Rent struggles are easing

Research by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) reveals that the number of tenants struggling to pay rent has fallen to a record low and demand for rental homes remains strong.

According to ARLA’s latest quarterly report, letting agents have found fewer tenants are finding rental payments difficult.

From a high of 65 percent when the issue was first monitored in the Q2 2009 survey, the number of respondents reporting an increase in those struggling to meet rental payments has now fallen to an all-time-low of 27 percent. While this does suggest affordability remains a problem for a significant minority, the overall trend appears to be moving towards more manageable rents.

This finding comes as just under half (46 percent) of letting agents say they have seen demand for rental homes outstripping supply, with more tenants than properties available at the end of 2013 – representing a slight decrease on the 52 percent recorded in the previous quarter of the same year.

While this figure illustrates a slight decline in the level of competition for properties, it is far from historic lows of 10 percent seen in 2009 and still represents significant under-supply.