The average queue of tenants requesting to view a rental property in Britain has lengthened from 20 to 25 in five months, figures from Rightmove show.
In 2019, there were typically six telephone or email requests to see each place. That had risen to 20 by this spring, and five months on it is 25.
Agents described the mismatch between demand and supply as “just crazy”.
It comes as the average advertised rent for a new let outside of London has risen to a record £1,278 per month.
Property portal Rightmove said these prices had risen by 10% in July to September, compared with the same period last year.
Average advertised rents on new lets in London also rose to £2,627 a month, 12.1% higher than a year earlier, it said.
Ria Laitmer, lettings manager at Clarkes agents in Bournemouth, said: “The gap between high demand and a severe shortage of rental stock at the moment is just crazy.
“We’re receiving mounting enquiries for each property to rent from would-be tenants, with queues of tenants arriving to open-house viewings and the majority being left disappointed as there is just not enough properties on the market to meet the demand.”
Semi-retired Peter Clucas, from Chippenham, needed to take relatively extreme measures to secure a property to rent.
“I was advised that the way I could set myself apart was to offer a year of rent upfront,” he said.
“That was a considerable sum of money that I didn’t have, but fortunately I was able to call on a very good friend to lend me the year’s rent.”
And Louisa, who has lived in Manchester for the last five years, has seen her rent increase every year.
“I know other people who have had the same type of things where their housing hasn’t changed in any type of way but instead we’re getting rent increases for really bad quality housing,” she said.
She has been served with a no-fault eviction notice.
The BBC revealed the data commissioned from Rightmove earlier in the year, which exposed the intensity of competition in the sector.
Demand from prospective renters has soared as students returned after Covid and high mortgage rates have made home ownership a more distant prospect.
Higher mortgage costs, tax changes and other reforms in the sector have also prompted some landlords to sell up, or chose not to expand their portfolio of properties.
Rightmove has suggested there are signs of the number of available rental homes starting to pick up again, but said it would take a long time to correct the imbalance.
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said the private rental sector was housing more people than was ever intended, but landlords were suffering.
“What we’ve seen is a relentless kicking for the past decade to make renting your property out much less attractive so these figures should come as no surprise,” he said.
“Landlords are taking home their lowest profits and margins since 2007. There’s no winners here.”
The government said there was money for affordable homes, and landlords had a number of tax allowances.
In May, it confirmed it planned to ban no-fault evictions in England, promising a “fairer deal for renters”. But a group of charities and campaigners said there has been slow progress since.
At the Conservative Party conference, Housing Minister Rachel Maclean said the government was committed to the law change and she hoped it would make progress in Parliament soon.
During a fringe meeting, she said that the government wanted to do the right thing for tenants who were not all “bad people” who smoked weed or were in gangs.
Source : BBC