As 2015 comes to a close, a new survey suggests that 2016 could be an expensive year for tenants.
Data from a report conducted by SpareRoom.co.uk found that 45% of buy-to-let landlords are looking to increase rents in the coming year, with 18% planning on raising them by more than 3%.
The most common reason landlords questioned gave for stating their plans to raise rents were the upcoming changes in legislation, with 38% giving this as their catalyst. This suggests that future cuts to mortgage interest tax relief, stamp duty alterations and the national Right to Rent roll out could be felt by tenants and landlords alike.
Additional reasons for rent hikes were local rent increases (23%), expensive property repairs (6%) and greater mortgage repayments (4%).
The table below indicates how landlords plan to change rents in the coming year:
|Landlords: What do you plan to do with rents in 2016?
|Raise by more than 3%
|Raise by less than 3%
|Keep the same
|Lower by less than 3%
|Lower by more than 3%
Nearly half of BTL landlords looking to raise rents in 2016
A harsh reality is that average rents per room could rise by more than 3% in 2016. During this year, the typical UK rent for a double room in shared accommodation increased by 8.6% to stand at £593, according to SpareRoom’s analysis.
In the capital, average room rents increased by 6.3% to hit £721 per month.
‘The roll out of Right to Rent legislation, removal of mortgage interest tax relief and changes to the wear and tear tax break from 2017, on top of stamp duty changes coming in 2019, means buy to let looks like far more of a risk than it did at the start of the year,’ noted Matt Hutchinson, director of SpareRoom.co.uk. 
‘The worry is that tenants will bear the brunt of these changes. And if renters end up being the ones to shoulder the burden of legislative change, something has gone very wrong. The private rental sector is already under immense pressure,’ he concluded.