Estate agents have hit out at government figures showing the cost of rent in the island has gone up by nearly 20 per cent in the last year.
Last week the Examiner reported that a figure of 19.6 per cent was released as part of the monthly annual inflation statistics by the government.
This prompted anger with some estate agents, denying the increase and saying that it made them look greedy.
Martyn Lowey, founder of Lowey and Co Estate Agents said: ‘I’ve been a property manager for nearly 40 years and in the last year there has been no significant rental increases in our properties. It’s misleading and makes us look greedy. I have asked for a meeting with the Department of Economic Development to discuss where they get the figures from.
‘With regards to commercial properties we don’t handle as many but again they’ve not been increasing, I’ve heard a lot of people in Strand Street are in arrears with rent.’
David Latta, sales and rentals manager at Harmony Homes, was in agreement and said: ‘Although the rental market is very buoyant, with good quality properties being snapped up quickly, the vast majority of rents over the past five years have remained flat, with no increases being made for inflation, or general rate rises.’
Anthony Kennedy, Douglas residential lettings manager at Cowley Growes and Company Ltd also agreed saying: ‘In my opinion what has actually driven this figure is the increase in rent in the public sector by various local authorities due to increases they have levied in 2013 and again in April of this year.
‘It was well documented earlier in the year that commissioners properties were increasing rents by up to 35 per cent in certain areas.
‘I’ve spoken with a number of landlords about increasing their tenants rents but any increase we have levied has been between 0.5 and 2.5 per cent.’