Posts filed under ‘Renting & Letting’

Landlords’ profits reach four-year high at £20K a year

The cost of renting a home increased by 0.6 per cent during May as the returns made by investment landlords hit a four-year high, figures showed today.

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The typical property in England and Wales cost £745 a month to rent in May, the highest level since December last year.

But despite the jump, rents have only risen by 1.1 per cent during the past year, compared with inflation of 1.5 per cent, as measured by the consumer prices index, according to LSL Property Services.

The group, which owns the UK’s largest lettings agent network, said it was the twelfth consecutive month in which annual rent rises had been below the rate of inflation.

In absolute terms, the cost of renting a home has risen by just £8 during the 12 months to the end of May.

David Newnes, director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move, part of LSL Property Services, said: “Private renting is becoming cheaper in real terms. May’s latest sub-inflation rent rises will help over nine million tenants.

“To put that in context, this is more than a hundred times as many households as have benefited from Help to Buy in its initial stages so far.”

Landlords continued to make gross yields on a property of 5.1 per cent on average during May, unchanged from April.

But when house price growth was taken into account, along with void periods between tenants, total annual returns on a buy-to-let property soared to a four-year high of 12.2 per cent.

The figure was more than double the total return of 5.3 per cent recorded in the 12 months to May 2013.

As a result, the average landlord has seen a return of £20,133 in the past 12 months, with £8,107 coming from rent and £12,026 from capital appreciation.

Tenant arrears also improved during the month, with arrears standing at 7 per cent of all rent due, compared with 8.2 per cent a year ago.

Rents in seven out of 10 regions of England and Wales are now higher than they were a year ago.

The South West saw the fastest annual increase, with the typical monthly rent 3.9 per cent higher than it was in May last year at £657.

It was followed by the East Midlands, where rents have risen by 3.8 per cent in the past year to £575, and the North West, where they are now 2.3 per cent higher at £584.

But the annual rate at which rents in London are increasing has slowed down to 1 per cent, compared with a peak of 7.9 per cent in early 2013.

Despite this, London still remains the most expensive place to rent a home at an average of £1,124 a month.

Three regions of the country recorded rent falls during the past 12 months, with the cost of letting a home dropping by 3.6 per cent in the North East and by 2.3 per cent and 0.4 per cent in the East of England and West Midlands respectively.


June 20, 2014 at 7:00 AM Leave a comment

Small properties for sale in London and the South Counties

Britain’s smallest £1m property offered less space than a London Underground Tube carriage, it was revealed last month. Zoopla looks at what other properties of a similar size are currently on the market to buy or rent.


It hasn’t always been regarded as the most glamorous of places. But Walthamstow’s award winning restaurants, leafy village feel, and popular market mean it is has now arrived on the official wall of cool in terms of places to live.

And higher demand for accommodation in the area means higher prices.

A one bedroom loft conversion in the E17′s Queens Road is available to rent at £173 a week, the equivalent of almost £750 a month.

The accommodation consists of an open place kitchen and living room, a double bedroom and a new fully tiled shower room.

It is within easy walking distance of Walthanstow Central and Queens Road mainline states.

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For those looking for something more central, a studio in West Kensington is available to rent for £325 a month.

Found just off the popular North End Road, the accommodation is fully furnished with a single bed, an open plane kitchenette and its own shower. The toilet is shared.

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A waterside retreat in Kent is available for £60,000 and includes a double bedroom, shower room, kitchen and a spacious lounge.

The windows on three sides means this bespoke purpose built houseboat is flooded with light.

It is fully centrally heated and full finished, meaning that the new owner can move straight in.

Outside, there are terraces at either end of the boat and a ladder leading to a roof terrace.

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March 25, 2014 at 3:16 PM Leave a comment

Small properties ‘the size of a tube carriage’ for sale and to rent

After it was revealed last week that Britain’s smallest £1m property offered less space than a London Underground tube carriage, Zoopla looks at what other properties of a similar size are currently on the market to buy or rent.


A one bedroom property offering a living room and a bedroom – both measuring 2.8m by 2.6m each – is being offered for sale in South East London.

For £125,000, it also comes with a kitchen, shower room and sole use of a patio garden.

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Similar ‘tube carriage sized’ properties are also available on the rental market.

An unfurnished studio flat in New Malden is available to rent for £650 a month. With only an electricity bill to pay, it is described by the agent as being in a ‘great location and priced to let quickly’.

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A more luxurious rental is available in Roehampton at £1,200 a month. The property is brand new and includes a breakfast bar, high gloss kitchen and porcelain tiles in the bathroom.

It is described by Carringtons, the agent handling the sale, as being in a peaceful and quiet, affluent area with plenty of free parking and close to all amenities. It is 10 minutes by car to Putney town centre. Gas, water and council tax bills are included in the price.

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February 18, 2014 at 10:30 AM Leave a comment

Ten houses to rent for £1,000 each a month

If you are looking to rent a house for £1,000 a month, what is on offer? Zoopla finds 10 properties that fit the bill.

1. Four bedroom semi-detached house in Hebden Bridge, near Bradford

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2. Two bedroom terraced house in Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire

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3. Three bedroom detached house in Corbridge, Northumberland

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4. Four bedroom semi-detached house in Billingham, near Middlesbrough

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5. Four bedroom house in Looe, near Plymouth

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6. Four bedroom detached house in King’s Lynn

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7. Three bedroom cottage in Macclesfield

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8. Three bedroom house in Dorchester, Dorset

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9. Three bedroom detached house in Penrith

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10. Four bedroom detached house in Winchcombe, Cheltenham

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November 26, 2013 at 5:34 PM Leave a comment

Phil Spencer’s Top Property Tip of the Month: Renting a property – issues and costs to consider


Before contemplating whether to buy a property or rent a property, it is vital to do as much research as possible and consider whether the long-term financial commitment of home-ownership is for you or whether renting would better suit your lifestyle. There are a number of elements that need to be taken into account. This month I am going to explore the things to bear in mind when renting a property and next month I’ll focus on buying.

Most of us will rent at some point in our property journey. Although renting is often seen as a short-term or temporary solution before getting on the property ladder, for some it will be a long-term lifestyle choice. When renting, there are various factors that can make or break enjoyment of a property.

Tenants face a multitude of potential pitfalls when it comes to finding the right property, just as prospective buyers do. It’s important to go through the all the elements with a fine toothcomb to make sure you’re clear where the responsibilities lie.

A tenancy agreement is legally binding, and while landlords may make allowances beyond what is in the paperwork, they can also use it to enforce the law rigidly. So make sure you’re happy with the rental agreement and not just the bricks and mortar!

Here are some top tips to ensure you have a happy rental.

1. Research

Before you start the process work out what you can afford. It’s not just a case of the monthly rental payments. You can expect to typically have to come up with a deposit of at least one-month’s rent as well as paying one month in advance. When you know your budget, make sure you thoroughly research the area as well as what is available to rent. A good place to start is the to rent section on Zoopla.

2. Hidden costs

The agent, working on behalf of the landlord, will probably ask you to pay for a credit search and other admin fees which could be in the region of £40-£100. Make sure you also consider how you will move your worldly belongings from your current property to your new one and the costs involved. You may also need to store some items, which is when the costs can start to mount.

3. Terms & Conditions

It is essential that you go through these with a fine tooth comb and understand all your obligations and those of your landlord such as upkeep and maintenance of the property, respective liabilities, renewal processes and costs. When raising and queries it is always helpful to do so via email, so that you have a record.

4. Maintenance of the property

Make sure you’re aware where the responsibilities lie. Who will react to any maintenance issues? If you think the property needs any work before you move in, make sure you request it to be done before you sign, or at the very least ask for it to be written into the contract with an agreed completion date or perhaps negotiate less rent until the issues is resolved. Often overlooked are the boiler and the windows. In summer these are rarely an issue but a few months later, when the temperature drops, you want to make sure you have a fully working boiler, so ask to see any maintenance certificates. Similarly if you’re starting you’re rental in winter a few months later when summer is here, you don’t want to find that the windows don’t open!

5. Renewal costs

Some agents will charge renewal costs for extending / taking out a new contract so ask the questions and make sure you understand the liabilities up front so you are not caught out down the line.

6. Utilities/Services

Look at who is providing the utilities and what the process is to take over these services. Try to ensure where possible that the services are all still running thereby avoiding set up and/or and reconnection fees.

7. Break clause

Check if there is a break clause. It’s important to understand whether it can be activated by either the tenant or the landlord. You don’t want to be caught out with a week’s notice! A month or longer is the standard notice period for both the tenant and landlord, but these periods can vary.

8. Insurance/Tenant Deposit Scheme

Tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes ensure that money paid by tenants (as deposits) is kept safe. Landlords must use a government approved scheme. Whilst the letting agent may process the deposit finds, it is the Landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the funds are held in such a scheme and you will want to see evidence that that this has happened.

9. Insurance

Is the landlord insuring the contents or is it your responsibility as the tenant? It is unlikely the landlord will pay for all contents and more likely that they will cover any items of furniture that they leave at the property. Check what is covered. At the very least the landlord’s policy should cover the building. As with most advice it pays to find out the answers before signing your contract.

10. Inventory/moving in

Go through the inventory thoroughly. It should schedule what is the landlord’s property and it will be used at the end of the tenancy to attribute responsibility for any loss or damage and ultimately, who should pay for the replacement costs. This is where many tenant disputes arise. Don’t be afraid to take pictures of walls, rooms, carpets, etc. to record the state of them when you move in. If you do this make sure you email them to the agent so they can be kept on file.

Check out Phil’s previous tips on the Zoopla blog:

Should I rent or buy a property?

Viewings….prepare to pry & remain alert

Focusing on your property search requirements

July 25, 2013 at 2:53 PM 4 comments

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The Zoopla property blog is maintained and edited by the Web Content Editor @ Zoopla Property Group Ltd Myra Butterworth.


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