It brings me to advise it is not all gloom and doom as the negative media reports tend to suggest. Our team across the Lancaster and Fylde Coast areas remained busy since the Lockdown and having phenomenal success with the introduction of video and virtual tours.
The local rental market experienced a strong spike in demand following the go-ahead for agents to reopen and we are experiencing what we have ‘coined’ the ‘tenant rush’, lock down has led to several reasons why peoples needs for a home has changed, hence demand for alternative properties. In general, we have seen a huge surge in 3 bedroom family homes (historically the highest demand properties in the area we operate in). Supply of such properties remain slow and we are finding new buy to let instructions in such properties remains slow, concluding that new investment from Buy to Let landlords remains low. Rightmove reported in May 2020, rental demand was up a massive 22% compared to the year prior. Reasons why I think demand for rental property has soared:
- Property market unlocked – people were adhering to lockdown and restrictions on movement mean that many tenants have had to postpone their searches and with letting agents able to operate since mid-May, it would have led to a surge in demand that had bottled up
- Relationship breakdowns
- Job losses or other change in circumstances due to lock down
- Working from home – lead to tenants looking for change in surroundings and better suited properties
- Attitude to rental – peoples attitude to rental property has changed, potential first time buyers have become tenants over this period and are happy to do so, they are understanding that in time of uncertainty the last thing they want to do is commit to the biggest purchases of their lives and will appreciate the flexibility a rental property provides
Landlord News Highlight:
Evictions postponed until tenant eviction ban – introduced to protect tenants, was due to end 25 of June, has now been extended until the 23rd of August 2020. This does not mean tenants don’t need to pay rent until then. The things you as a Landlord should be doing:
- Diarising receipt of rent on due date – ensure that your tenants are paying rent on time, if not get in touch straightway and understand your tenants situation. In worst case scenario, if the tenant has lost their job, remember they will qualify for housing benefit/universal credit support which will cover all or most of there rent payments. In the first instance, the rent will be paid direct to tenant, if rent isn’t passed on to yourself, there is a process for you as the Landlord to request direct payment of this benefit paid to the tenant for their housing costs
- Current arrears – be having constant communication, having a payment plan in place and ensuring that it is being adhered to. If agreeing to postpone payments, ensuring only being done so with agreed terms to collect remaining rent.
- New Tenants, right Tenants– we always push on the importance of Vetting, however more than ever in uncertain times, affordability of rent from your potential tenants is even more important. Review their source of income, speak to previous Landlord of track record of paying rent, credit check your prospective tenants, do they have a history of keeping up with commitments? With our managed clients, we are pushing Rent Guarantee products on each new lets, as we will face an uncertain world post the end of Furlough payments and when we start to see the Corona situation unfold
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Tip of the week:
Insulation grants – are you utilising this funding?
Cavity insulation and loft insulations, which there has been funding available for a while still has funding. Great way to improve your EPC rating (also get a FREE EPC which will mean you don’t need to arrange one for a further 10 years) and keep your tenants happier with warmer homes.
Also funding available for free boiler installations, yes FREE! If your rental property, currently has electric heating and regardless if it has a gas supply or not (however your tenant in receipt of qualifying housing benefit), then yes you will qualify for a FREE boiler insulation. We are working with a few local companies and happy to put you in touch, if you have a property that may qualify. If you have a property that may qualify for this funding, ensure you are taking benefit of it, you will be able to add value to your property and your Tenant also.
Buy to let investment of the weeks
Central Drive, Blackpool – High yielding investment, two flats, does require renovating, perfect for someone looking to get their teeth stuck into a project and create some equity in their investment.
Arnold Avenue, South Shore, Blackpool – Renovation project, good area, great professional family demand and capital growth opportunity
To book in an advice meeting with myself, please see my availability below: