tenants.

Andy Halstead, chief executive of HomeLet and Let Alliance, expressed concern over the rising costs in property management and maintenance, which are driving rental prices up.

This situation is challenging for both tenants and landlords, as tenants struggle to afford rent, leading to defaults and vacancies for landlords.

Halstead called for action in the Spring Budget to address these challenges, suggesting more support for landlords dealing with the increase in the cost of living. This support could help landlords keep rents reasonable and alleviate some of the financial pressures tenants face.

The government’s Renter’s Reform Bill, aimed at enhancing tenant rights, is currently progressing through Parliament. However, the bill faces challenges due to proposed amendments that seek to modify and weaken its provisions.

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