Majority of private landlords to freeze rents this year

The majority of landlords in the private rented sector (PRS) will be freezing their rents this year, according to a new survey.

Members of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) told the survey that they would be taking a real terms cut to their incomes by freezing rents in 2013 - as a result of tenants facing real term cuts to their wages.

Over 56 percent of respondents said they wouldn't be increasing rents.

The findings support data released in the recent English Housing Survey showing that between 2008/09 and 2011/12 across the country rents in the private sector increased by just over seven percent when inflation over the same period was 12.5 percent.

The social rented sector saw rents rise by almost 17 percent over the same period.

Richard Jones, policy director of the RLA, said: “The RLA’s survey, together with the English Housing Survey, burst the popular myth that landlords are raising rents sky high.

“Whilst it is true that rents in London as a result of serious supply problems remain stubbornly high, policy makers should avoid thinking that what happens in the capital reflects the rest of the country.

“At a time when tenants are facing squeezes on their costs of living, especially falling wages, landlords are responding by accepting real terms cuts to rents. This as rents in the heavily subsidised social sector continue to rise way above inflation.”

The RLA represents over 16,000 private sector residential landlords in England and Wales.

Members were surveyed between 7 and 15 February, and asked the question, “Will you be increasing your rent levels in 2013?” 600 responses were received with the following answers:

Yes                  31.7%
No                   56.5%
Don’t know     11.8%