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UK Private Sector Rent Still Rising

UK Private Sector Rent Still Rising, Albeit Slowly

Private Sector Rents Rise By 1% Over Last 12 Months

New data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest that private sector rents are rising below the level of average earnings for first time in many years, bringing some good news for tenants.

According to the ONS, in the 12 months to September 2014, private rental sector rental prices increased by:

  • 1% in England
  • 4% in Scotland
  • 2% in Wales

The ONS say that the UK’s underlying annual earnings growth increased by 1.2% in the year to August, up from 0.5% recorded in April 2014.

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UK Index of Private Housing Rental Prices

UK Index of Private Housing Rental Prices

Experimental Statistical Data Released For January To March 2014 For Rental Prices Paid By Tenants In UK Private Rental Sector

The office for National Statistics (ONS) have released experimental statistical data covering the change in rental prices paid by tenants in the UK’s private rental sector (PRS).

Private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK increased 1.0% in the 12 months to March 2014, unchanged from a 1.0% increase in the 12 months to February 2014.

  • In the 12 months to March 2014  rental prices in the private rental sector increased by:
    • 1.0% in England
    • 1.3% in Scotland
    • 0.6% in Wales
  • Rental prices increased in all UK regions over the year to March 2014, with rental prices increasing by the most in London reaching 1.4%

The Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP) measures the change in price of renting property in the UK’s private rented sector and is published as a series of price indices covering UK regions.

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Scotland Leads Way On PRS Regulation

Scotland Leads Way On PRS Regulation

Better Regulation Of Scottish Private rented Sector On Way

As we reported on Wednesday, the Scottish government reviewed its strategy on PRS regulation on the 30th May and more new legislation will definitely be on the way, however, landlords and letting agents will be an important part of the consultation

The Scottish Government said that it “does not have a monopoly on good ideas. In order to deliver on the vision for the sector, we will engage with all of our partners on their innovative ideas.”

The Scottish Government PRS regulation strategy intends to improve the quality of the private rented sector in Scotland, including redefining the landlord registration scheme in order to target the worst offenders.

In 2011 it was estimated that some 11% of all households were within the PRS and the Scottish Government predict that this number will increase as there are already 500+ letting agencies north of the border who are managing over 150,000 rental properties, estimated to be about half the actual number.

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ARLA Calls For Rental Regulation In England

ARLA Calls For Rental Regulation In England

Government Urged To Rethink PRS Regulation

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) wants the Government to bring England in line with the rest of the UK by calling for greater regulation of the private rental sector to better protect tenants.

ARLA argues that tenants in England could soon be less well protected than their Scottish and Welsh counterparts, due to the delay by the Government to introduce laws allowing for better regulation of the lettings industry.

According to data released by ARLA, 36% of all households in England are in private sector rented accommodation and the lack of regulation of the Private Rental Sector (PRS) is fast becoming an issue that affects more of the population than ever before.

The Scottish government reviewed its strategy for the PRS on the 30th May, while the Welsh government is set to introduce a Housing Bill legislating for a compulsory licensing scheme for all letting agents in Wales, as well as a code of practice, before the end of the 2012/13 Assembly term.

The announcements by Scottish and Welsh parliaments are in stark contrast with the current UK Government’s stance of opposition to regulation of the Private Rental Sector because of an apparent fear that landlords will become bogged down and put off by having to wade through a mountain of red tape.

On the surface this seems incredibly thoughtful of the Government, however, it is not to be forgotten that they also intend for all landlords to become unpaid agents for the UK Border Agency policing the immigration status of all tenants. No matter how watered down that proposal becomes the intent of those in power was made clear – to tap into powerful resources to save themselves money. It does make you wonder if the reluctance for regulation is simply because the Government can’t find a way to financially benefit from introducing new regulatory legislation at this current time.

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