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Home rental costs still rising, says LSL

The average cost of renting a Private Rental Sector (PRS) property is now 3.4% more than it was 12 months ago, according to a new survey.

Rents Reach Record High and Continue to Rise

UK Rents Reach Record High and Continue to Rise

The cost of renting a property in England and Wales reached another new record high in October 2012, with typical PRS rents averaging £744 (GBP) a month, up 0.4% on September.

October’s increase is the seventh consecutive month of overall rent rises, with the biggest increases being in London – up 0.9% and the South East of England – up 0.7%.

However, it wasn’t all good news for landlords as five areas saw average PRS property rental prices fall, with the biggest decrease being in the East Midlands – down 1.8%.

The survey by LSL Property Services suggested that the pace of PRS rent rise’s has slowed and that the heat had come out of the rental market as the quieter season for new tenants approached.

David Newnes, LSL Director, said “A combination of improved buyer activity and a seasonal slowdown has taken some of the heat out of the rental market as it enters the traditionally quieter final months of the year. However, despite the deceleration, the fact that monthly rents rose by twice the rate seen a year ago points to the underlying strength of tenant demand for PRS property.”

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Tenant Demand Boosts Landlord Confidence

Tenant Demand Boosts Landlord Confidence

UK Buy-To-Let Landlord confidence has been boosted by continued strong tenant demand and falling property prices, according to the latest landlord survey conducted by LSL Property Services.

• 48% of UK BTL landlords believe that now is a good time to invest in property
• Less than 1% think it is now a good time to reduce their portfolios.
• 82% of landlords who think now is a good time to buy rental property cited attractive property prices
• 53% of UK landlords mentioned strong tenant demand.

The strength of tenant demand has been the major driving force behind recent UK rent rises, with rents at a record high of £725.00 (GBP) in England & Wales in July 2012.

In the past six months,

• 44% of UK landlords have seen a rise in tenant demand,
• 1% of UK landlords have observed a decrease in demand.

UK property investors are hoping that this growth will continue, with 64% of landlords anticipating a further increase in demand over the next twelve months.

40% of landlords expect to increase rents by an average of 4.5% in the coming 12 months, with just 1% expecting that they will be forced to reduce rents.

Sim Sekhon, spokesman for specialist landlord services provider, Legal 4 Landlords also commented on the latest LSL survey: “The findings show what UK Buy-to-Let landlords and property professionals have suspected for a while, that the UK PRS market is gaining strength and investors are able to get realistically good rental yields. Many landlords are taking advantage of the wealth of products and services designed to help them maximise profit and provide peace of mind for both tenant and landlord. Our Rent Guarantee Insurance and Tenant Referencing services have been sought by thousands of UK landlords over the last 12 months, as landlords look to avoid causing their tenants, or themselves, financial stress”.

David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, commented: “House prices are still subdued in many parts of the country and tenant demand is still growing. This is presenting landlords with the opportunity to secure strong yields on properties, and boosting confidence in UK Buy-To-Let as a long-term investment. The majority of landlords expect tenant demand will increase in the future, and as long as lending to first-time buyers remains in the doldrums, and new house building remains subdued, we won’t see demand for rental accommodation tail off. In these conditions, while affordability may increasingly come into play as landlords set rents, they are far more likely to continue to rise than tumble in the coming 12 months.”

Read more about the specialist landlord and letting agent services offered by Legal 4 Landlords

Rent arrears fall again in 2012

More UK Landlords Using Rent Guarantee Products

Private Rented Sector (PRS) rent arrears dropped in February with 9.3% of all rent late or unpaid at the end of the month, down from 10.7% in January.

With household bills increasing, UK unemployment still rising and the whole country still struggling to avoid a double dip recession as a result of the Eurozone crisis, together with the government’s welfare reforms and public sector belt tightening, there hasn’t been a great deal of optimism around, especially from landlords.

However, figures released by LSL property services show that UK landlords have a little less to worry about, with the amount of rent arrears and late payments falling again.

Either private sector landlords are having an excellent run of good fortune, having tenants who are able, paying the rent in full and on time, or they have become smarter and are now utilising the range of Rent Guarantee products that are currently on the market, to ensure they get paid and their monthly cashflow doesn’t suffer.

Being a landlord and letting a property in the UK means there will always the risk of the tenant not paying the rent, (rent default).

Even the best tenant referencing service cannot predict if a tenant will lose their job and fall on hard times and not be able to pay their rent.

How do landlords cover their expenditure if this happens?

In today’s struggling economic climate, many UK landlords are finding their tenants struggling with rising unemployment and increased bills. Often leading to the rent not being paid and the tenant facing eviction when the amount of rent arrears exceeds 8 weeks.

Recovering arrears can be difficult and costly for landlords, without any guarantee of success.

At Legal 4 Landlords, our Rent Guarantee Insurance will cover landlords against their tenant defaulting or failing to pay the rent.

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