A new website has been unveiled by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme to help tenants check whether their deposits have been registered. The TDS said up to a million private sector tenants are thought to be missing out on this protection.
Difficulties in getting a first-time buyer mortgage has led to competition in the rental market and rising rents. As the latest LSL Buy-to-let Index shows average rents are up 0.2%, and 3.9% year on year, experts say the housing market is to blame.
A new report has claimed that a ratings website for private renters could give house letters more assurances about the people they are making housing arrangements with. As it stands, just 15 per cent of tenants are able to find all of the information they wanted about a prospective landlord or letting agency.
The rising cost of living is forcing many London tenants to downsize. As a result, the competition for one-bedroom flats is fierce, according to property consultants Cluttons, as couples and singletons alike are looking for one-bedroom apartments.
Almost half of landlords are planning to increase rents by at least 4% this year, as rising inflation and VAT and an expected interest rate rise take their toll on property owners.
Rental costs have fallen for the first time since January 2010, according to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from LSL Property Services. Rents fell fastest in Wales, down 2.6 per cent, while other areas of the UK were similarly affected.
Despite high tenant demand, above average rental growth in 2011 is unlikely, as worries about rising unemployment will put a cap on the amount landlords can charge, according to the latest report from Capital Economics.
Private tenants should allow for a rent increase in their 2011 budget, with four in ten landlords planning to up their rates in the next 12 months.