EDINBURGH’S RENTAL boom is coming to an end and tenants are set to take back control from letting agents and landlords.
The nationwide rental boom, caused by the ever-looming credit crunch and the crashing of the property market, saw many tenants coming under stress and financial exertion due to a higher demand for rental properties than houses available.
The house market crashed earlier this year with house sales descending to a 30 year low and mortgage approvals down by 71%. First time buyers were put under particular strain with their weekly mortgage costs rising by 21% and mortgage companies insisting on large deposits for them to get on the property ladder. Many people were forced to turn to renting as a product of the turbulent property market conditions.
This increasing demand for rental properties meant that landlords and letting agency were able to discriminate against tenants. According to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) rent on flats increased by 7% between May and August, making the average flat rent in the U.K. £253 per week. As well as a nationwide rent increase, landlords also began to demand extortionate deposits and produced biased contracts for tenants to sign.
The rental boom is finally set to come to an end, with the wheel coming full circle. Peter Grant, co-founder of Edinburgh letting agents Grant Management, states that “there are more properties available to rent. Owners are not able to sell so they are turning to letting out”. This increase of prospective rental properties on the market means that there is more competition for landlords and consequently more choice for prospective tenants.
Peter Grant continued “the supply has gone up and the demand has gone up”, concluding that the rental market has reached an equilibrium of properties and prospective tenants. He did warn that students should not take a back seat in searching for rental properties, stating that students will get the best deal for their money if they “think ahead and get organised”.