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Tenants aren’t negotiating rent reductions – why is this bad news for landlords?

2-minute read

Mollie Millman

11 February 2020

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The number of tenants negotiating a reduction in their rent has dropped to a record low, according to new figures.

ARLA Propertymark has revealed that just 1.1 per cent of tenants negotiated for a rent reduction in December last year. This is down from 1.6 per cent in November and is the lowest since records began in January 2015.

Tenant fees ban – landlords aren’t losing out

32 per cent of letting agents saw rent increases in December, a figure that’s stayed static in the short term. But when you look at the numbers year-on-year, the figure is up from 16 per cent in December 2017 and 18 per cent in December 2018.

This data allays fears that landlords would lose out following the introduction of the tenant fees ban last year. The tenant fees ban was a substantial piece of legislation affecting new or renewed tenancy agreements signed on (or after) 1 June 2019.

It removed the letting agent charges to tenants and saw a cap on tenant deposits, with tenants now only required to pay their rent and deposit.

With landlords covering the costs of the fees previously paid by tenants, it was feared that landlords’ profits would be hit. But rents have remained robust and some landlords have even been able to increase their rents in a bid to recoup some of their losses.

Both tenants and landlords need better legislation

The fact that rents are rising and tenants find it difficult to negotiate for rent reductions could mean bad news for landlords, as tenants end up struggling to get the right accommodation.

David Cox, ARLA Propertymark’s chief executive, said: “Since the tenant fees ban came into effect, our data shows that rents reached an all-time high last year.

“While we have seen a slight drop in the number of agents witnessing landlords increasing rents since then, overall rents remain high and now it seems that tenants are finding it harder than ever to negotiate a reduction in rent.

“As rents continue to rise, tenants will find it even more difficult to find suitable accommodation.

“Now that we have a new government in place, it’s important that long overdue legislative changes are implemented to make the market attractive again for both tenants and landlords.”

What do you think about fall in tenants negotiating their rents? Let us know in the comments below.

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