Uncertain times ahead for private landlords

Rents in Scotland are beginning to level out after sharp increases last year as tenants balk at paying higher prices.

The cost of private rented accommodation rose by around 5 per cent in 2012, driven by demand from Scots unwilling or unable to get on the housing ladder. However, the rate of increase has slowed in the first part of 2013, according to the latest rental tracker from letting agency DJ Alexander.

The average rent on flats rose by just £3 to £834 a month in the first three months of the year, while the average cost of renting a two-bed apartment fell slightly to £819.

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Rob Trotter, senior property manager at the firm, said the figures suggested rents had “reached a plateau for the time being”. He believes tenants are responding to rent hikes by modifying their expectations instead of forking out the extra costs.

“Just like everyone else, tenants have a budget. Invariably, if an individual or couple find a flat they like but the rental charge is beyond what they can afford, they simply will not take it,” said Trotter.