UK Relocation: What We’re Experiencing in the Rental Market
Posted by: Sophie Feighan, Consultant, Destination Services – UK.
As a member of the Cartus Destination Services team in Richmond, we wanted to give you an update on the trends that we’re experiencing in the current UK rental market and the impact these may have on international assignees moving to the UK.
There remains a supply-demand imbalance across the UK rental market, with prospective tenants outnumbering available housing stock. The market is becoming increasingly competitive with properties letting very quickly. This is making it more difficult for tenants to negotiate on
rent and, in fact, in some instances tenants may even offer over the asking price in order to secure a property more quickly.
The uncertainty that surrounds Brexit may also be impacting the lack of available rental accommodation. As the UK approaches ‘Brexit Day’ on 31 October, the uncertainty about how it may affect rental rates, may be leading to landlords choosing to hold off putting their property on the market until they see the impact.
Another factor that may start to influence rental stock levels, is that, under new rules being phased in by April 2020, landlords will progressively lose valuable tax relief
on their buy-to-let mortgage costs. As such, the UK may be seen - by landlords - as a less appealing country for investment. Due to this, we could start to see a decline in available rental properties.
The UK rental market trends can vary from region to region. London tends to attract a large number of working professionals, so there is a huge demand for one-bedroom properties and house shares. Due to this demand, the length of time these property-types stay on the market can be limited, which can make it challenging (and expensive) for a tenant to secure a property. Rents also tend to increase during the summer time as students and families enter the market.
The nearer to Central London a property is, the higher rents will typically be. Properties with good transport links nearby, will also drive up price. Currently, the average commute time for Londoners is 45 minutes to an hour. Areas just outside of London, like the home counties (Berkshire, Surrey, Kent, Hampshire and Oxfordshire) tend to attract relocating families. This is largely due to access to good schooling, larger properties, lower rents and a commutable distance to the city.
For those relocating to other parts of the UK, there are a number of towns and cities that are considered ‘university towns’. These include Leeds and Manchester in the north, Coventry in the midlands, and Edinburgh in Scotland, which are each home to a large population of students. As such, there is high demand for house shares in these areas, and they tend to offer a good nightlife, with easy access to pubs, bars and restaurants.
Renting with Pets
In the UK, it can be more difficult to find a landlord that accepts a tenant with a pet. The following may be useful to bear in mind, if you are looking to rent with a pet:
- By law, landlords are not allowed to request a higher deposit from tenants with a pet, but they may ask for a slightly higher monthly rent instead
- Landlords with a rental property that includes a private garden may be more likely to let to a tenant with a pet
- Landlords who let furnished properties tend to be less likely to let to a tenant with pets, as they may be concerned the animal could cause damage to the furniture
For more information on legislation that may impact international assignees relocating to the UK, read our previous blogs:
- UK Tenant Fees Act. A new Tenant Fees Act took effect from 1 June 2019, which protects tenants in England from unfair letting fees and caps tenancy deposits at five weeks’ rent.
- Right to Rent Checks. The UK ‘Right to Rent’ checks took effect across England from 1 February 2016. Under the new rules, prior to renting a property, prospective tenants will have their immigration documents checked to ensure that they have a legal right to reside in the country.