Online House Hunter: Rent rises
THE lettings market has come under some criticism of late but as long as you follow a few simple steps – either as landlord or tenant – you should stay with the majority who have a trouble-free rental experience.
Concerns are growing because of the boom in the rental market in London and the south-east.
Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings, which has nine offices throughout the capital. Managing Director Anita Mehra says seasoned investors are returning to the buy-to-let market with smaller conversions and maisonettes being snapped up in areas like the Village at Hampstead.
She said: “Demand for one and two-bed apartments is insatiable and we’re renting units within a week. Rents are up slightly and in Hampstead and Belsize Park, with a one bed now achieving £400-£425 pw and £500-£800pw for a two bed – apartments with outside space, even a balcony, obviously attract the premium rental. Tenants tend to be corporates from the finance world and are usually a mix of UK nationals as well as many from the USA and Europe.”
Benham and Reeves are also seeing much interest in new developments like Beaufort Park in Hendon. Anita Mehra believes the combination of high-spec apartments and a 22-minute commute to the city will be tempting to investors and tenants.
For those opting to enter the rental market, there are a number of organisations able to help. The Association of Residential Letting Agents is the professional and regulatory body for letting agents and has 6,000 individual members, representing 3,500 member offices throughout the UK. They have a Code of Practice with disciplinary procedures and hearings.
The National Landlords Association represents private residential landlords and last year joined forces with the UK Association of Letting Agents to, in the words of NLA chairman David Salusbury, “to create a more unified voice for landlords, tenants and letting agents”.
Both the NLA and ARLA have a range of support services and advice for tenants, landlords and agents. And as much of it is freely available online it seems nonsensical that no-one would take advantage of this information before starting out in the rental market. And if the rental market continues to grow as it’s doing in London, you’ll need to keep these sites bookmarked.
- Independent online property search
- Homes to rent in Greater London
- National Landlords Association
- Association of Residential Lettings Agents
- DirectGov: Private Renting
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