Can tenants continue to afford increasing rents ?

For landlords, the key metrics are being able to increase rents in line with inflation and ensure that voids are minimised throughout the year.

Most landlords have been pretty sensible and are choosing, in the main, to keep any rental increases to a minimum. Over short periods of time, it is better landlords keep a good tenant than try to increase rents by re-letting the property for more money in the short term, but risk renting to a tenant who ends up not paying rent.

Tenants are spending more than ever before to rent property in England and Wales, according to recent surveys. Rents across the UK rose by 2.1 per cent in September compared to the same period twelve months earlier.

Certain areas of the country have experienced greater rent increase than others. The south east of England saw the largest increase in recent months, with monthly rates increasing 3.3 per cent in August alone.

Analysts believe that the increase in prices can be attributed to a surge in the level of demand for rental properties in major cities. An increasing number of people are choosing to rent property instead of purchasing their own first home.

Despite the increase in renters, mortgage lenders have reported strong results in recent months. Experts believe that the dual increase – a surge in the level of demand for rental properties and purchases of new homes – shows that there is a significant shortage of supply going on in Britain.

The government has tried to tackle housing problems in the last year, introducing a variety of new schemes to make property more affordable for first-time buyers. The Help to Buy scheme is one of several measures to make property more affordable.

Some analysts, however, believe that the government’s involvement in the property market could cause a pricing bubble, with excessive support for buyers pushing the price of property upwards. UK house prices are already at their highest level in the last two years, according to recent government statistics.