Will the demand for rentals slow down in 2024, and how can a tenant stand out when applying?

Will the demand for rentals slow down in 2024, and how can a tenant stand out when applying?
22nd November 2023

The demand for private rented accommodation has been outstripping supply for several years now. Although there are some new landlords entering the market, this is being more-or-less matched by the number of rental properties being sold. And more than half of landlords selling up are located in London and the South East, where rental demand has been boosted by commuters moving out of the capital.

What’s likely to happen to rents and demand?

Although rents have increased at a faster rate than usual over the past few years, they are driven by tenant affordability and not so much by supply and demand. The recent rent growth was possible partly because between 2017 and 2021, rents became more affordable.

According to Zoopla, rental growth this year (2023) is on track to end at over 9% - a higher rent figure than expected because of faster earnings growth and the impact of higher mortgage rates keeping more people renting. Zoopla say rents for new lettings are expected to keep rising in 2024, with rental growth of 5-6% per cent, with the impetus for growth originating from regional cities.

5 ways to stand out as a great tenant

With fierce competition for rentals, it’s key that you do what you can to try and secure a property quickly. Landlords want tenants who will pay the rent on time and look after their home. So, the more you can do to reassure a landlord or agent that you’re reliable and can afford to live in the property, the more likely you are to be successful.

Here are our 5 top tips on how to make yourself stand out from the crowd:

  1. Be prepared and able to move quickly – even if it means moving out of your previous home before the end of the tenancy and having a couple of weeks’ rent overlap. Good properties will let quickly and landlords are unlikely to wait around for you if another tenant can move in more quickly.
  2. Have referencing documentation to hand when you apply, including:
    1. References from your previous/current landlord and current employer
    2. 3 months’ bank statements
    3. A print-out of your credit report and score – you can get a free trial from companies like Equifax
  3. Have details of someone who is prepared to be a guarantor, in case the landlord has any concerns over affordability.
  4. Provide reassurance that you’re looking for a long-term home. Most landlords prefer long-term tenants, as it gives them consistent rental income and they don’t incur the costs associated with having to find new tenants every year or so. So, for instance, if you have lived in your current/previous rental home for several years, make that clear as it demonstrates you’re a loyal tenant. And if you’re on a secure career path at work, see if your employer will put that in writing to indicate that you’re unlikely to move away from the area.
  5. Be the first to respond. That means always responding quickly to agents, turning up for viewings on time, and giving agents constructive feedback if something’s not suitable.

Be aware that there are some landlords and agents out there that don’t operate professionally or ethically. These rogue operators will often try to take advantage of desperate tenants by offering cheaper, sub-standard accommodation, so always use an agent that is a member of Propertymark or a landlord who’s a member of the NRLA or other landlord association. That way, you can be confident that the property is being let legally and safely by someone who’s working to a professional code of conduct.

If you’d like some help finding a new rented home, just get in touch with your nearest branch and have a chat with one of our local lettings experts.

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