But the firm is concerned that some landlords may start to struggle to let properties in areas which have higher levels of crime as tenants are likely to check out the risk of crime in the neighbourhood before they sign up to a tenancy agreement.
Graham Kinnear, MD at Landlord Assist says this could lead to a downward pressure on rents in such areas and poses a significant threat to landlords’ portfolios as properties in higher areas of crime could experience longer vacancy periods.
“The new crime map could create a growing disparity between the demand for properties in areas with low levels of crime and those deemed potential crime hotspots,” he says.
“Whilst landlords in areas of low crime could see overwhelming demand, landlords may start to struggle to let their properties in areas which have higher levels of crime and this will force rents down regardless of the condition of the property.
“Landlords with empty properties may also see their void periods last even longer and this could impact them financially.”
Stephen Parry, Commercial Director is similarly cautious about the launch of the new crime map.
He says: “It appears that the areas with the highest crime are the most densely developed areas and therefore it is not a level playing field comparing the crime level in terms of an area where there are 20 dwellings per acre to an area with 2 per acre.
“The maps do not appear to show trends in terms of which areas are improving which could be misleading. Nor in fact do the maps appear to differentiate differing levels of security or the presence of Closed Circuit Television cameras. It is my view that the site needs to be more robust to be beneficial.”
It is reported that the website received over 5 million hits on its opening day. However many commentators are worried that crimes may go unreported as residents don’t want their area tainted by rising crime figures.
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