The rewards can be great when you are letting a property, but one thing is sure: you’ll face some pretty tough competition along the way. Before y
The rewards can be great when you are letting a property, but one thing is sure: you’ll face some pretty tough competition along the way.
Before you walk through the door of your local lettings agent, you should be aware of some of the challenges you could face when you are letting a property in the UK. Read on to get a 360 ̊ perspective on what it’s like to be a London landlord.
1 Quick turnaround of tenants
People tend to move on more rapidly when renting, so don’t expect tenants to stay on long term, and be prepared for some void periods while you are waiting for a new tenant to move in.
2 Expect to negotiate
Unless your property is in a particularly sought-after location or your rent is lower than the average asking price for that area, it’s likely that applicants will try to negotiate. It’s up to you whether you decide to hold out for a tenant who is prepared to pay the asking price, or agree to a reduction so your property doesn’t stand empty for too long.
3 Applicants may be picky
Young professionals living in the UK expect high standards, so if your property looks tired or old-fashioned it may not attract as many applicants. A fresh coat of paint, new carpets, and some simple changes – like replacing the doors of those 1990s style kitchen units with a more contemporary design – can work wonders.
4 Stay on top of legislation
The government has been busy over the past year, bringing in a slew of new legislation that affects landlords – from minimum energy efficiency standards and electrical safety checks to the landlords’ redress scheme. Needless to say, it’s vital to keep up to date, and if you’re not using a lettings agency it may be advisable to join a landlords’ association in order to stay informed.
There’s a lot to take in, but before you get into the fine detail of what you can expect as a city landlord, you may want to consider the point raised at the top of this article, namely the high level of competition you’ll face in the London lettings marketplace.
Your UK lettings USP?
One of the most interesting initiatives to take off in recent years is the introduction of no deposit rent schemes, where traditional cash deposits are replaced by insurance. There are a number of providers out there, each requiring a different method of payment, but one of the simpler and more transparent no deposit solutions is provided by Zero Deposit™, who charge tenants a non-returnable fee based on one week’s rent at the beginning of their tenancy, then a £26 admin fee for each year they remain in the property. The landlord, who pays nothing to belong to the scheme, is covered for six weeks’ rent instead of the usual five, and in the event of a dispute that is settled in the landlord’s favour, the outstanding sum is paid back within two working days.
Letting agents and private landlords alike have greeted no deposit schemes with enthusiasm, commenting on their ability to attract more tenants and also their capacity to attract a wider audience of working tenants who may – for a variety of reasons – find it difficult to save for a deposit amounting to five or six weeks’ rent.
Recently letting agent YourMove reported that around 70 percent of tenants said their decision to rent a specific property would be influenced by whether they had to pay an upfront cash deposit. In a crowded marketplace, it helps to create an advantage over the competition, and deposit-free renting could just be the USP your property needs to secure tenants quickly and easily.