Advice for Local Landlords
Advice for Local Landlords
The lettings side of our estate agent business and working with local landlords is something we are proud of. With mortgage rates dominating headlines these last few months, we turn our thoughts to the lettings market. We look at facts and figures around rents, demand, plus we share some advice for new and current local landlords.
Rental property demand in Altrincham
We’re fortunate to have data at our fingertips with regards property sales and lettings in the local area. It’s something we invest in so that we can deliver accurate information for our customers, including local landlords.
When it comes to demand for rental properties in the Altrincham and surrounding areas, we all know how competitive it is. Rental properties come on the market, and they are snapped up straight away. We work with a list of prospective tenants, all vetted, who are ready to move into the right available rented properties. One of the biggest lures for Altrincham is the quality of the schools. Families are keen to live in Altrincham and the surrounding areas. While house prices and mortgages rates are high, many choose to rent privately to establish an initial base in the area. Families often do this while planning a property purchase.
But there simply aren’t enough rental properties in Altrincham to satisfy demand. At present, 15.3% of residents in Altrincham live in privately rented accommodation. This compares to a higher 19.3% average for the North West region. And when there aren’t enough rental properties in given area, we see rental prices increase.
It’s clear to see, no matter the type of property, whether it’s detached, semi-detached, terraced, or a flat or apartment; Altrincham’s prices top the list.
How are average rents performing?
If we look at the annual change in average rents for the Altrincham area, it’s a 10% increase. The average monthly rent for homes let in the past 12 months is £1,183. Of the properties let in the last 12 months in the area 55% of them were flats, achieving an average rental value of £1,016 per month. While houses in Altrincham achieved an average rent of £1,423 per month.
If you look at the average rents for the North West as a whole, Altrincham rents are significantly higher. The average monthly rent for a flat in the North West is £796.08. And a semi-detached property in the North West as has an average monthly rent of £952.50.
Another statistic which highlights the high cost of renting in Altrincham, is the average age of renters in the area. 24% of renters are aged between 40 and 49 with only 7% of people in their early 20s renting in this area. Compare that to the North West average. Only 12% of people aged between 40 and 49 are renting, while in the early 20s age category it is 17%. There are clearly more affordable rental properties in other areas of the North West.
Is there opportunity for buy-to-let landlords in Altrincham?
Yes, absolutely there is good opportunity for buy-to-let landlords in Altrincham. The market is still moving here despite house prices, mortgage rates, and inflation putting pressure on households. In fact, some families are having to delay their house buying plans with the recent increase in mortgage rates, hence more rental properties are needed. Having properties available to rent in areas where buying is difficult, is crucial. Therefore, finding the right property in the right location could prove successful for buy-to-let landlords.
Some advice for landlords
Whether you are starting out as a buy-to-let landlord, you’ve been a landlord for a while, or you are finding current market conditions difficult as a landlord, we’ve got some advice on the best way to make letting a property a success.
Know the area
Before you buy any property to consider letting it out, make sure you know the area. If you don’t then you should definitely seek advice or assistance from a local estate agent. Research is vital if you are going it alone. And you will need to have a good idea for the types of tenants you are looking for. Will you be taking on families, young working professionals or people looking to retire? If you don’t know the area, or your target tenants, then this can lead to losses in the long term. And find out about other rentals close by – who rents them, what is the average rent and length of lease?
Keep up with maintenance
You will reap the rewards of looking after your property regularly. It’s a simple but great piece of advice for landlords. Even if you have tenants in, you can arrange for visits to check over and fix any minor issues. This will ultimately help prevent any bigger issues from occurring later down the line. It will also help you from a cost perspective too. A small job is far easier and cheaper to fix than a bigger one. Plus, your tenants will appreciate the care you take in the property and the fact you are willing to make good small problems.
Be aware of government changes
If you are already letting properties, you will no doubt be aware of the Renters’ Reform Bill. This has come in to aim to make renting fairer and more secure for all. You can read our update on the Renters’ Reform Bill here. This piece of legislation was formally introduced into UK Parliament in May 2023 and is going through the parliamentary process. It may not be until 2024 when or if The Renters’ Reform Bill becomes law, and even then, it might be subject to changes or delays. However, it pays to understand what changes are proposed in the bill, especially the proposed abolishment of section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions. The changes within the Renters’ Reform Bill are things we can help landlords with, so do contact us if you need anything explaining.
If you want to attract tenants in an area where there is strong competition, then look at introducing energy efficient features. This will help reduce tenants’ monthly utility bills, which let’s face it, is a very attractive prospect. Being able to reduce utility bills can also make a difference when negotiating length of contracts with tenants. You might need to update appliances, above and beyond the minimal level to meet the current EPC guidelines.
And we must note that the EPC regulations are set to change in the next few years. Current planned changes state that from April 2025, any new rental properties in the private rental sector will require an energy performance certificate of C or higher. This is up from E as it is currently. There are arguments ongoing about the need for such changes being fit for purpose. Also, there are concerns around costs and financing the necessary renovations. There is a fear this could lead to landlords selling off rental properties due to surmounting costs or increasing rents further to cover them.
Communicate change with a notice of variation
New regulations have been put in place under the Private Tenancies Act. This includes new notice to quit rules for both landlords and tenants. Landlords are now legally required to give tenants certain notices about their tenancy. And these notices cannot be charged to the tenant.
As well as a tenancy information notice at the start of a tenancy, landlords must give a notice of variation should anything about the tenancy itself change. This notice must be given within 28 days of the change, and this includes advance notice of rent increases. If landlords are found guilty of not providing the correct notice, they can face punitive fines.
These are all areas of lettings we can assist with and provide advice on, should you need support.
Here at Jameson and Partners, we provide a full range of rental services for landlords. Whether it’s advice for local landlords, assistance with tenant searches, or managing your buy-to-let property, we can help. We have ample experience working with a portfolio of landlords across the Altrincham, Hale, Timperley, Sale, and Bowdon areas. Contact us for more information.