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Feb 2024

Supply and demand imbalance set to drive rental prices higher

Supply and demand imbalance set to drive rental prices higher

RICS UK Residential Market Survey for lettings shows nearly a third (28%) of agents reported seeing an increase in tenant demand in the three months to January although new landlord instructions were also down – that imbalance between supply and demand expected to drive rental prices higher over the coming months.

There has been much speculation over the long-awaited Renters (Reform) Bill whether it will become law in 2024 and before the general election. There have been several delays to the Bill which is currently being debated in the House of Commons. It will need to undergo similar scrutiny in the House of Lords before it can finally become law.

Elements that weren’t in the original Bill, such as introducing the Decent Homes Standard to the private sector for the first time, have now been added in as part of the plans. It’s possible that further changes will be made as the Bill makes its way through the Commons and Lords.

During the debates held so far, there have been some concessions on issues that were giving landlords major concerns. There will still be broad grounds to evict anti-social tenants or those who consistently miss rental payments.

Most unclear is Section 21. These so-called “no fault” evictions will not be abolished until the courts have been reformed, which leaves timelines muddy given that no concrete plans have been set out, or budgets allocated, to reform the courts. There are also valid concerns around whether the courts will be able to cope with the rise in cases this Bill will likely create, even with increased digitisation. Our expert lettings team will be happy to explain how this will affect landlords.

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