According to findings from lettings experts Vouch, between January and April of this year, there were an average of 509 tenancies being cancelled by agents each month.
The figures have then steadily risen with each passing month. In August, a huge 1,959 applications were voided – nearly quadruple the rate recorded in the first months of 2022.
This means that as many as 19% of all tenancy applications across England were cancelled during August, compared to just 4% during January.
Tenancies can be cancelled for a range of reasons, including tenants failing reference or credit checks, having insufficient funds to cover prospective rental costs, or if applications are suspected of fraud.
This data only includes tenancies cancelled by letting agents and excludes incidences where the tenant themselves pulled out of the process.
Experts at Vouch believe the rising cost of rent and wider increases in the cost of living means more tenants are unable to meet the financial obligations of their preferred tenancies. In addition, the introduction of sophisticated anti-fraud measures are picking up on suspicious tenancy applications before they are approved with greater accuracy.
Jaime Tillyer, COO at Vouch said, “The summer months saw a big increase in the number of tenancy applications which weren’t being approved.
“The reasons ranged from failure to pass credit checks or provide a guarantor, to suspected tenancy fraud. Whilst the reasons behind these cancellations are broad, what’s clear is that we are operating in a very turbulent rental market.
“As economic pressures increase and the lettings market continues to grapple with low levels of housing stock, trends such as this are likely to become the norm.”