As gas prices continue to climb, many tenants are becoming increasingly concerned about their energy costs. Some argue that, however careful they are about their usage, their ability to keep bills under control is hopelessly compromised in less energy efficient properties – and that landlords should be doing their bit by making upgrades where necessary.
While the property sales boom has been one of the surprise success stories of the past year and a half, the overall strength of the rental market has been less clear. Reports and news stories have tended to focus on particular issues like arrears or evictions, rather than getting a sense of whether the private rented sector is in a better or worse position than it was in 2019. However, a few recent studies have tried to shed a bit of light on this.
As a new 440-unit Build-to-Rent (BTR) development is announced, a separate study has found that amid claims by some that the sector is expensive for renters, it is actually more affordable than the Private Rental Sector (PRS). While the BTR segment remains relatively niche with the majority of the developments available in just 20 English cities, on a rent-to-income basis, it is considered affordable by certain standards set by the Office for National Statistics.
The UK's Ministry of Justice is piloting a new dispute resolution service to help avoid disagreements between tenants and landlords from escalating and reaching costly and time-consuming court proceedings. While mediation is something that a number of letting industry trade bodies support, including ARLA Propertymark, the group says any investment needs to focus on ensuring the service is available to those involved much earlier in the process.
Published on 13 October, the third and final part of the government’s Household Resilience Study explores how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected people’s housing circumstances in England. While there are no shock revelations, the research does shed further light on ‘hidden’ issues like the ongoing arrears problem in the private rented sector.
Two separate reports show that rents have risen in recent months as demand for property in the lettings market remains high. The data suggests the recovery in demand for rental homes has continued over the third quarter of the year with one stating it expects demand to remain strong and push rents higher.