Metro - 03 January 2014
Why now is a good time to find a rental property
By Jo Eccles
The new year is often a time when people reassess their current situation and, for many, that includes their living arrangements. If you’re renting and looking to move, now could be an excellent time to do so, as despite wide ranging reports that rental prices are rising, there is currently a large over supply of rental property across all price ranges in central London.
This is not good news for landlords as they are having to compete against other landlords with similar properties in order to secure a tenant. This often means that landlords are having to be more flexible on later move in dates (which means longer void periods) and also price, resulting in lower rental yields.
It is great news for tenants, though. In previous years, we’ve seen a shortage of good rental properties and tenants have had to be the first ones through the door to have any chance of securing a good property. In many cases we even saw sealed bids. Now, however, tenants are firmly in the driving seat.
If you’re a landlord, make sure that your property presents as well as it possibly can. This means sprucing it up if necessary and investing in nice, neutral and matching furniture. It doesn’t need to be expensive and there are companies who specialise in reasonably priced and decent quality furniture which can usually be delivered within 24 hours. Also, price your property to rent, rather than with room for negotiation as it may mean some tenants may miss the property if they’re doing an internet search based on a particular price range.
If you’re a tenant, go out and take your pick! Do look at properties above your budget as no doubt landlords will be prepared to accept offers, in some cases up to 15% below the asking price. Also, don’t be afraid of making requests – if you want certain items of furniture provided, for example or if you want new carpets if they’re grubby. At the time of your offer, ensure any conditions to your offer are confirmed in writing, and always request that they’re included within the contract.