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by administrator @, Friday, December 09, 2011, 14:51

Increased demand and the rising cost of maintaining property mean private tenants are likely to face a rise in rental rates this winter.

One in five (20%) landlords also claim their arrears have increased compared with the previous quarter. Those are two of the key findings from BDRC Continental's quarterly Landlords Panel research.

Questioning landlords, BDRC Continental found that almost half (45%) have increased rents in the last 12 months, while over a third (34%) say they are likely to do so in the next six months. Landlords cite the strength of demand and the increased cost of running a property portfolio as the main drivers for rent rises.

Young couples, singles and Local Housing Allowance claimants are the groups potentially most likely to be hit by rent rises in the private rental sector, as when asked which groups of tenant they let to, landlords indicated that young couples and young singles account for the greatest proportion of their tenants, while Local Housing Allowance claimants could also likely to be affected, as 37% of landlords cater for this segment of the market.

The potential rent rises are predicted at a time when almost half (45%) of landlords have experienced rental arrears in the last three months and almost three quarters (72%) of those who have sought possession of their rental property were driven to do so by rent arrears.

Other reasons for seeking possession include anti-social behaviour, which contributed to nearly half of possessions. However, one third of landlords have never sought possession of their rental property and landlords wait an average of almost four months to obtain possession and pay £866 in legal fees alone.

Mark Long, Director for BDRC Continental said: "Like everyone who owns a home, landlords face the increasing costs of maintaining property and the impact of this is clearly being felt. With a background of Local Housing Allowance rates being capped and a restricted amount of finance available via buy to let mortgages, it's unsurprising that private sector rents are likely to increase by almost five per cent."

private tenants

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