Those soaring rents

[Wera Hobhouse and Toby Martin in front of Reside]

The soaring rental market in Bath was the subject of discussion when the city’s MP, Wera Hobhouse met up recently with the General Manager of independent estate agent Reside, Toby Martin.

Reside Bath is an award-winning letting agent offering a unique, proactive approach to residential letting. 

Mrs Hobhouse met with General Manager Toby Martin to discuss various issues, including student lets, Airbnb, and housing shortages.

The average rent for homes coming on the market in the Bath area in 2021 was £1,413 per month. In 2023, it has increased to £1,660 per month, a significant rise that has left many renters struggling to afford their homes in Bath. Hobhouse and Martin discussed why this has become the case, noting the considerable decrease in properties available to rent nationwide, which has dropped by 40%.

During the visit, the pair agreed that there should be minimum standards for rental properties. Letting agents should be accountable to a public body to prevent rogue landlords.

Hobhouse also expressed deep concern about the delay in the Renters Reform Bill progressing through the Commons. To make the private rented sector fairer for all, the Liberal Democrats would change the rules so landlords can only evict tenants in specific circumstances, such as failing to pay rent or damaging the property.

Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, commented:

“I am deeply concerned about the soaring rental market in Bath, and it was a pleasure to meet with Toby Martin to discuss the issue further.

“The significant rise in rental prices in our city has left many renters struggling to afford their homes, and it is unacceptable that so many people are being priced out of the city they call home.

“It is time for the government to take action to fix our broken rental system once and for all. Bath residents deserve better.”

Toby Martin, General Manager of Reside Bath, commented:

“Unless the imbalance between supply and demand is addressed, rents in Bath will continue to increase due to the number of tenants competing for each rental home that goes on the market. 

“For some landlords, recent changes to the way in which they are taxed, coupled with increased mortgage rates, have rendered their rental homes financially unviable, with many instead looking to the lucrative and unregulated holiday lets sector. 

“I am deeply grateful to Wera Hobhouse for discussing these important issues with me. As a responsible and ethical property professional, I believe it is vital to work towards a balanced and fair private rented sector, where landlords are valued as suppliers of good quality homes and tenants are not having to compete with one another when looking for a place to live.”