Landlords forecasting 'boom' in tenant demand

by Daniel Jones

Demand for tenancy agreements is set to grow in 2012 as landlords predict another fruitful year in the private rented sector. Research from buy-to-let lender Paragon shows more than half (56 per cent) of landlords expect tenant demand to "grow or boom" over the next 12 months, compared to 45 per cent who were asked the same question at the end of 2010. Just six per cent of landlords think demand will fall this year.

When questioned about rental income, 45 per cent of landlords surveyed predicted levels will increase, while 53 per cent thought they would remain stable. Two-thirds of landlords think arrears levels will stay stable and a fifth believe they will rise moderately.

Nigel Terrington, chief executive of Paragon Group, said: "It is no surprise that landlords are expecting a healthy level of tenant demand in the New Year, based on the levels of demand we have seen steadily increase throughout the past 12 months.

"2011 was certainly a good year for the buy-to-let market, with not only increasing tenant demand but landlords investing in their portfolios, low levels of arrears and more available finance."

However, investors seeking for a better return than the banks can provide at the moment have been warned to tread carefully when entering the private rented sector. Would-be landlords have many things to consider, from tenancy agreements to carrying out a property inventory, before they stepping on the buy-to-let ladder.

The National Landlords Association (NLA) released a guide this week highlighting the various steps people should take before taking on tenants. Landlords should make sure they have a "proper" tenancy agreement in place, ensure they are part of a recognised deposit protection scheme, and take out a comprehensive landlord insurance policy for their property.

Landlords "must ensure they are well aware of the rules and regulations governing the letting of private residential accommodation", commented NLA chairman David Salusbury.

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Published on: January 13, 2012

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