Rents in Scotland have risen significantly following the ban on fees charged to tenants, according to the website, Citylets.
The rise follows Shelter’s campaign to encourage tenants to reclaim their fees, and the implementation of tenancy deposit protection.
Citylets has tracked rents for over five years and the latest rent rises it has reported are the highest it has seen.
According to the report, rents have gone up across Scotland, with an average rent now standing at £671, an increase of 2.3%. The cities of Edinburgh (up 5.1%) and Aberdeen (up 6.3%) have seen the highest rises.
Dan Cookson, senior analyst at Citylets, said the rise could be partly as a result of the abolition of tenant fees and other important changes made during 2012.
Although it has been widely speculated that the changes would have an effect on rental prices, the Citylets report is the first that seems to provide firm evidence.
Cookson added: “Our report for the last quarter of 2012 is significant in that it is the first to cover a period after the changes in the sector in 2012 took hold.
“Two cities which have seen some of the biggest rises in rents – Edinburgh (up 5.1%) and Aberdeen (up 6.3%) – both experienced larger than inflation rises in average rents across all types of properties. There is certainly a suspicion that the recent banning of agent fees to tenants has had an upward impact on rents. Several agent clients have suggested this to be the case and our data seems to support this view.”
Alistair J McMurdo, director of Castlebrae Sales and Letting, said: “Given the recent change in legislation relating to the charging of tenant fees, many landlords are trying not to increase rents. However, we are finding that due to the increased costs being passed to landlords, rent rises are inevitable.”
The Citylets report reveals that Aberdeen is the most expensive place to rent in Scotland, with an average rent of £950. Edinburgh now has an average rent of £819 and Glasgow (which has increased by 2.2%) now stands at £612.