Demand from tenants looking for a new place increased 7% between May and June, an uplift seven times bigger when compared to the previous four-year average of just 1% at this time of year.
The hike might have been triggered by the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act at the start of June, which saw a law passed to stop landlords and letting agents charging for a range of admin fees that they previously had – potentially saving renters hundreds of pounds.
Rightmove’s property expert Miles Shipside said: “A spike in tenants looking for a new place to live indicates some tenants unsurprisingly held out until fees to start a new tenancy were removed by the government at the start of June. The ongoing shortage of quality stock could end up being exacerbated further by landlords whose tenants are now giving their notice, so they can move on without paying fees, and some of those landlords then choosing to sell up rather than let it out again.
“Asking rents are at a new record, rising at nearly 3% a year as demand for quality properties outstrips supply. However, the rise in rental prices may also mean some agents or landlords have attempted to raise rents to help compensate for a loss of tenant fees. More build to rent developments with more premium offerings and rents could also be adding to the average increase.”
The figures could also suggest people are looking to move earlier than usual, as the peak in demand usually comes in July.
However, the rental stock shortage of the last few years, along with this increase in demand, means tenants are likely to find the next few months more challenging to find the right property for them.
Rightmove figures show that nationally (excluding London) asking rents are at a record high of £817 per month and running at 2.7% up on a year ago as rents continue their steady annual rise.