Agency warns of tough time ahead for tenants…

A major lettings agency in London says the imbalance between the number of tenants and available rental properties continues to cause concern.

Chestertons – comparing July 2022 with July 2021 – says there has been “a staggering” 38 per cent drop in the number of properties on the market to rent, whilst the number of tenant enquiries increased by 60 per cent.

With tenants already facing challenging conditions due to the cost of living crisis, Chestertons warns that market imbalances of this scale are causing tougher competition and further rent increases. Illustrating this, the agency‘s data shows that there were 45 per cent fewer landlords willing to lower their asking rents compared to the same month last year.

The agency’s managing director, Richard Davies, says: “We continue to see tenants who are really struggling to secure a property in London due to the sheer volume of tenants that are fighting over each new rental property that comes onto the market. 

“To try and avoid further disappointment, many tenants are offering to pay landlords more rent than they are asking for, but even this isn’t guaranteed to work. Given the drop in rents that landlords faced during the pandemic; some by as much as 30 per cent; we are now operating in a landlord driven market.”

Confirming the upwards trend for London rents are the latest statistics from the Office of National Statistics, released this month. 

The figures reveal that London rents rose the most in five years as demand for rentals continued to exceed the supply of properties. 

Private rental prices in London grew 2.1 per cent in the year to July. Although this is the lowest growth rate in England, the capital is quickly catching up with an acceleration in rents charged since the start of the year, the ONS says.

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