Rent Rises Stuck in a Rut for Four Months in a Row

Buy-to-let rents are still rising - but worries the tenant fee ban would send them sky-rocketing seems unwarranted. 

The official data from the Office for National Statistics reveals rents increased an average of 1.3% for the 12 months to the end of August 2019 - a figure that has remained unchanged since May. 

The tenant fee ban in England started on June 1 2019, amid fears landlords would switch the costs of setting up a tenancy to tenants rather than swallow the bill. But around the UK, rents increased much lower than expected - 1.3% in England, 1.2% in Wales and 0.9% in Scotland. 

Rents in England were up an average of 1.5% when figures for London were excluded. The rate of increase for the capital was 0.8%. 

In England, the highest annual rent increase was 2.0% in the South West, unchanged since May, followed by the East Midlands (1.9%), Yorkshire and The Humber (1.6%) and the South East (1.6%). 

The lowest rent growth was in the North East, where tenants pay 0.6% more, down from 0.7% in July, followed by London, which increased by 0.8%, down from 0.9% in July 2019. 

Since the ONS started keeping rent data in January 2015, average UK rents have risen by 7.9%. 

The ONS Index of Private Housing Rental Prices are published monthly, and measures year-on-year rent changes for tenants. 

Data is compiled from around 500,000 private rented homes each year. 

Meanwhile, ONS house price data for July 2019 - the latest available figures - shows property values rose an average of 0.5% during the month. 

Year on year, home prices saw little movement, recording a rise of just 0.7%. In England, the average home is valued at £248,837, compared to £247,981 a year ago.

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Investing in a private rented property can be achieved in a variety of ways. Sometimes landlords inherit a property that they then turn over to renting. Sometimes owners of properties become unintentional landlords because they are unable or unwilling to sell a property at the value the market currently dictates.