Bidding wars see four in ten paying £1,200 above the advertised rent for their home

Posted on Thursday, December 7, 2023

New research has revealed that almost two-fifths of private tenants are paying an average of £1,200 a year above the advertised rate for their property.

The desperate state of the private rental market in England has been laid bare, with new polling which that 39% of households renting privately that moved within the last year are paying an average of £1,200 a year above the advertised rate for their property.

The polling, carried out for the New Economics Foundations, shows how those looking for homes to rent are often forced into bidding wars which severely hike the price they pay for the property and leaves others completely priced out.

The survey, of 1,001 people across England, also shows:

39% of private renters that have moved in the last year are paying above the advertised rent for their property. The median amount paid over the asking rent by the household is £100 a month (12%). The mean amount is £190 a month.

45% of new private renters had to pay more than one month of rent upfront to secure their home

21% have seen their rent hiked mid-way through a tenancy without their agreement

38% of new private tenants live in homes suffering from damp or mould

17% were charged a fee to view the property while 19% were asked for a copy of their CV

Alex Diner, senior researcher at NEF, said: “Everybody deserves to be able to afford a safe, secure and warm place to live, but this data shows just how difficult it can be for many people to find somewhere to call home.

“The lack of affordable housing across the country forces people to enter into bidding wars, which end up meaning the rent they pay goes through the roof. And all too often, the properties they end up living in are cold and damp, with landlords who are not always willing to help.

“Not only must the government stop backsliding on its commitment to reform the private rental sector, but it also has an opportunity to make a real difference here. In the short term, ministers must take action to ban these bidding wars.

"In the long term, building a new generation of high-quality, genuinely affordable social homes would ease the pressures on the housing market and provide people across the country with somewhere to live, rest and flourish.”

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