GL#6: What landlords need to know about rent Good Landlording

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This week's episode is about a key issue for landlords: setting and increasing rent.







Suzanne Smith and Richard Jackson kick off the podcast episode by discussing what the key rent indices say about what’s happening to rents now. Then they share tips about landlords should go about both setting rent at the beginning of the tenancy, as well increasing rent once the tenants have moved in. They also talk about how the Renters Reform Bill will change the way landlords will be able to increase rent.







The episode is full of practical tips to help good landlords go about setting and increasing rent in a way that complies with the law and is fair to your tenants, but also recognises we’re running a business.







What we cover in this episode at a glanceWhat’s happening to rents at the moment?The Good Landlording approach to setting and increasing rentHow can landlords increase rent?1. New AST for another fixed term2. By agreement2. Using a rent review clause3. Section 13 notice (Form 4)How will the Renters Reform Bill change the way landlords increase rent?Golden nuggetsCredits















>> Submit a question: Click here for question form







>> Join: The Independent Landlord Community private Facebook Group (landlords only)















What’s happening to rents at the moment?







The 3 major rent indices (ONS, Rightmove and Spareroom) all agree that the rental growth for the 12 months until the end of March was around 9% in England.







According to Rightmove, the average number of enquiries has reduced from 13 to 19 a year ago, which compares favourable to the mere 5 enquiries in 2019. Rightmove point to affordability as the problem - there's only so many rent increases that tenants can accommodate.







Rightmove also report that more landlords are having to reduce rents when advertising. 22% of advertisements are ending in a price reduction at the moment, which is a five-year high for this time of year, and is up from 16% a year ago. Price reductions, on the other hand, are now around the more normal percentage of the 23% in 2019.







Spareroom data shows a number of postcodes in London where room rents are dropping: SW3 (Chelsea) saw the biggest drop of -11%, followed by 7% in E20 (around the Olympic Park).







The Good Landlording approach to setting and increasing rent







Private landlords run a business, and not a charity or subsidised social housing. That said, we want to charge a rent that’s fair to the tenants, and fair to the landlords. 







Costs have increased significantly for landlords over the past few years, and keeping rent at the same level is the same as reducing it in real terms, after taking inflation into account.







Suzanne charges new tenants the market rent for the property. For in-tenancy increases with existing tenants, she keeps wage inflation as a guide, and tracks the market rent, but at a discount. She has kept rent increases to under 5%, but has always increased rent every year, apart from during Covid.







It's important to avoid rent shock for tenants, when the rent suddenly increases in one go. It's better to increase it little and often.







>> Blog post: The Independent Landlord: How to increase rent in 2024







How can landlords increase rent?







1. New AST for another fixed term







Agents usually change the rent by issuing another tenancy agreement for another fixed term period, with new rent stated in the agreement. It's simple to do and means you can keep the AST up to date.







2.

This week's episode is about a key issue for landlords: setting and increasing rent.







Suzanne Smith and Richard Jackson kick off the podcast episode by discussing what the key rent indices say about what’s happening to rents now. Then they share tips about landlords should go about both setting rent at the beginning of the tenancy, as well increasing rent once the tenants have moved in. They also talk about how the Renters Reform Bill will change the way landlords will be able to increase rent.







The episode is full of practical tips to help good landlords go about setting and increasing rent in a way that complies with the law and is fair to your tenants, but also recognises we’re running a business.







What we cover in this episode at a glanceWhat’s happening to rents at the moment?The Good Landlording approach to setting and increasing rentHow can landlords increase rent?1. New AST for another fixed term2. By agreement2. Using a rent review clause3. Section 13 notice (Form 4)How will the Renters Reform Bill change the way landlords increase rent?Golden nuggetsCredits















>> Submit a question: Click here for question form







>> Join: The Independent Landlord Community private Facebook Group (landlords only)















What’s happening to rents at the moment?







The 3 major rent indices (ONS, Rightmove and Spareroom) all agree that the rental growth for the 12 months until the end of March was around 9% in England.







According to Rightmove, the average number of enquiries has reduced from 13 to 19 a year ago, which compares favourable to the mere 5 enquiries in 2019. Rightmove point to affordability as the problem - there's only so many rent increases that tenants can accommodate.







Rightmove also report that more landlords are having to reduce rents when advertising. 22% of advertisements are ending in a price reduction at the moment, which is a five-year high for this time of year, and is up from 16% a year ago. Price reductions, on the other hand, are now around the more normal percentage of the 23% in 2019.







Spareroom data shows a number of postcodes in London where room rents are dropping: SW3 (Chelsea) saw the biggest drop of -11%, followed by 7% in E20 (around the Olympic Park).







The Good Landlording approach to setting and increasing rent







Private landlords run a business, and not a charity or subsidised social housing. That said, we want to charge a rent that’s fair to the tenants, and fair to the landlords. 







Costs have increased significantly for landlords over the past few years, and keeping rent at the same level is the same as reducing it in real terms, after taking inflation into account.







Suzanne charges new tenants the market rent for the property. For in-tenancy increases with existing tenants, she keeps wage inflation as a guide, and tracks the market rent, but at a discount. She has kept rent increases to under 5%, but has always increased rent every year, apart from during Covid.







It's important to avoid rent shock for tenants, when the rent suddenly increases in one go. It's better to increase it little and often.







>> Blog post: The Independent Landlord: How to increase rent in 2024







How can landlords increase rent?







1. New AST for another fixed term







Agents usually change the rent by issuing another tenancy agreement for another fixed term period, with new rent stated in the agreement. It's simple to do and means you can keep the AST up to date.







2.