Tenants are forcing down rents by negotiating hard because there is an oversupply of rental property, according to the RICS.

Would-be sellers who have chosen to rent their properties until sales improve are leaving tenants with unprecedented choice and in a strong position to bargain, the RICS lettings survey shows. Rent falls are the sharpest since its survey began in 1998, with 48% more surveyors reporting a fall in rents than a rise.

Property companies, including developers and house builders, are also renting out homes that they cannot sell and account for 10% of all landlords bringing new properties to market, up from 8% in October. The supply of rental homes in London has grown by 67% in the past year and demand is up by 20% year on year, according to Knight Frank, the estate agent.

The Times