Rising rents attracting would-be sellers

The frustrating sales market is leading to more would-be sellers deciding to rent out their home and move into rented accommodation themselves, according to Leaders, the UK’s largest independent letting specialist.

This trend to let and rent rather than continue up the traditional property ladder not only enables people to move on when they need to, it is also often a better option financially, as Leaders’ regional director, Allison Thompson, explains: “It is not surprising that people are attracted to the lettings market which is currently very strong. Average rents across the UK have risen for five months, and in the South East specifically they rose 0.46 per cent in the last month alone, taking the average rent here to £818 per month.

“We are seeing exceptionally high demand for all types of property in all the areas we cover – from studio flats to large family houses – with available properties letting very quickly and many tenants wanting to extend their tenancies indefinitely.

“This makes letting an appealing option for the foreseeable future as it allows homeowners to wait until the sales market improves while at the same time moving on with their lives.”

According to Leaders, which has 53 branches across the South, rents have increased most in Surrey, North Hampshire and Brighton, with increases of between 1.95 per cent and 3.91 per cent in the last quarter.

While letting your home is the perfect solution for many, it should not be done lightly and without seeking expert, impartial advice.

Says Allison: “Not only are there around 50 Acts of Parliament and 70 separate sets of regulation relating to letting, there are also a number of practical issues you should be aware of, such as the fact that you need to obtain your mortgage lender’s ‘consent to let’.

Letting your home without informing them is in breach of your mortgage contract. Also, standard home insurance policies will not adequately cover rented property so you will need switch to a specialist landlord insurance policy.

“This is where letting specialists such as ourselves are invaluable. We can guide you through the many requirements – including the vital gas, electrical and fire safety regulations that rented property must comply with - to ensure you let your property legally, safely and with peace of mind. We can also give you an accurate assessment of the rental value of your property and how to secure the best possible rent; vet your tenants thoroughly; ensure you comply with the tenancy deposit regulations; draw up a legal contract for the tenancy to protect your interests as a landlord; and, for added reassurance, look after the tenancy for you to ensure everything runs smoothly from beginning to end.”

Leaders anticipate the trend to let rather than sell will continue for the foreseeable future.

The latest figures from the Land Registry show a continuing decline in transactions with an average of 44,300 sales per month – less than half the peak figures reported six years ago.

Says Allison: “With letting such a viable option, there is no need for people to put their lives on hold any longer. We will be happy to give free, impartial advice to anyone wanting to rent out their home or become a landlord for the first time.”

Leaders have been specialising in the letting and care of rented property to the highest standards for 28 years.

With their professionally qualified staff and ARLA membership, their knowledge and capability in this field are second to none. For advice you can trust on all aspects of letting or renting in your area please contact your local Leaders branch at 61 High Street, Bognor Regis, West Sussex PO21 1RY 01243 841284.