A new survey by property site Rightmove found that among almost 1,300 landlords, 18 per cent said their average tenancy had increased over the past year, with the most common length currently over two years.
London’s rental market is intensely competitive, with more than triple the number of tenants looking as there are rental properties available.
The supply squeeze has sent rents soaring, with Rightmove’s latest Quarterly Rental Tracker showing asking rents in the capital are up over 14 per cent to a record high of £2,195 per month.
Tenants are also coming under pressure from the rising cost of living, with inflation causing higher energy bills for households across the UK. Despite this, a third of landlords in Rightmove’s survey said they have decided to put their tenants’ rents up.
With tenants desperately seeking to keep costs low, the analysis of 20,000 listings found a significant increase in demand for properties with all bills included. Over the past year enquiries from tenants have jumped by three per cent for this type of property, the biggest increase out of all available features.
Homes with balconies, communal gardens, properties allowing pets and those offering zero deposits all came equal second, with enquiries jumping by 22 per cent.
There was finally some good news for renters this week, as the government announced it would introduce long-awaited legislation to protect private renters and abolish so-called no-fault evictions.
The Renters Reform Bill will also “strengthen landlords’ rights of possession”, therefore providing a “fair and effective” market for tenants and landlords, the Government said.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Many of the private renters we speak to in the capital are terrified of their landlord asking them to leave – because if they are slapped with a no-fault eviction notice now, they know they will have just two months to up-sticks.
“With every bill rising, tenants forced to look for a new home will not only have to face the eye-watering costs of moving, but skyrocketing rents as well.
“Earlier this week the government promised for the third time in the Queen’s Speech that it will ban no-fault evictions — the quicker it makes good on that promise and puts no-fault evictions on the scrapheap, the better.”
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data said: “People who had been waiting to see what happened last year are now being faced with record rents and so are seeking out properties where they can have more certainty over their outgoings, with all bills included becoming increasingly sought after.
“Landlords may have been tempted to put their rents up given the high demand from new tenants, but many understand the affordability challenges of rising rents and bills, as our study shows that the majority are charging their tenants the same as a year ago.
“Many landlords build up a relationship with their tenants over a number of years, and they will want to keep a good tenant for longer if they can rather than cash in on a rent rise in the short term.”