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Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics.

As I'm sure any of you with any interest in the Rental world will know, statistics are banded ...


As I’m sure any of you with any interest in the Rental world will know, statistics are banded around to back any argument, advice or criticisms aimed at the buy to let sector. Sometimes they are confusing, often difficult to believe and sometimes, I dare say it, downright disingenuous. It is probably a little unfair to suggest that we completely disregard stats, but it’s also unwise to accept sweeping statements like “10% growth across the sector” as gospel.


I have assessed our property portfolio and the prices increases we have seen across the board in the last 12 months. I can confirm that in Hitchin Rental Prices did not grow at a rate of 10% in 2016 on every property we deal with. In the most abundant categories of rental properties; 2 bedroom houses and apartments, the true growth appears to have been between 5% and 6% on the previous years rent value.  Perhaps the inflated figures are underwritten by larger increases where landlords have seen large jumps in rent as a result of not keeping their rents at a market rate. The largest rates of growth have been in one bedroom apartments in central Hitchin and Stevenage, where rents have risen as much as 13% in some cases.


My advice when considering the perils and positives of buy to let investment is to do some of your own research. You only have to look at Rightmove or Zoopla to see for yourself how well certain properties are performing and at what prices. In fact you might well find a comparable property in the same street or block, such is the prevalence of rental properties in and around Hitchin. If you do find a comparable, you can then ascertain how quickly the property has let and what the trending prices are in that area.


Of course I strongly recommend that you consider the advice of a local lettings agent, just be sure that you double check figures yourself, as I have suggested above, and be slightly careful of development sales office’s with a vested interest in selling you something.

As always if you wish to discuss any facet of buy to let do feel free to call me on 01462 433 949, I would be more than happy to help.

 Jonathan Fiducia, Manager Belvoir Hitchin & Stevenage


My tenants have asked me if I would allow them to move a friend into the property to help them pay the rent, should I allow this?

Whilst a wish to try to help your tenants and a prospect of a more secure income could be serious temptations, it is important to note that you could find yourself in contravention of legislations relating to occupancy levels and rights to rent. If you have too many occupants in a property then you could fall foul of HMO regulations, these can be found quite easily on the government website and will depend on your specific situation. Right To Rent checks are more simple, you must be sure that anyone allowed to live in the property has a right to reside in this country, you must check their passports or visas and keep doing so after future expiry if necessary.

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