Rental Recession Guide
25th June 2009
AS RESIDENTIAL RENTAL INCOME SHOWS SIGNS OF RECOVERY, BELVOIR SUPPORTS LANDLORDS AND TENANTS WITH ITS RENTAL RECESSION GUIDE
The last 18 months have seen a big shift in the UK rental market with the amount of residential properties available for let increasing by a massive 68%.
Belvoir, the lettings specialist which has offices in Portadown, Newtownards, Bangor and Belfast (South & East), believes this flood of new properties coming onto the rental market is the result of homeowners choosing to let their properties and become ‘accidental' landlords rather than try and sell in a depressed housing market.
As the number of properties available to let grew sharply, this was initially matched by a big increase in the number of people looking to rent as they were unable to raise the funds necessary to buy their own home. Rental incomes continued to increase until reaching a peak in Summer 2008, after which they went into decline as supply started to outstrip demand.
John Hollingsworth of Belvoir Lettings, Portadown, feels that rental incomes are at last beginning to stabilize. "The bottoming out witnessed at the beginning of the second quarter of 2009 is certainly significant," says John. "Being optimistic, this stabilization could be the first signs of ‘normality' returning to the rental property sector. However, it could also be the result of increasing numbers of people now choosing to rent rather than buy."
Mike Goddard (pictured above) Chief Executive of Belvoir Lettings in the UK adds:
"Mortgages, which drive the Northern Ireland housing sales market, remain difficult to come by, especially for first time buyers and, despite rental incomes dipping in the second half of 2008, the residential lettings market remains robust, driven as it is by tenant demand."
Belvoir is the UK's leading lettings specialist and has a network of over 140 franchises that stretches across the whole of the UK, looking after a property portfolio valued at more than £1 billion.
As the market continues to evolve and adapt, the company offers the following advice to homeowners who, because of the recession, have found themselves becoming ‘accidental' landlords in the past 18 months:
Be wary of the burgeoning ‘pop up' lettings agencies - the big rise in rental properties has resulted in novice letting agents opening up to cash in on the market. It is always best to seek out a reputable and experienced agent who will know how the market is evolving and have strong local knowledge allowing them to offer professional and sound advice to both new and existing landlords
Ensure that your mortgage lender is aware that your property is going to be let
Seek professional advice to ensure that you have the right house insurance policies in place
Managing your own let can be time consuming and stressful so consider employing experienced property management specialists who will make sure tenants feel and are well looked after
Ensure all required safety checks have been carried out on your property before it is let (e.g. CORGI registered etc) - a good lettings and property management agency will be able to advise on all legal requirements
Before letting your property, ensure that you have acquired an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) - a legal requirement from 1st January in Northern Ireland.
"The residential rental market remains robust but is evolving in line with prevailing economic conditions," explains Hollingsworth. "With our years of experience, market insight, local knowledge and understanding of an ever changing environment, we at Belvoir are well placed to ensure that both landlords and tenants continue to enjoy the many benefits of property rental."
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