Ajay Jagota

Member Article

Census shows Britain now ?a nation of renters?

A leading North East lettings agent has advised people to look beyond the headlines and remember the real story of the 2011 census – the fact that Britain has become “a nation of renters”.

Ajay Jagota, Managing Director of KIS Lettings, one of the North East’s largest independent lettings agencies, argues the fact that “a Britain’s home is increasingly likely to be someone else’s castle” creates enormous opportunities in the property sector – but also enormous challenges.

The 2011 census, published this week by the Office for National Statistics showed a jump of 2 million in the number of private renters in England and Wales – a rise of almost 90% in just ten years.

The number of people owning their own homes, meanwhile has all but flatlined - rising just 0.5% since 2001.

Ajay Jagota of KIS Lettings, who manage properties for some 700 landlords across the region from branches in Sunderland, North Tyneside and South Tyneside, believes this considerable cultural change creates challenges as well as opportunities for landlords.

He said: “The census showed something I have been saying for some time: Britain has become a nation of renters.

“Inevitably most of the reporting of the census has focused on the number of people of different faiths and nationalities making their home in Britain. While significant, this talk of a rise in ‘Brits born abroad’ is hardly a new phenomena.

“It’s not just Olympic heroes like Bradley Wiggins and Mo Farah the tag applies to, but Cliff Richard, the Duke of Edinburgh, Orwell, Kipling and any number of British kings dating back at least as far as 1013.

“What is new and arguably much more significant is the fact that a Britain’s home is increasingly likely to be someone else’s castle.

“Rising demand is one of the many reasons there’s never been a better time than to rent out a property - but there are as many challenges as opportunities, particularly those who are new to an inexperienced in the sector.

“People will come to expect – and deserve to expect – the same comfort and facilities they would demand from homes they own. Research this week, for example, showed almost half of tenants would not rent a property is it had poor mobile coverage. This is the sort of easily overlooked detail which could prevent a first time landlord finding a tenant.

“Another study showed that almost 20% of landlords do not have specialist insurance, in the mistaken belief standard home insurance is enough. This could leave an inexperienced property entrepreneur thousands of pounds out of pocket.

“The lettings sector can be treacherous terrain: That’s why the right Sherpa is often invaluable.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ajay Jagota .

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