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Making the Right Rental Moves in Uncertain Times

22 August 2022 / Buying

Stirling Ackroyd Helps Tenants Navigate the New Normal.

As the summer of 2022 comes to a close, activity in the housing marketplace is accelerating and the wide-ranging impact of the new normal, combined with the cost-of-living challenges, is becoming really apparent. 

The home workspace demands of the world-from-home and hybrid work models are now clear, and with increasing seasonal demand urgent decisions about house moves are front of mind for many. 

“100s of thousands of householders are currently nearing the end of their tenancies, and careful calculations are being made to ensure that people’s work/life balance is reflected in the specification of the homes that they live in,” explains Eugenio Frisoli, Regional Lettings Director – London & Home Counties at Stirling Ackroyd. “We know that searching for the right home at the right price, in a market of high rental demand, low availability and reduced affordability is incredibly challenging, so it is more important than ever to have the right property partner on board to lend a much needed helping hand.” 

“The rental landscape may have changed, and the market is challenging, however securing the rental home of your dreams is still possible. Once you set out a set of (dream/realistic/baseline) criteria, you then need to choose your location and set a budget. A degree of flex is required these days, but the work-from-home hybrid work arrangements allow people to think differently about their range of options – this is a good thing.”

Stirling Ackroyd takes the care of their tenants seriously. Once registered, a dedicated lettings consultant that helps customers to find the right home at the right price.  “We have 35 branches throughout the city, Greater London and Surrey,” Eugenio continues, “and with our extensive local knowledge, coupled with an impressive network of residential landlords, customers can rely on us to help secure what they want when they need it.” 

Check out Stirling Ackroyd’s Guide To Renting.

At Stirling Ackroyd, the company’s 150-strong lettings team have successfully supported tenant moves and property management on behalf of longstanding landlords for over 40 years. For many, especially new renters, the formalities of the tenancy process can feel like there is an endless amount of documents to prepare, financial manouveings to be made,  and legal forms and disclaimers to sign, seal and deliver. And what should be a positive time of change can fill many renters-on-the-move with dread. But a house move need not be a hassle, and Stirling Ackroyd can guide you through the process. Their award-winning letting support is practical, easy-to-follow and is designed to  ensure that both landlord and tenants are physically safe and financially secure throughout every tenancy. 

10% of all households in 1996 were rented. In 2022, this has risen to 22% or 5.4 million households.

Homeowners Rent for First Time: With interest rates on the rise, and property values still hovering in and around the Pandemic peak, renting is the smart option for only tenants but the buyers of the future as they wait to see what 2023/2024 brings. Looking to rent in your area? Contact Stirling Ackroyd today.

Words Of Advice To Autumn 2022 Renters

The months ahead are set to be incredibly busy, and the standard time from viewing to security deposits expected to be counted in days not weeks, so, if you are looking to secure a great place while already renting, the following preparation could be very useful if you find a great home and need to move fast:

  • Think carefully about your selection criteria and consider broadening your location choices
  • Spend some time in the localities you are checking out
  • Expanded your property search to 4-6 weeks in advance of tenancy expiration
  • Plan for the possibility of a 1 x month rental overlap if the right property becomes available before the end of your existing tenancy 
  • Try to have a 5 x week deposit and fees saved for use, independently of the deposit you currently have on hold.
    • Deductibles from the landlord, and a time lag for return, could result in deposit return delay, jeopardising plans to secure your new rental home
  • Prepare your check list of rental references and application documents in advance. Referees: Employer reference; Previous landlord; Personal reference. Other documents to prepare:  Credit check application; Rental history or application; Photo ID; Proof of income/employment; Application fee

Stirling Ackroyd can help you to understand what your rights are, what responsibilities you have and what questions to ask when you start a new tenancy agreement. This will help you create a positive relationship with us, your landlord, and will also tell you how to get help if things go wrong. Contact us today to learn more.

Tenant – Need To Know Checklist

From: How to Rent, The Checklist for renting in England. UK Government

  • Deposit cap: Tenants are legally expected to pay more more than 5 weeks’ worth of rent (where annual rent is less than £50,000) or 6 weeks’ rent (where annual rent is more than £50,000).
  • Deposit protection: All tenancy deposits are protected in a government approved scheme. Always make sure your payments are registered and secure. Tenants remain responsible for the costs of any damages incurred at the end of the tenancy, and any deductibles (or unpaid rent) will be taken from this initial deposit. 
  • Duration of tenancy: There is usually a fixed period of at least 12 months. If you want more security, it may be worth asking whether the landlord is willing to agree to a longer fixed period. Alternatively, you may be offered a weekly or monthly assured shorthold tenancy which does not last for a fixed period.
  • Smoking and pets. Check if there are any rules about them, as well as for other things such as keeping a bike, dealing with refuse and recycling.
  • Bills. Check who is responsible for bills such as electricity, gas, water and council tax. You or the landlord? Usually the tenant pays for these. 
  • Fixtures and fittings. Check you are happy with them, as it is unlikely that you will be able to get them changed once you have moved in.
  • Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide
  • detectors. Landlords must have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of a property they let out. In addition, if you have solid fuel appliances like wood burning stoves or open fires, check carbon monoxide detectors must be provided. If not, your landlord must install them. They could save your life.
  • Safety. Check that the property is safe to live in. Use the How to rent a safe home guide to help you identify possible hazards.
  • Fitness for human habitation. Your property must be safe, healthy and free from things that could cause serious harm. If not, you can take your landlord to court. For more information, see the tenants’ guide on using the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018. You should also check whether your tenancy agreement excuses you from paying rent should the building become unfit to live in because of, for example, a fire or flood.

The Big Stay Put

Rental relationships require balance, and Stirling Ackroyd’s mission is to make sure that all sides feel that their interests are represented. Now, more than ever, landlords want reliable tenants that really care for their properties, something that is good news for committed renters who plan to extend their lease beyond the standard 12-month period. “We always encourage tenants that see their rental property as a home rather than a convenient stop-gap – that way renters are invested in keeping the property in good repair, plus rents are more likely to be paid in a timely fashion.

The average advertised rent outside London is 11.8% higher than a year ago, while in the capital it is up by 15.8%…(and) those who secured a property at a discounted rental rate during the pandemic are keen to hold on to this deal as long as possible, particularly in the face of rising living costs. The Guardian – July 2022.

“Adding to the property supply challenge in the rental space this autumn is that fact that XX of Stirling Ackroyd letting agents are reporting a significant increase in the numbers of tenant requests to renew tenancies past the 12 months point.” Eugenio advises. “Market rents are rising, and combined with limited selection in certain areas, we are seeing what we call The Big Stay Put. More people want to move less, and that is to be expected. That said, in the areas that Stirling Ackroyd covers, there is a tenancy turnaround, and with our strong local connections and knowledge we typically find what our customers need, by the time that they need it.” 

Getting professional advice… If you’re looking for a property to rent and need some help, contact your local Stirling Ackroyd branch or click here. We’ll be happy to talk you through the latest homes available for rent.

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