Here at Manors Estate Agents, Marylebone, we like to keep you up to date with all the latest developments in the lettings industry – so here they are:
Homelet’s latest index shows the rental market continues on its upward trajectory. Average rents rose by 1.8% in June when compared to last year, hitting £941pcm. In London, rents were up by 0.9% at an average of £1,611pcm, 71.2% higher than the UK average.
Commenting, Martin Totty, chief executive at HomeLet, said:
“What is most striking about the latest data is the consistency of rental prices we are seeing across the whole UK, with all regions recording a continued year-on-year increase. This is a continuation of the theme we’ve been seeing since mid-2017 as rents have continued to edge up."
London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan is not happy about the situation, hitting the headlines recently with his calls for rent controls, claiming they were needed to ‘fundamentally rebalance London’s private rented sector.’
Critics, however, have been quick to rubbish the idea. Most pointing out that he’s trying to treat the symptoms, not the disease – the lack of house building. They also point out that with the current tax and legislative burden already producing an exodus of landlords, rent controls would make the problem substantially worse. It might prove popular for tenants in the short term. The mood would soon sour though when they discovered there was no longer enough properties to go around and that landlords were skimping on repairs to make up for revenue shortfalls. Fortunately, Khan cannot implement rent controls himself - he must ask the government to give him the powers to do so and they have made it very clear they do not support the idea.
In other news, the dust is still settling on the much debated tenants’ fees ban, which came into force in June. In keeping with the government’s chaotic approach to the property industry, the new ‘How to Rent’ guide which accompanied it - and is mandatory - only became available 60 seconds after the ban started. At the same time a new deposit cap of 5 weeks rent was also introduced.
Both measures are already proving popular with prospective tenants, but it is too early to see what the real effect of either piece of legislation will be. Many believe the cost of the fees will now fall on landlords, many of whom have already stated they will try to pass it back to the tenants in the form of higher rents. The same goes for the deposit cap. Landlords will need to make sure their insurance covers them for any shortfalls if there is any major damage to the property and the cost of that cover will, yet again, be passed back to the tenants in the form of higher rents.