Landlords Seeing Rise In Tenant Demand, Especially From Families

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10 April 2015

Almost half of landlords in the UK are reporting an increased demand for rental properties which is expected to continue over the next 12 months.

Some 43% have experienced a rise in tenant demand and it is being driven by young people and families, according to the latest research by specialist buy to let lender Paragon Mortgages.

It also shows that 51% expect this level of growth to continue over the next 12 months with 47% renting to young couples, 43% to young singles and 42% to families with children.

‘It is no surprise that rental demand is steadily increasing. With continued stress on the housing stock driving prices up, tough affordability hurdles for would be buyers and a social rented sector under pressure as a result of renewed interest in right to buy, a steady increase in rental demand was practically inevitable,’ said John Heron, Managing Director of Paragon Mortgages.

‘It is important that landlords continue to expand the supply of rented property in order to maintain balance and so avoid unsustainable increases in rents. A healthy, competitive and innovative buy to let market is critical to this,’ he added.

Meanwhile, separate research shows that more than half of tenants say they experienced problems with their rented homes over the past 12 months, ranging from poor maintenance to breaches of their contract.

The biggest problem, for 15% of tenants, was their landlord’s failure to fix structural problems including damp, a leaking roof or rotten window frames, according to the research by mortgage and loans provider Ocean Finance.

A further 13% of tenants suffered delays in repairing broken furniture, showers and washing machines. 14% of tenants faced unexpected increases in their rent, disputes over money deducted from their deposits and even early eviction when their landlord sold their property.

Tenants in London, where more than 10 million people live in private rental accommodation, fared the worst, with 60% saying they experienced problems in the past 12 months. This was followed by those in the East Midlands and the rest of the South East region.

Some 35% of tenants said even though they complained to the landlord or letting agent, the problems were not fixed. While 13% said they didn’t know who to turn to for advice, while 5% took matters into their own hands and refused to pay their rent until the landlord resolved the problem.

‘Landlords have an obligation to ensure that the properties they let are well maintained and safe for their tenants to live in. The research indicates that many tenants are renting sub-standard properties. It’s also concerning that people are facing mid-tenancy rent increases or have money unexpectedly taken from their deposits,’ said Gareth Shilton, a spokesman for Ocean Finance.

‘One of the problems may be a lack of clarity over whose responsibility it is to maintain different aspects of a property. Often the landlord believes the tenant is responsible for doing repairs that in fact they are obligated to make,’ he added.