It’s a great time to be a landlord. That was the message from Mike White, the owner of the Martin & Co letting agency franchise in Norwich.
“Rents are rising almost back to their all time high, tenants are staying put for longer (and are likely to do so as the mortgage market continues to be tight) and there are fewer new rental properties coming onto the lettings market,” said Mr White.
“So for the professional landlord, does this means more money, longer tenancies, little if any void period and a stable lettings environment for the foreseeable future? Well, the answer is both yes and no.
“Yes, renting is definitely becoming a lifestyle choice for tenants who see their rented property as a home rather than a stop gap prior to purchasing and average tenancies are becoming longer. This has led to fewer properties on the market – just look at the adverts in this supplement, many of the agents are seeking new landlord instructions.
“While Norwich seems to be particularly affected by these trends because the city attracts a large inflow of people each year, most cities and towns through the UK are in the same boat. The upside here is that rental yields are increasing making a rental property a very attractive choice given the lack of alternatives currently available.
“The downside is the economy and unemployment. With the government cuts recently announced, most economic forecasters are predicting the rate of unemployment is likely to rise quite sharply. In addition a number of companies who provide rent guarantee insurance are reporting an upsurge in claims as tenants find themselves out of work and unable to pay their rent.”
Mr White added: “It’s all about risk management, just as you would insure the fabric of your property to protect against fire, it makes sense to consider protecting the rent. With rents
rising, the cost of getting rent protection is definitely more affordable. There are a range of rent guarantees on the market and any good letting agent will have ready access to these. At Martin & Co., we believe passionately about ensuring our landlord clients are properly protected to the extent where we will pay for the rent guarantee to be put in place for all new tenancies we arrange, for the initial fixed term of the contract, where we provide an ongoing management service.”
Mike White at Martin & Co is on 01603 766860.