The number of rental homes available for tenants fell by 5 per cent in February 2018 in the UK.

According to ARLA’s Private Rented Sector (PRS) report for February 2018, the number of rental properties that the letting agents managed continued to fall month-on-month, with 175 on an average per branch compared to 184 in January this year. This is likely to impact the rental market, as landlords may raise the rental values.

The data revealed by ARLA showed that one in five (20 per cent) tenants experienced rent hikes in February, compared to 19 per cent in January.

ARLA attributed the development to the minimum energy efficiency standards, which would come into effect in April, meaning all rental properties must be EPC rated E or above.

"The dip in supply indicates that landlords are cutting it fine and taking their properties off the market to make the necessary changes before the deadline – but we could also see up to 300,000 properties taken off the after the deadline passes on Sunday because they don’t reach the minimum requirements,” the ARLA report said.

This is pushing rent costs up as competition heats up among prospective tenants. ARLA has predicted a supply crisis in the wake of the latest development.