The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) says that the number of its members stating that there are more tenants than properties has reached the highest level since records began.

A survey of ARLA members found that 74% of agents believe that demand is outstripping supply. This has remained constant for the last four quarters.

The survey also found that the average period tenants remain in one property has reached a record 19 months. This is because people are wary of trying to find a new property in such a competitive market.

ARLA says that the Private Rental Sector is running out of space to cater for demand and so there’s a need for more properties to be made available.

Tim Hyatt, president of ARLA, said: “The reality is that there is a finite amount of rental property and unless both housing supply and mortgage availability improves then renters will find that their options in the market are reduced.”

The increasing demand for rented property has prompted many landlords to increase their portfolios over the last few years. It also tempted new buy to let landlords into the market and that trend is continuing.

Buy to let property remains attractive but landlords need to ensure they are up to date with all the legal requirements and draw up professional tenancy agreements in order to protect their investment and avoid any costly problems.

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