Published on January 23, 2013 | by Adam Leyland

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Students braced for hikes in rent prices

To Let signs in Elephant and Castle

The cost of renting is set to rise across the country this year [Alastair Johnstone]

Students at UAL have expressed concern after a study found that over a third of UK landlords are expected to increase their rent this year.

The report by property website spareroom.co.uk found almost a quarter of those rises would be more than three per cent.

Nearly half of the tenants interviewed are concerned about the impact that rent increases could have on already strained financial circumstances, while a third have already prepared for them.

BA Public Relations student Sienna Gardner, 21, told Arts London News that although she still lives at home, high rents are putting her off moving out: “I’m just delaying moving out now. I don’t want it to be like that, but that is the reality.

“If I lived away from home, the rent, transport and cost of living rising would mean I’d be studying less, and having to work more. How could I live like that?”

Asset to society

Harish Murthi, 29, who studies MA Media Communications at London College of Communication believes that local councils should block rent increases for students: “We are a valuable asset to society, and local authorities should have legislation to enforce a cap on rent increases for certain segments of society, such as students.

“If students can’t pay rent and school fees at the same time, you’re going to have a potential economic crash in the future,” he added.

“If you know you’re a good tenant, don’t automatically accept the increase.” Matt Hutchison, director, spareroom.co.uk

The news comes at a time when landlords are looking to expand their portfolios during 2013, with 36 per cent saying that they would be buying a flat or a maisonette, according to a study by Paragon Mortgages.

Matt Hutchinson, director of spareroom.co.uk said that tenants should check their contracts to make sure the rent hike can be legally implemented.

He said: “If they are on a fixed term tenancy, landlords are not usually permitted to increase rents until the fixed-term ends, unless there’s a clause in the agreement saying the rent can be increased.

“If you know you’re a good tenant, don’t automatically accept the increase.”

He went on to say: “Alternatively, ask your landlord to include some household bills as part of the package, or ask for home improvements to be carried out in return for the increase. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”

 

 

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