RENT increases hit a 14-month high in June, says an industry body.

Some 31 per cent of letting agents saw rents rise for tenants, up from 27 per cent in May, according to ARLA Propertymark, the Association of Residential Letting Agents.

This is the highest level since April 2016.

Rent stock increased marginally last month, while demand dropped slightly.

Meanwhile, the association says letting agents would like the Government to focus on improving enforcement for rogue agents, and regulating the sector. Some 83 per cent of agents want the impending ban on letting agent fees to be scrapped.

In further figures from ARLA Propertymark's June report:

- the number of properties managed per member branch increased marginally in June, to 190 – up from 189 in May. Year on year, this figure has increased by eight per cent. In June last year, letting agents managed just 176 properties on average.

- demand from tenants dropped slightly in June, with 61 new tenants registered per branch. In April and May, agents registered 65 on average.

David Cox, ARLA Propertymark chief executive, said: "With the cost of living on the rise and inflationary pressures tightening, the last thing tenants need is for their rents to continue rising.

"However, the fact that supply looks to be rising, while demand has dropped slightly, indicates a move in the right direction for the market.

"Ultimately, to stop rent prices from increasing too much, we need to find the balance between supply and demand.

"While there’s still a long way to go, if the supply of rental stock continues to increase, and the number of tenants searching for new properties drops off, we’ll be making headway towards achieving this.”

The industry body says three-quarters of letting agents (73 per cent) would like the Government to focus on improving enforcement for rogue agents

More than three in five (62 per cent) want the sector to be regulated, while a quarter (26 per cent) think they should provide tax breaks to encourage longer-term tenancies.