Renting: Should Estate Agents and Landlords Do More?

Renting: Should Estate Agents and Landlords Do More?

More of us are renting in the UK and it certainly has its benefits, such as: The freedom to move as required, no costs for repairs or maintenance, no

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More of us are renting in the UK and it certainly has its benefits, such as: The freedom to move as required, no costs for repairs or maintenance, no mortgage commitments, and the opportunity to live in areas where you would not be able to afford to buy.

On the other hand, renting can also be stressful. Starting with the property search, the rental market moves a lot faster, meaning you could be chasing after properties that have already been snapped up – this is particularly true for London, where the market moves very quickly. It can also be expensive. For example, renting typically involves admin fees, deposits and upfront rent payments.

However, despite this, the UK is very much a renters market, with experts predicting that a quarter of us will be renting by 2021. With this is mind, should landlords and estate agents be doing more? And how can they improve the renting process?

Plans to Scrap High Tenant Fees

In 2016, in the Government’s autumn statement, it was proposed that renting would be made fairer by reducing agent fees. Then, in April 2017, it was announced that fees and deposits would be capped, covering processes such as tenant referencing and credit checks. This was a move to prevent hidden costs and make renting more affordable.

This is a welcome move as it could save renters hundreds of pounds. However, fast forward to 2018 and we are still awaiting on a date for these plans to come into effect. However, if successful, this could benefit tenants and help more people to access the rental market.

Improving Communication Between Tenants, Landlords and Estate Agents

One of the main issues tenants run into when in a rental property is communication. This is often the case when it comes to repair work or maintenance issues. Unfortunately, trouble with communication can lead to unresolved problems, unhappy tenants, and in the worst case, vacant properties. As such, no one wins in this scenario, with tenants having to search for a new home, while landlords and agents are left out of pocket.

To resolve this, landlords and agents can work together to improve communication. This could include arranging regular meetings to discuss any potential issues, making it a more collaborative process. Essentially, showing tenants that you care about the property could help to foster a better relationship.

Steps Tenants Can Take

While a cap on fees and better communication from landlords and agents could benefit tenants, there are things renters can do, too. This includes carrying out research and asking questions to avoid nasty surprises.

As such, before renting, tenants should find out the following:

· Finding out if white goods are included

· Enquiring about tenant fees

· If a guarantor is required

· How your deposit will be held

· And ask to receive everything in writing

Finally, it’s no secret that renting a property can be expensive and stressful, but by working together, tenants, landlords and estate agents (like Andrews Online) can create a more harmonious process. In addition, tenants should always carry out research and make sure they understand what they are agreeing to before renting a property.