Rents set to rise in 2020 as landlords continue to exit the PRS Rents look set to rise across much of the UK next year owed in part to a further increase in the number of landlords exiting the buy-to-let market as the impact of legislation continues to be felt, letting agents have predicted,

ARLA Propertymark asked its members to share their predictions for the private rented sector and found that more than four-fifths – 84% – of letting agents think rent prices will rise in 2020, up from 65% when agents were asked the same question last year, looking ahead to 2019.

The research also shows that the supply and demand gap looks set to widen next year, with more than three-fifths – 61% – of agents forecasting that demand will continue to rise, while almost seven in 10 – 68% – think the number of landlords operating in the PRS will decline next year, as they are driven out by rising costs.

In line with this, 68% expect landlords’ taxes to rise again.

David Cox, chief executive, ARLA Propertymark, commented: “For far too long, successive governments of all political persuasions have passed significant amounts of complex legislation for landlords. As a result, much of this year has dampened landlords’ appetites to invest and expand their portfolios, with many consolidating their assets, or choosing to step away from the sector altogether. This has impacted tenants most, who have restricted supply and have been faced with less choice and paying higher rents.

“Looking ahead to 2020, we hope the government recognises the importance of increasing supply for tenants and uses it as an opportunity to make the market more attractive for landlords. This will encourage more landlords back into the market as well as ensure that tenants, including those who are most vulnerable, are not at a disadvantage in being able to find a suitable and affordable home to rent.

“Change should make the PRS fairer for all involved, and not penalise those landlords who provide high quality, affordable housing for thousands of tenants.”