Landlords

45% of landlords say they will raise rents next year

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30th December 2015
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A new survey carried out by flatshare site, SpareRoom.co.uk, has found that 45% of BTL landlords are planning to raise their rents in 2016, and almost one in five (18%) are planning inflation-busting increases of more than 3%.

The most common reason landlords cite (38%) for raising rents is the additional costs incurred by new government legislation2, meaning future cuts to mortgage interest and wear and tear tax relief, stamp duty changes and costs of the 2016 Right to Rent roll out will be felt by tenants as well as landlords.

Other reasons for rent increases include rents rising locally (23%), expensive property repairs and maintenance (6%) and higher mortgage repayments (4%).

The table below shows what landlords plan to do with rents next year:

Landlords: What do you plan to do with rents in 2016?

Response (%)

Raise by more than 3%

18%

Raise by less than 3%

27%

Keep the same

52%

Lower by less than 3%

1%

Lower by more than 3%

2%

The reality is that average room rents may rise far higher than 3%, based on rental increases over the past year, and given the changes ahead for landlords. The average UK rent for a double room in shared accommodation rose by 8.6% in the past year to £593 per month – up from £546 the previous year – according to SpareRoom’s rental data. In London, the average room rent has increased annually by 6.3% to £721 per month, up from £678 a year ago4.

Given that 49% of landlords increased their rents in 2015 and a further 20% increased them within the past two years3, this will be yet another blow for renters who are already stretched when it comes to affordability. Tenants will be hoping their landlord is one of the 55% who don’t plan to increase their rents next year or, if they’re lucky, one of the 3% reducing them.

Matt Hutchinson, director of SpareRoom.co.uk, comments: “The roll out of Right to Rent legislation, removal of mortgage interest tax relief and changes to the wear and tear tax break from 2017, on top of stamp duty changes coming in 2019, means buy to let looks like far more of a risk than it did at the start of the year.

The worry is that tenants will bear the brunt of these changes. And if renters end up being the ones to shoulder the burden of legislative change, something has gone very very wrong. The private rental sector is already under immense pressure.”

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