Online House Hunter: Rent rises

Alan Cleaver
rent 261x300 Online House Hunter: Rent rises

Online help is available for both tenants and landlords

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.


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  • Leaders

    As a result of the huge demand from tenants and general shortage of rented property, we have seen an increase over the last few months in interest / enquires from people looking to invest for the first time. Many of them are looking for a long-term investment to supplement their pension, and for a way to get a return on their savings, given low interest rates.Whilst the market is very strong in terms of demand, B-T-L is not a license to print money! Over the long term investors can expect their asset to increase in value, but in terms of income, margins can be fairly tight when you consider maintenance costs, agency fees, tax, etc. Hence it is imperative to get impartial advice about the right property and area to invest in to maximise income, and this will of course differ from area to area. With the sales market struggling and demand from tenants for all property types so high, there are plenty of good investment opportunities around at the moment. The key to success is getting independent, specialist advice from a local ARLA letting agent with many years of experience.

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