Rents are showing signs of levelling out, according to letting agents, with void periods rising and fewer new tenancies according to the latest data from the Association of Residential Letting Agents(ARLA).
KIS Lettings managing director, Ajay Jagota, said that the North East could be set to feel the pinch more than most areas due to its vulnerability through a heavy reliance on public sector jobs and their imminent cuts.
Ajay said: “Now more than ever landlords need to ensure that they are engaged with a pro-active and professional letting agency that will work hard to reduce void periods by finding suitable tenants quickly and efficiently.
“ARLA is already revealing a slow-down in the private rented sector and landlords in the North East may need to start thinking about reducing rents to prevent long void periods. They need consider the loss they will suffer in the long term – for example reducing a £700 tenancy to £650 or even £600 is going to be better than the property standing empty for two or three months.”
Latest data from the ARLA shows that in the first quarter of this year, 50 percent of members reported increased achievable rent levels, in line with news of rising rents across the UK. However, the proportion of ARLA members reporting this has fallen from 60 percent nine months ago.
In the same period, the average void time rose for the second successive quarter to an average three weeks. ARLA members also reported a decline in the number of new tenancies being signed.
Ajay added: “It’s not uncommon for things to slow down at this time of year, but with existing high levels of unemployment and more public sector job losses on the horizon the North East is certainly going to undergo a period of readjustment.
“Landlords need to work smart, or employ a reputable letting agent to work smart for them, in order to ensure their property is seen by potential tenants and is given the best possible sell.”
Top tips to check your letting agent is marketing your property to the max
- Is your property being exposed through the major house-hunter portals including Rightmove, Zoopla and Findaproperty?
- Is there any way that you can gain feedback on how many views the property is receiving online and analyse that data? (there’s likely a reason why a property is not receiving actual viewings from online views)
- Are the photographs up to date and showing the property in its best light?
- What is the lead picture? You wouldn’t put a picture of you not at your best on a dating site…the same applies here…it needs to create the best possible image of the property
- Is the description accurate and has it been written descriptively, to really sell the property and its highlights and USPs. The headline description is vitally important to drawing attention from potential tenants
- Is the property being proactively marketed to a database of potential tenants? How are those tenants identified and is the database updated at least once per month?
- Are you being given constructive feedback after every viewing and are you acting on it?