New figures from the National Landlords Association (NLA) show that tenants are securing a larger proportion of private rented homes in the UK at below, rather than above, advertised rents.
The data shows that 16% of private rented homes are let to tenants at below advertised rents, with 8% of homes being let to tenants at above the asking price. Three-quarters (76%) of private rented homes are let to tenants at the advertised rent.
The difference means that tenants in the UK are benefitting from a net proportion of 8% – or an estimated 320,000 – homes let at below advertised rents.
The NLA’s analysis found that more than a quarter of new tenancies in central London (27%) are agreed at lower than advertised rents, with the North East and outer London close behind (both 22%).
However, just 9% of properties in the East Midlands are let to tenants below the asking price. Yorkshire and the Humber and the South West are close behind on 11%.
At the other end of the scale, more tenancies in outer London are agreed above the advertised rent (12%) than in any other part of the UK. In contrast, just 4% of properties in the East of England are let to tenants above asking price.
Carolyn Uphill, chairman at the NLA, said: “It’s not always easy when looking for a home and renters can feel pressured or panicked into making an offer on a new rented property.
“But what these figures show is that the market determines the appropriate price, and that savvy tenants can be rewarded with lower rents if they are confident enough ask the question.
“Landlords don’t just hike up rents for no reason and while the majority achieves the rent they initially ask for, a large proportion will accept a reduction in order to find the right tenant.
“And this isn’t just the case in areas of low demand; good landlords will always opt for the right tenant even if it means taking a lower rent, as it’s more likely to result in a sustainable longer-term tenancy which is beneficial for everyone.”