As you are probably aware, I tend to get a little passionate about the Private Rental Sector and especially when things get a political, that’s when I truly crack out the soapbox.
Like with any players in any industry, there are a select few landlords and/or letting agents who don’t necessarily play by the rules and I find it incredibly frustrating when the reputation in our entire sector is called into question and scrutinised by a select few bad eggs. After all, good news stories about landlords doesn’t sell papers.
However, I wanted to take this opportunity to really focus on the positives of the York Private Rental Sector and landlords in question. After all, I have the privilege of working with some fantastic landlords who are so primarily focused on looking after their tenant/s and their properties.
With that in mind, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. First and foremost, let’s look at Gas Safety Certification. This has been a legal requirement for some time now and according to recent York Open data, 99.96% of rental properties in York had valid Gas Safe registered Gas Certificates. As the same data points out there were 14,980 private rental homes, this means that, of the data sample, at the time of assessment, there were only six properties in York that didn’t have valid gas safety certificates in place. Yes ideally, we shouldn’t have any properties whereby Gas Safety Certificates fall out of date but this is close to a perfect score.
Next, according to York Open Data, in 2018/19, 79.86% of tenants reported that they were satisfied with the way their landlord deals with repairs and maintenance generally. This was an increase from the previous year by 1.14%.
Furthermore, according to a study by The Association of Residential Letting Agents, across the nation this is only 72% meaning York landlords are generally more on the ball with maintenance on their rental properties than across the rest of the nation.
Accentuating the positives, it’s pleasing to see nearly 4/5ths of tenants in the York PRS are in general, happy with the status quo and that conditions are improving. This is unsurprising when 75.90% of repairs reported in 2018/19 on tenanted properties were resolved within the first visit, an improvement from two years before by 12.51%.
I will leave you with this statistic dear reader, in 2017/18, York Open Data reported that 4.95% of dwellings failed to meet the ‘decent homes standard’. This figure clearly beats the nation as a whole which according to a recent report published by the Government, 20% of homes in UK fall below the qualification of a decent home. In an ideal scenario this would be at 0% but bear in mind, with the introduction of the Tenant Fees Bill in June 2019, tenants have a significant amount more freedom of movement, so it really is imperative, now more than ever, that landlords focus on investing in their product if they want to maintain a high quality class of tenant. My intuition tells me that we should expect to see a marginal improvement overall in rental properties.
Over the last few years, landlords have been bashed and bruised from all sides but ultimately, in most cases, they provide good quality homes for their tenants. My concern is every industry has its critical mass and whilst the return in property is far superior to investing money in a savings account for instance, as profitability is squeezed out of the buy to let sector and with increasing legislation, landlords will inevitably start to exodus the market which will inflate rental prices as there are more tenants scrabbling for the little stock that’s left.
If you have any concerns about any of the above or just want to wax lyrical about the York rental market, pop into my office and I’ll get the kettle on the go.