The cost to rent in Oldham is rising due to a ‘huge shortage’ in properties, estate agents in the borough have warned.

Lisa Wright, estate agent, letting agent and office manager at Alistair Stevens in Oldham, has said competition is “fierce” and “rental amounts are high” as increasing numbers of landlords are choosing to sell their properties while house prices remain high.

Latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show the average house price was £31,000 higher in April than a year earlier.

Across the UK, the typical property value in April stood at £281,000 in April, which was 12.4 per cent higher than a year earlier.

Lisa said: “There is a huge shortage of rental properties in the Oldham area, caused in some part by Covid and tenants opting to stay where they were, and the ongoing house price increases which is in some cases incentivising some landlords to sell.

“As a result of a decline in available properties competition is fierce and rental amounts are high.”

Lisa fears that the White Paper issued by the government last Thursday will also “put off good landlords” as well as the bad.

The Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper seeks to redress the balance between landlords and the 4.4 million privately renting households across England.

Under the plans, tenants will have stronger powers to challenge poor practice and unjustified rent increases, and they could also be saved the expense of having to move as often from one rented home to another.

It will also be made illegal for landlords or agents to place blanket bans on renting to families with children or those in receipt of benefits.

'No-fault' section 21 evictions that allow landlords to terminate tenancies without giving any reason will be outlawed.

The decent homes living standard will be extended to the private sector, meaning homes must be free from serious health and safety hazards, and landlords must keep homes in a good state of repair so renters have clean, appropriate and usable facilities.

The measures will form part of the Renters Reform Bill, as announced in the Queen’s Speech, to be introduced in this parliamentary session.

Commenting on the shortage of rental properties, Gareth Hunt, lettings director at Ryder & Dutton said the issue was not restricted to Oldham.

“There is a shortage of rental properties in Oldham, which is driving up rents, but it isn’t just an Oldham-specific problem, it’s something being experienced across the whole country.

“The shortage has been caused by a variety of factors. Record house prices have meant that many landlords have decided to sell their investment properties while the market is hot in order to generate a strong return on investment.

“High house prices also put off other potential landlords buying investment properties as they’re less likely to be able to make a profit and prefer to buy when prices are low.

“Finally, as property prices increase, fewer people are able to take their first step onto the housing ladder, which increases demand for rental properties and further drives up demand and rental prices.”