Rics: Rental rates set to fall

Property owners considering whether to add a conservatory to attract tenants and command a higher rental rate may be interested to hear that average rates have dropped in the rental sector.

Landlords are having to work even harder to stand out amongst the competition, according to recent figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

The organisations Lettings Survey was published today (March 19th) and reveals that the number of chartered surveyors showing rises in rent fell to its lowest level in the surveys history in the final quarter of 2008.

Spokesman Jeremy Leaf explained the market has become packed with reluctant landlords – those who are forced to let property because they cannot sell it.

He suggested that, with property sales at historical lows, the rental market would continue to be competitive.

"The downward pressure on rents will increase in the coming months where supply matches demand but with house prices still falling, yields will continue to increase for many investors."

With this in mind, landlords may look to improve their property with a view to attracting more affluent renters and a better price when the time does come to sell.

Liberal Democrat shadow housing minister Sarah Teather recently blamed the government for letting the housing bubble grow until it burst.