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30 November 2012

Rental market continues to boom

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by Gill Montia

Rental market continues to boom

Demand for rental property has been rising at its fastest rate since the start of the year, according to the latest residential lettings survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Over the past three months, interest from would-be renters jumped to its highest level since January, as an already booming rental market showed no signs of slowing down.

With the lettings market still buoyant, the cost of renting a home continued to increase – rents having now consistently been on the rise since the beginning of 2010.

Looking ahead, surveyors across the UK predict further increases in the cost of renting a home over the coming months.

Notably, the latest surge in tenant demand comes at a time when fears over the lack of agent regulation in the lettings sector have heightened.

In a separate RICS survey, almost 90% of tenants questioned wanted to see compulsory regulation for lettings agents to protect consumers.

Also this week, Which? said it has uncovered bad practice, unexpected and unfair fees and a lack of consumer protection that fails both tenants and landlords in the UK lettings agents sector.

Problems highlighted by the consumer watchdog include agents failing to provided information about fees, aggressive sales tactics and poor customer service.

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