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ABC Lettings assess current state of the private rental market

Published: 29/10/2023
Miniature house next to a set of keys

Supply shortages and mortgage rate rises have combined to push the cost of private home rents up by 10% over the past 12 months.

The average rent for new properties being put on the market now stands at a record £1,278 per calendar month outside London in the July to September period, according to the latest figures from Rightmove.

Rightmove’s data shows that for every rental property on the market, agents receive on average 25 inquiries from would-be tenants – triple the number they would have expected to receive before the pandemic.

Rent rises for houses, flats and apartments have mainly been driven by relentless increases in the Bank of England Base Rate, with Buy To Let mortgage products being removed from sale and repriced at higher rates. Many landlords are struggling to offset these higher mortgage rates, say ABC Lettings.

Now many private sector landlords are taking the decision to leave the market altogether or planning to reduce the number of properties they rent out, not only due to interest rate rises, but also when considering the potential impact of the Rental Reform Bill which will see abolishment of Section 21 “no fault” evictions.

Changes to taxation and Capital Gains Tax allowances reducing are also likely to impact upon the decisions made to leave the market, along with the general economic downturn.

Who are ABC Lettings?

Ten years after the service was set up by Ashford Borough Council, ABC Lettings continues to work with private sector landlords to help tackle homelessness across the borough. It works tirelessly to attract new landlords, offering a fully managed service for landlords who want a low risk hands off management service. For experienced landlords it offers a tenant find service.

With the fall in the number of landlords in the market, ABC Lettings is redoubling its efforts to attract more partners. To grab the attention of landlords, ABC Lettings is stepping up its campaign to engage with them about the benefits of using the Council’s services.

Victoria Henham of ABC Lettings said: “We have tenants who are ready to move into a landlord’s rented properties and we can offer a flexible package to suit each landlord’s needs.

“Our main focus is to ensure that local people who might otherwise face becoming homeless are given the opportunity to make a longer term home for themselves in the private rented sector, backed by all the experience and support that the local authority can provide.

“The sector has experienced many changes in the past decade and today we are witnessing a decline in the number of landlords in the face of mounting financial, regulatory and other pressures. Our clear message to landlords is that we can help, come and talk to us today,” added Victoria.

ABC Lettings, which manages more than 200 properties across Ashford, Folkestone and Hythe, says it offers landlords a no hassle, no hidden cost lettings service – and all from an organisation which is not motivated by profit and which has a reputation for a careful and considered approach.

Dispute resolution – sustaining a tenancy

For any landlord who is thinking of serving notice (or has served notice) on a tenant, ABC Lettings can use its experience to come up with a tailored solution to enable the landlord to resolve the dispute and sustain the tenancy and therefore ensure continuity of income – whether it’s over rent arrears, noise complaints or a relationship breakdown.   

Bringing buyers and sellers together

ABC Lettings work with a number of landlords who – even in this tough market – are looking to increase their portfolio or seeking to enter the buy to rent market.

ABC Lettings organising private landlord forum in Ashford

Dozens of private sector landlords are expected to attend a forum in February 2024 in Ashford organised by Ashford Borough Council and the National Residential Landlord Association (NRLA).

ABC Lettings will outline the range of services it can offer landlords while the NRLA will update landlords on important legislative changes which are going to impact how they run their businesses and deal with tenants. To find out more about the forum and how to book a free place, landlords should contact ABC Lettings on 01233 330811 or email abclettings@ashford.gov.uk.