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UK property rental market: Why rents keep rising

Oct 18, 2023 | Industry News, Landlords, Tenants

In the UK tenants are feeling the pinch once again. The rental market is relentless, with no signs of slowing down. A chronic shortage of quality properties has left tenants facing yet another year of rising rents. In this article, we’ll delve into the current state of the UK rental market, exploring why rents continue to climb, and what tenants can do to navigate these challenging times.

Rents on the rise:
For tenants across the UK, the news isn’t great. Rents have seen a steady climb, rising by approximately 5% this year alone. This unwelcome trend has been a consistent feature of the rental market in recent years, and predictions for 2024 show little respite on the horizon. So, why is the rental market proving so inhospitable to tenants?

Supply and demand imbalance:
One of the primary reasons for the continuous rise in rents is the persistent imbalance between supply and demand. The demand for rental properties continues to outstrip the supply of available units, particularly in sought-after areas. With limited options, tenants often find themselves competing for the same properties, which drives up prices.

Property shortage:
The shortage of good-quality rental properties locally exacerbates the situation. Property developers have been focusing on the housing market, leaving the rental market with fewer options. This scarcity of desirable rental properties gives landlords the upper hand, enabling them to charge higher rents.

Low vacancy rates:
Low vacancy rates are another factor contributing to rising rents. Tenants often face fierce competition when searching for a new place to rent, as desirable properties are snapped up quickly. This competition enables landlords to maintain higher rental rates, as they have no shortage of applicants willing to pay more for a place to live.

Economic factors:
Economic factors also play a role in the rising cost of renting. Increases in living costs, including inflation, can put additional pressure on tenants who are already struggling with high rents. As the overall cost of living rises, renters have less disposable income to allocate toward housing expenses.

Navigating the rental market:

While the UK rental market remains challenging for tenants, there are strategies to help you navigate these tough times:

  1. Budget wisely: Assess your budget and ensure you’re not overstretching yourself financially. Consider less expensive areas or shared accommodations if necessary.
  2. Long-term planning: If you’re a long-term renter, consider negotiating longer lease terms with your landlord. This can lock in your rental rate for a more extended period, providing stability.
  3. Start early: Begin your property search well in advance of your move-in date to give yourself the best chance of finding a suitable property.
  4. Negotiate with landlords: Don’t be afraid to negotiate with landlords. While rental rates are high, some may be open to negotiations, especially if you’re a responsible and reliable tenant.
  5. Consider professional assistance: Property management companies can often help you find suitable rental properties and guide you through the rental process.

The UK rental market’s relentless rise in rents is undoubtedly challenging for tenants. However, by understanding the factors contributing to these increases and taking a proactive approach to your housing search and negotiations, you can still find a suitable rental property without breaking the bank. While the rental market may not be easing up anytime soon, informed decisions and careful planning can help you navigate these turbulent waters.


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