The nation’s letting agents and landlords are being warned to prepare for an increase in tenant activity from 1 June.
No Letting Go, the UK’s largest provider of inventory services, says that many tenants will be looking to move after 1 June in order to avoid paying upfront fees and benefitting from capped security and holding deposits.
No Letting Go’s warning comes after recent research from The Deposit Protection Service (DPS) suggested that tenants could be delaying moves between rental properties until the Tenant Fees Act officially becomes law next month.
The study found that rents dropped during the first quarter of 2019, with the average rent across the country during the first three months of the year falling to £757. This is down by £5 (0.64%) from the final quarter of 2018 and £14 (1.87%) from Q1 2018 a year earlier.
The DPS said that the drop-off is down to a range of economic factors alongside a period of ‘tenant inactivity’ ahead of the fees ban.
Nick Lyons, CEO and Founder of No Letting Go said, “It’s no surprise to see shrewd tenants delaying moves until after the fees ban and deposit caps are introduced on 1 June.
“The upfront cost of moving between rental homes can be high, particularly in London and the South East, so renters will do anything they can to keep costs down, even if that means putting their move on hold for a few months.”
Lyons says that while a recent dip in activity may have allowed agents and landlords some extra time to prepare for the new system, they should be braced for a significant uplift in activity from June onwards.
Lyons said, “Tenants are likely to have continued searching for properties over the last few months and will be keen to push their moves through as quickly as possible so they can be settled in their new property for the majority of the summer months.”
No Letting Go also reminds landlords that when the five-week deposit cap comes into force, the presence of an independently compiled inventory will become even more valuable towards protecting their investment.
Lyons added, “Inventory reports confirm the condition of a rental property at the beginning and end of a tenancy. The presence of this document provides landlords with the evidence to make fair deductions for damage and lost items.
“With the fees ban likely to reduce average deposits in some areas, it’s vital that landlords have peace of mind that their property is protected by an inventory that can support them in the event they need to make deposit deductions.”
Lyons adds that letting agents preparing to take on more administrative work as the market kickstarts in June should look to partner with the industry’s best outsourced suppliers.
“Taking this approach can help to save agents time and money, allowing them to become more efficient and dedicate more resource to providing a personal service to clients,” he concluded.