The average period for which a rental property is empty in between lets is just 2.7 weeks per year, down from an average four weeks two years ago.
Ian Potter, Operations Manager at ARLA, said: "Three-quarters of our members are reporting that demand for rental property is outstripping supply and, with rental returns currently at 5%, anyone thinking about investing a property to rent could be well-placed to consider their options in the coming months."
ARLA’s research shows that prudent landlords are moving quickly to expand their portfolios, with almost a quarter (23%) reporting that they have bought properties in the last year. The most popular regions for investment are the North West, Midlands and Central London. In contrast the Rest of London saw the fewest landlords buying property.
ARLA advises anyone considering investing in a rental property or portfolio, to first seek advice from a professional, licensed lettings agent.
Potter said: "The rental market is, rightly, coming under increasing scrutiny to ensure that consumers are not mistreated. Currently, anyone can become a letting agent. To protect your rights either as a landlord or tenant, it is critical therefore to check that there are measures – like Client Money Protection – in place with your chosen agent should things go wrong."
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