Renting: Number of UK homes available down by a third

2 months ago 9

Image of Ruth, renter from KentImage source, Ruth

Image caption,

Ruth from Kent has spent 3 months looking for a rented home, without success

By Colletta Smith & Nicky Hudson & Ben King

Cost of surviving analogous and reporters

The fig of homes disposable to rent successful the UK has fallen by a 3rd implicit the past 18 months.

The crisp driblet successful the fig of listings has helped thrust up rents for caller tenants by 11%.

Lettings agencies typically person 10 rentals compared to implicit 16 earlier September 2021, figures shared with the BBC by spot website Zoopla show.

This has near radical similar Ruth searching for months without luck. "It seems wholly hopeless", she said.

Ruth fell sick with fibromyalgia successful 2015 and had to springiness up work. After splitting up with her semipermanent partner, she's been stuck successful the location they shared successful Kent whilst looking for determination smaller and much affordable to rent.

"I support the browser unfastened connected Rightmove, Openrent, Zoopla, Facebook Marketplace and determination has been nothing," she said. "I'm trying to support affirmative but it's difficult."

Ruth is connected benefits and has nary guarantor. She believes this is stopping her being offered viewings.

"It made maine consciousness similar a lower-class citizen," she said. "Especially erstwhile radical don't adjacent privation to speech to you due to the fact that you're connected benefits."

As portion of the BBC's Rental Health week, listeners, viewers and readers from crossed the UK person been successful interaction astir their acquisition of the rental marketplace astatine the moment.

Higher demand

The fig of rental properties UK hasn't really fallen. In fact, it has hardly moved since 2016.

But radical similar Ruth are uncovering it hard due to the fact that they're competing with acold much different radical successful their hunt for a home. Demand for rented accommodation has risen to much than 50 per cent supra mean levels, Zoopla's figures show.

Zoopla draws its accusation from listings connected its website, which screen 85% of UK properties listed for rent.

People who privation to determination but can't find anyplace caller are having to enactment put. That means their aged spot doesn't go disposable for idiosyncratic other to determination into. And with radical incapable to move, less properties go vacant and look successful the property agent's window.

And adjacent if radical are fortunate capable to find determination suitable, they're apt to person to wage overmuch much than they did before.

"We've seen a large summation successful request for rented lodging from grounds precocious immigration, the system reopening [after the pandemic]," said Richard Donnell, enforcement manager for probe astatine Zoopla.

"But astatine the aforesaid time, we conscionable haven't seen overmuch caller concern by landlords successful rented housing. And that's creating a existent crunch successful availability."

Your instrumentality whitethorn not enactment this visualisation.

Though the fig of radical needing a rental spot has soared, landlords haven't capable to conscionable that need.

Higher owe rates, taxation changes and caller regulations for rented properties person made it much hard and little profitable to bargain houses and connection them for rent.

Lou Valdini from York has been a landlord for 20 years. He utilized to rent retired 3 homes, but present has conscionable one. The owe connected his spot has gone up from £294 a period to £621 and says he's "not making immoderate money" and is "actually losing an atrocious lot."

As good arsenic the mortgage, Mr Valdini has to wage respective 1000 pounds a twelvemonth for crushed rent, insurance, work charges and agent's fees. He's conscionable enactment his tenants' rent up to £645 a month.

"She hasn't missed a day's rent since lockdown, truthful I'm not going to enactment the rent up an extortionate magnitude for her," helium said. "But it does mean I'm subsiding her."

Image source, Lou Valdini

Image caption,

York landlord Lou Valdini

Large numbers of landlords are leaving the marketplace - 11% of homes for merchantability connected Zoopla were antecedently rented.

For others, short-term lets specified vacation lets oregon Airbnb connection amended returns than semipermanent tenants. Zoopla has seen a three-fold summation successful short-term lets since 2019.

But with backstage renters spending connected mean astir a 3rd of their income connected rent, Mr Donnell and different experts judge rents can't spell connected increasing, arsenic radical simply won't beryllium capable to wage immoderate more.

The authorities is owed to present a caller Renters' Reform Bill successful England earlier the summer, which it says volition redress the equilibrium successful the marketplace and supply much information for tenants. Housing rules are antithetic successful each of the devolved nations, Scotland presently has tighter controls connected landlords than the remainder of the UK.

'I'm not capable to unrecorded with my partner'

Image source, Emily

Image caption,

Emily and MJ

Emily, her partner, and their babe lad MJ had been renting a 2 chamber level successful Aylesbury. The landlord wanted to enactment up the rent astatine the extremity of their existent tenancy but the household couldn't spend it. They began searching for determination other to live, but it's been frustrating.

"There's been times erstwhile I've said, 'Yes, I'll instrumentality this one'," said Emily, "I emotion it, it's perfect, and past they'll say, 'It's gone'." It has been, she says, "the astir stressful clip of my beingness - different than having a baby,"

After months of searching, the household had to determination retired of their location earlier this month. But they hadn't recovered determination new, truthful they had to determination backmost successful with their families - which means Emily and her spouse staying nether antithetic roofs.

"On our existent narration it's been truly difficult," she says.

The household present person 1 goal: "To find a two-bed house, due to the fact that past it'll person capable abstraction for america three."

What are your renting rights?

  • How overmuch tin my landlord summation the rent? It depends connected your statement but rises indispensable beryllium fair, realistic and successful enactment with section properties and there's usually a months notice.
  • Can my landlord evict me? Landlords request to follow strict rules such arsenic giving written notice. Once the announcement play ends, the landlord tin commencement eviction proceedings done court.
  • Can a landlord garbage radical connected benefits? No. DSS policies are unlawful discrimination. says foundation Shelter. Some councils person lists of backstage landlords who rent to tenants claiming benefits.
  • Can landlords accidental nary children? This could besides beryllium discrimination. To situation this, you indispensable amusement you tin spend the rent, and the spot is simply a suitable size, Shelter says.
  • What astir pets? Landlords should not contented broad bans connected pets, and indispensable springiness a bully crushed to garbage them - similar the spot is excessively small.

There's much connected your renting rights and wherever to spell for assistance here.

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