Is there a crisis in the UK Private Rental property market?31st July 2023 11:20 am Comments Off on Is there a crisis in the UK Private Rental property market?
The simple answer is a resounding “YES”.
BBC News reported this week that the number of people looking to buy residential property in the UK has fallen by 18% in a month and is down 40% on this time last year. Increasing interest rates have priced many potential buyers of residential property out of the mortgage market, forcing more people to stay in or move towards the private rental market, rather than buying. At the same time as demand is increasing, the stock of private rental housing is depleting as private landlords have been selling up in the last 12 months for a number of reasons; the vast legislative hoops that landlords are required to jump through, the changes in how rental incomes are taxed, the threatened government abolition of section 21 possession (the route to possession proceedings landlords can take where a tenant is not in default of the terms of the tenancy agreement) and increased interest rates on buy to let mortgages have all made staying in the private rental market less and less attractive to the casual investor.
The end result is that, at present, it is reported that for every private rental property that is on the market, there are around 20 tenants who want to rent it. It is believed that in London, the number of applicant tenants per property available could be as high as 50. This creates an incredibly competitive market and tenants have to be ready to put down deposits and provide references very very quickly to secure a property and it is often very difficult for tenants who have been served notice bringing their current tenancy to an end to find alternative rental housing to which to move.
So, imagine a landlord who wants to take back their rental property, maybe to sell it or to live in it themselves. They have given the tenant plenty of notice and have followed the correct statutory procedure. In the present rental crisis, even the best tenants who have followed the letter of the tenancy agreement throughout their occupation of your property are likely to find it difficult to find an alternative rental property. So they stay put. In your house. Meaning that you cannot sell it as quickly as you would like or, if you were planning to live in it yourself, you have to find and pay for alternative accommodation. This all sounds terribly unfair, but what can you do?
Your first port of call should be to seek legal advice from a specialist in residential landlord and tenant matters. There are options and ways forward, but as stated above, this sector is highly regulated and it is important that you engage someone well versed in those rules and regulations to guide you through the procedure safely. Sheena Bradfield at Colemans has been dealing with a wide range of residential landlord and tenant matters for a number of years, including drafting ASTs tailored to your specific requirements, advising on the pre-tenancy conditions to be satisfied, advising on AST terms, serving section 21 or section 8 notices and every element of possession proceedings from issuing the claim through to instructing bailiffs once the possession order has been granted.
If, like many of the clients who have instructed Sheena recently, you are a residential landlord struggling to get your property back as a result of the current rental property crisis, get in touch with Sheena (email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01628 631051) for swift, decisive and above all pragmatic advice.
This post was written by Colemans Solicitors LLP