London’s rental market should be treated separately

As the Government continues to develop policies that are designed to crack down on soaring rental increases, Belvoir calls for the Government to recognise the polar differences between London’s lettings market and the rest of the UK.

“Belvoir’s Q1 rental index reveals that contrary to media reports of massive rental increases, the market has remained steady, with many regions still not recovering to 2008 levels,” says Dorian Gonsalves, Belvoir’s Director of Commercial and Franchising.

“Although rents in Yorkshire are now recovering to pre-recession levels, only rents in the South East, South West, West Midlands and London are exceeding the heights achieved in 2008 and it is the London market that has seen the biggest increase.

“In recent months there have been reports of some private London landlords doubling rents, but Belvoir’s analysis of advertised rents in regions across the rest of the UK reveal that the majority of landlords have seen no rental increases in recent years.

“A total of 14 counties, which include Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Dorset have yet to recover to 2008 levels, which is good news for tenants as it means the tough situation of below inflation wage rises has been reflected in their rents.

“Seeking to introduce blanket rental increase caps across the entire UK, combined with other proposed Government policies such as the banning of tenancy fees, and introducing statutory long-term tenancy agreements is likely to have a huge negative impact on the majority of landlords, who may well be forced to sell up. This will then further reduce the stock of good quality rental properties available to tenants in less wealthy parts of the country where the lettings market is of such vital importance. It will also leave tenants vulnerable to those rogue landlords that the Government seeks to protect them against.

“We are calling for the Government to work with reputable agents such as Belvoir, as well as other industry bodies, to help develop policies that will address the massive divide between rents achieved in London and the South East, whilst reducing the negative impact of these policies on other less affluent parts of the country.”

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