As a local estate agent which deals heavily in lettings, it won’t be a surprise to know that we fully encourage tenants to use an agent when they are trying to find a place to live.
But it’s always good to have this conviction backed up. And the latest State of the Property Nation research from Zoopla has done exactly that.
It found an increasing proportion of renters are turning to letting agents, with the number using an agent to find a suitable home rising by 12% in the last year.
A significant uplift
The research revealed that almost half of tenants (48%) used a letting agent to source a home in 2018, a notable rise from the 36% recorded in Zoopla’s 2017 State of the Property Nation report.
Zoopla’s data found that 28% of lettings agents plan to increase their use of technology over the next 12 months, while 22% will do more marketing to grow the number of rental properties on their books.
Although there are challenges ahead – not just with the letting fees ban, but also the outcome of Brexit and concerns over rental supply – there are also opportunities. And the rising number of tenants turning to letting agents is a very positive move, with a good, reliable local agent able to fill a rental property with the right kind of tenants in a reasonable amount of time.
Demand remains strong
Another positive is the continued high demand for rental properties, with the private rented sector set to carry on its rapid growth in 2019. It now accounts for 20% of all households in England, according to the most recent English Housing Survey, making it the country’s second largest form of tenure.
In London, it is the largest tenure, with an increasing number of middle-aged and family renters joining the students and young professionals who have traditionally made up a large chunk of the capital’s renter population.
And this trend for renting homes shows no signs of dying down. Of the 6,000 people surveyed by Zoopla, some 62% said they expect to rent for at least the next three years. Of these, almost a quarter (23%) said they are likely to be renting indefinitely – whether through choice or necessity.
Assistance for landlords
Although demand remains strong and landlords can feel confident of securing good returns on their investment – particularly in high-demand, thriving areas with good transport links, strong local amenities and a busy events calendar – there are a number of challenges landlords face in the current environment.
While the flood of new regulation and legislation entering the market in recent years has calmed down a bit of late, there is still a lot that landlords need to be aware of. According to the Zoopla data, 39% of landlords say they struggle to keep up to speed with increased regulation, while 36% are concerned about how future legislation will impact on them.
This, again, is where a good, reliable letting agent earns their corn – taking the hassle and stress away from you, the landlord, by keeping on top of all new rules and regulations and putting you at ease throughout.
The biggest challenge for landlords, though, according to the findings, is sourcing suitable tenants (56%), closely followed by ensuring that tenants look after the property (55%) and making sure they pay their rent on time (47%).
Once more, however, these challenges can easily be overcome by partnering with the right letting agent – one with excellent knowledge of the local market and the ability to source suitable tenants.
A good agent will also manage your property effectively – ensuring that it’s being kept in a good state of repair by carrying out regular inspections and handling any repairs or maintenance tasks – and chase up tenants if rental payments are late.
Here at Parkgate Estates, we have more than 40 years’ experience of working in the Richmond, Sheen, Mortlake and Putney areas, which means we have the knowledge and expertise to help you get the most from your rental properties.
We can help you to create a stress-free tenancy while also maximising your returns on investment – the dream win-win scenario, in other words. We offer various services – including property management, rent collection and let only – and pride ourselves on our attention to detail, our reasonable fees and our ability to market your property in an effective, efficient manner.
You’ll have a dedicated property manager on hand during a tenancy, to reassure that you your homes are in safe hands. We also offer a full project management service, which means if you require a new bathroom, roof or kitchen we can manage this process for you from start to finish.
As the above research states, it’s more important than ever that landlords partner up with a letting agent to face head on the various challenges that are being posed.
With figures suggesting that awareness of legislation changes among landlords is quite low – only approximately a third are aware of some of the biggest regulatory changes of recent years – there is a need for letting agents to share their knowledge and educate landlords further about the legislation already in place and the new legislation coming into force in the future.
To find about more about how we can get your home let, and why a letting agent’s role in the rental process is so crucial, please get in touch with Parkgate Estates on 0208 940 2991.
If you’re thinking of letting your property and would like to know how much it could be worth, you can request a free and instant online valuation.