2019 has been the year of the Tenant Fee Ban and various other legislation changes. On behalf of our landlords and tenants we have embraced these changes and used them as an opportunity to improve our service and offering to our landlords and tenants alike.
The Lettings Market has been volatile too in terms of rents and stock availability. There is still huge demand from tenants needing a home and in some areas where market supply is challenging, this has meant that Rents are rising at their fastest pace for 3 years. They have increased 2.2% since last year (excluding London) in the UK with an increase of 2% in Yorkshire, 4.4.% in Lancashire and 2.4% in the West Midlands.
According to Zoopla the average rent stands at £876 pcm with the biggest growth rate in Nottingham and London. London this year again has seen the biggest fluctuations but the rental growth in this area is up by 2.3%.
According to research, 40% of renters are aged between 35-55 and 42% are couples or other multi person households, where a single earner will spend over 31% of their earnings on rent, so with rents on the up many more people are looking to share to make it more affordable.
Geography, tenant type, style and earnings can all be great indicators of good buy to let opportunities and with the private rental sector standing at around 4.5m households it is showing no signs of reducing. Renting a property out can still be a viable investment.
At Hunters this year we have launched our new Infinity product range which forms part of our Fully Managed Service, but which takes away the worry and stress of a landlord’s rent being paid. The Infinity service (which is subject to T&C’s) guarantees “rent on time, every time”. No more sleepless nights for those landlords as their rent is guaranteed to be paid on the same day each month and should there be any arrears issues, these will also be sorted, and the cost of eviction covered too!
We have also been looking at varying ways in which we can make the renting experience better for all concerned; from using a new automated payment platform allowing us to pay landlords on the same day, to a customer portal where the setting up of a let can be done faster with more interaction from all parties 24/7, offering greater transparency. We have also introduced a deposit replacement option to help tenants moving from one rental property to another, this helps to make the process more fluid and it takes away the need to outlay huge deposit amounts. We also launched an online maintenance reporting platform which is in 40 languages and has great online tools to help tenants report more quickly and to sort out minor issues. It has the facility to send us more details and photos, meaning that the number of maintenance jobs has reduced which is fab news for our landlords and tenants alike!
One of the most recent things we have been trialling is a property MOT to encourage more safety checks to be carried out which so far has increased property views meaning quicker lets, safer tenants & properties and happier landlords and tenants.
2020 will bring us another challenging year in the Lettings Market but at Hunters we have all the tools and teams to be the UK favourite letting agent.