Lower Rents but Higher Risks for Tenants; Market Review June 09

Something positive has arisen from last years financial crisis and property crash. It’s clearly a renters market!  Renting better value for money than before.

Renters have more choice, around double that of 2007. because many homeowners and builders having been unable to sell and are deciding to let. Although there are more people from all walks of life renting, the increase is not enough to soak up the oversupplied letting market. So rents have dropped from the peaks of early 2008.

An Example from Peterborough

For example a 2 bedroom executive style apartment with an ensuite to main bedroom and fitted kitchen appliances in the Peterborough area will cost today around £575 to £600 per calendar month exclusive of local tax and utilities. A reduction of £100 per month compared to early 2008. In other words a 15% reduction in a year.  Current letting industry reports indicate rents have not dropped for the past month and could increase towards the end of 2009.

Benefits for Existing Tenants

If you are a tenant and want to benefit from the current weak rents why not ask your landlord or agent for a new tenancy agreement for a longer term maybe 12 months or more at a lower rent. New agreements can be made at the end of a “fixed term” tenancy or at any time during the tenancy. Your landlord may find this offer attractive, as gives him guaranteed rental income for a longer period of time.

Beware of unaware, untrained and unregulated landlords and agents.

Like other major cities across the UK, Peterborough, over the last year has seen an increase in the number of businesses involved in lettings and many new private landlords letting, as they have been unable to sell. Many of these new agents and landlords are unaware, untrained and unregulated.

Two pieces of legislation being ignored by some private landlords and letting agents are;

  • April 2007 the registration of tenants damage deposits.
  • October 2008 the provision of an Energy Performance Certificate for the rental property.

Protect yourself by asking lettings agents if they are a member of Safeagent (Safeagent Scheme) and landlords if they are members of the NLA (National Landlords Association) and check their registrations. Ask agents and landlords to provide you with details of how they will register your deposits; if they decline to provide the information it may be best to look for another property.

You can find more information about the Tenancy Deposit Protection and Energy Performance Certificates by clicking on www.direct.gov.uk or from a regulated residential property letting agent.

Terry Lucking of Belvoir Lettings Peterborough, the writer of this article is willing to offer free advice;  01733 321500.