Landlords are absorbing higher costs rather than hiking rents for tenants, according to the HomeLet Rental Index.
Rents grew at their slowest pace in 2016 during September, said the index. The average UK rent rose 3% over the year to £910 a month. This was a 0.8% fall month-on-month.
"Landlords are being very careful to ensure rents remain affordable for tenants," said Martin Totty, HomeLet's chief executive.
"Despite factors such as higher stamp duty on purchases for buy-to-let investors, and the tax changes coming in from April 2017, it would appear so far landlords have absorbed any actual or expected decreases in their yields, rather than pass this on through higher rents."
As well as putting an extra 3% on stamp duty for buyers of additional properties, the Treasury is cutting tax reliefs for landlords for costs such as mortgage interest and maintenance.
Rents are rising fastest in the West Midlands, said HomeLet, where the average rose 5.6% over the year to £665. They are falling in Scotland, where the average dipped 1.7% to £610. Rents are highest in London. The city's average rose 3% to £1,555.
|Region||Average rent in September 2016||Average rent in August 2016||Average rent in September 2015||Monthly variation||Annual variation|
|East of England||£904||£907||£864||-0.4%||4.7%|
|Yorkshire & Humberside||£621||£626||£607||-0.8%||2.2%|
|Notes:||Based on new tenancies in September 2016||Based on new tenancies in August 2016||Based on new tenancies in September 2015||Comparison of average rent in September 2016 and August 2016||Comparison of average rent in September 2016 and September 2015|
Source: HomeLet Rental Index, September 2016