Happy tenants make for a 'successful investment'

by Sarah Ashcroft

Being a landlord may not be rocket science, but there are lots of things to consider to make sure tenants are happy. This is the view of Malcolm Harrison, spokesman for the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, who believes happy tenants make for a "successful investment".

"You have got to make certain that you have done all of the things such as a proper tenancy agreement, taken an inventory and that you have registered the deposit with one of the deposit protection schemes, which is a legal requirement," he explains. "You have to have your annual gas inspection and there are the health and safety aspects of it – all of those things must be done."

His comments come as more and more first-time landlords enter the private rented sector for the first time. Spurred by rising rents and, in some cases, a difficulty in selling their home, people are looking to rent out properties in greater numbers than ever.

However, the trend that has seen rents rise could be coming to an end. New figures from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla) shows that in the first quarter of this year, 50 per cent of its members reported increased achievable rent levels, in line with news of rising rents across the UK. However, this has fallen from 60 per cent nine months ago, indicating a levelling off in rents.

Over the same timescale, void periods rose for the second successive quarter to an average three weeks. Members also reported a decline in tenancies being signed, which could be down to people staying longer in properties.

While Arla president Tim Hayatt recognises that the initial boom in so-called reluctant landlords joining the private rented sector could be coming to an end, this is by no means a uniform trend.

"We know anecdotally that this is by no means a consistent picture across the UK, as there is still a huge demand for rental property in some parts of the country," he explained.

"Ultimately, the key challenge of undersupply has not been solved and there is still a need to provide the right housing, in the right places, across the wider housing market."

  • Landlord and Tenancy News from Lawpack: Get expert advice on your obligations as a landlord with Lawpack's Residential Lettings Guide

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Published on: May 3, 2012

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