MORE tenants than ever before have been hit with rent rises following a ban on fees, claims new research.
The number of letting agents who saw renters suffering increases rose to the highest figure on record last month at 55 per cent, up from 45 per cent in May.
Tenants in the South West were the worst affected with 79 per cent of agents seeing a rent increase, according to letting agent association ARLA Propertymark.
While renters in the West Midlands made a lucky escape as “only ” 29 per cent of letting agents saw landlords increase rents in the area.
ARLA Propertymark didn’t share how much it’s seen rents increase by when contacted by The Sun.
The figures should also be taken with a pinch of salt as they’re based on a survey of 272 members out of a total of 9,500.
Letting agents are among those who’ve been hit the hardest by the ban, which caps the amount they and landlords can charge for deposits and fees.
How to haggle with your landlord and bring down your rent
WHEN you first sign your tenancy agreement with your landlord your rent should be agreed either in writing or verbally.
To increase your rent your landlord must send you a section 13 notice which gives you a month’s notice in writing telling you how much your rent will be increased by and the date when your rent will go up.
At this stage you should try to talk to your landlord and come to a fair agreement on how much rent you should pay.
Your landlord can only raise your rent if you agree to the increased price.
Matt Hutchinson, communications director for flatsharing website SpareRoom.com said that if you are a good tenant then you’ve got bargaining power.
“The first thing to bear in mind is that demand is lower at the moment than over the past couple of years.
“That means you’ve got a bit more bargaining power, especially if you’ve been a good tenant, as your landlord won’t want the expense and hassle of having to find another tenant and even potentially face a period with the property empty.
“Failing that, it’s worth seeing if you can get anything thrown in with a rent increase, such as minor bits of redecorating or any bills.”
Landbay have a free rent check service to see how much rent you should be paying in your area.
You can find the rent check service here.
Find out more about how to haggle with your landlord to bring your rent down here.
In January, it estimated that the regulatory changes could push up rents by more than £100 a year.
David Cox, chief executive ARLA Propertymark, said: “Unsurprisingly, rent costs hit a record high in June as tenants suffered the impact of the tenant fee ban.
“Ever since the government proposed the ban, we warned that tenants would continue to pay the same amount, but the cost would be passed onto tenants through increased rents, rather than upfront costs.”
But experts The Sun has spoken to don’t agree with the reports that rents are rising.
Independent property expert Henry Pryor told The Sun: “I simply don’t believe that rents are rising and where they are that it is down to the tenant fees ban.
“Landlord groups have cried wolf over tax changes, stamp duty changes, the banning of the high dubious practice of stuffing tenants for costs that the landlord should be paying and yet rents have risen at most by inflation.
“Whilst of course there will have been some increase in rents, this will have been offset for tenants by the reduction in the fees being forced upon them.”
Georgie Laming, campaigns manager at Generation Rent, also said it hasn’t had tenants saying that rents have gone up.
She said: “Some landlords might try to increase rent to cover loss of earnings from the tenant fees ban but this is much preferable to large upfront costs that put lots of families into debt at the start of a tenancy.
“Whilst landlords may now claim that rents are rising because it’s now cheaper to move, tenants have more clout to negotiate with their landlord over things like repairs that need doing or rent increases.
“It’s important to remember that rents can only rise to an amount that tenants can afford – so landlords raising their rents will find it harder to let in the long run.”
Rents could rocket by 15 per cent over next five years as the number of properties “dries up”, an industry expert warned a year ago.
Yet the cost of renting fell for the first time in over a decade earlier this year.
Up to a third of millennials also face renting for their entire lives and will never own their own homes.
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