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Over a third of landlords to increase rents this year

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Over a third of landlords to increase rents this year

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Finance

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Over a third of the UK's landlords are planning on raising their rents this year, and 24% will raise them by more than 3% - 0.3% above the rate of inflation.

According to a survey by SpareRoom.co.uk, the average rent for a double room in shared accommodation with bills included rose by 6% in 2012's final quarter to £112 per week, up £106 on the previous year.

But two thirds of those surveyed said they wouldn't be increasing rents this year, preferring to have reliable tenants in their properties over extra profit.

The survey also found that 46% of tenants are concerned about the impact that rent hikes could have on their already strained financial circumstances.

A third (33%) say that they have already prepared for rental rises and expect their landlords to put them up by more than 3%.

Matt Hutchinson, director of SpareRoom.co.uk, said: "Tenants should check their contracts. 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.

"Tenants facing increases may find landlords are open to negotiation. They would much rather have good tenants that stay long term and take care of the property, than risk attracting tenants who fail to pay their rent on time or, even worse, risk void periods with no tenants and no rental income at all. If you know you’re a good tenant, don’t automatically accept the increase. 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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