Almost three quarters, 70 per cent, of ARLA member offices say there are more tenants than available properties, an increase from 59 per cent last quarter and 24 per cent in September 2009.
In the South East, 76 per cent of member offices reported more tenants than properties.
ARLA operations manager Ian Potter says: “The spring period would usually see a rise in rental properties coming onto the market, and although there is some evidence of landlords considering selling up, it is not enough to counteract the change in supply.
“This situation has been deteriorating rapidly in recent months, as the supply and demand of homes to buy is also swinging out of kilter – making the prospect of a severe rental housing shortage ever more likely.
“In his Budget, the Chancellor did little to incentivise investment in the Private Rented Sector – in fact, the rise in capital gains tax may actually discourage potential landlords from investing. This, combined with low construction levels and the cap on housing benefits, means that instead of the housing market getting back on its feet, what we may soon see is people going without homes they can afford – something that simply should not be allowed to happen.”