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Market creating glut of inexperienced landlords

The trend was reported countrywide with even 92.2% of landlords in "prime" Central London locations reporting an upsurge in rentals coming onto the market for January, February and March.

Ian Potter, Operations Manager of ARLA, said: "Sellers have been left with little option but to resort to renting out their property. These reluctant landlords need to understand the obligations of a landlord to their tenants, and the need to choose a regulated and qualified letting agent."

Semi-detached houses appear to be the most common type of property succumbing to reluctant letting: UK-wide, 68% of the agents surveyed saw an increase in the supply of these properties onto the rental market. This was followed by detached houses (67%), terraced houses (52%), with flats (29%) and studios (11%).

Potter said: "These figures confirm the trends we have been hearing from ARLA’s members that sellers looking to downsize are turning to the lettings market after being unable to sell.

"Detached and semi-detached houses are always traditionally harder to rent, but in this market there is now a glut of un-sellable properties coming onto the market. It is another sad indication of the work that the Government must take to free up the sales market and the need to regulate a lettings market that is becoming increasingly competitive.

"For those landlords new to renting, it’s crucial that they look for a local lettings agent who is both regulated and abides by a code of practice.

"The agent will also have received the necessary training and qualifications, and consumers can be confident that any funds being held by them on your behalf are protected under client money protection schemes."

According to ARLA’s members, the increase in new landlords has led to tenants taking extra measures to gain assurances on the security of the property.

Lucy Morton, managing partner and head of lettings at W A Ellis, and president-elect of ARLA, said there was a growing trend for tenants to be asking for references on landlords.

"Tenants are increasingly nervous about the security of landlords, we are also seeing tenants asking for assurances that the landlord will be able to cover his mortgage payments throughout their tenancy," she said.

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