At Caxtons, our residential property lettings and management teams can help, whether you are just starting out as a landlord or already have an extensive portfolio of properties. We will undertake the administration and ensure you are up to speed on all the regulations ensuring your property is compliant with the myriad of legal requirements associated with renting out property.
At a time of uncertainty, resulting from a concoction of issues including confrontational Brexit negotiations (both at home and abroad), a government with no working majority* and interest rates rising for the first time in a decade, the lettings' market is finely balanced with affordability being a key component for both landlords and tenants.
Landlord returns are being steadily eroded, but if they try to redress the balance by increasing rents the level of demand from tenants will fall.
However, on the positive side the government has announced that letting agents are to be regulated and new proposals will require that they join a professional organisation and meet 'certain minimum standards'. The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and various other bodies have been lobbying for many years for this to happen.
In addition, while letting agents already have to be part of a redress scheme, this will now be extended to all landlords to enable tenants to complain about poorly managed properties and rogue landlords.
Alan Stewart, Director & head of Residential Lettings & Property Management says: "The buy-to-let sector is still very challenging for landlords who have had to contend with changes in regulations and legislation with investment having been curtailed - particularly amongst the more short term speculative landlords - by the restriction of income tax relief on mortgage interest payments and the introduction of more stringent mortgage affordability tests.
"Pressures on the residential investment market and achievable yields will certainly continue next year with many local authorities introducing selective licensing controls on some properties plus the effect of new Energy Performance regulations, which will increase the financial burden for landlords."
Legislation will be introduced next year to prevent tenants being charged any fees in connection with the letting of a property. This will impact significantly on letting agents
According to latest figures from the British Property Federation the build-to-rent sector is continuing to grow and play an important part in increasing the supply of homes. Combined with this, the Prime Minister has just unveiled a major council house-building programme that will see the release of government owned land and the goal of providing homes at affordable rents.
In the student housing sector investment demand is buoyant. In a recent survey it is estimated that there has been a 24% increase in transactions in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. Purpose built student accommodation continues to offer attractive returns, particularly for overseas investors.
Alan continues: "Our region has seen a period of rental stability with tenants now very focussed on achieving value for money when selecting properties. If the accommodation is not well presented we are finding that prospective tenants are looking elsewhere or seeking a reduction in the asking rent.
"I believe that during the course of 2018 we may find that some accidental landlords look to sell their properties and larger investors take the opportunity to restructure their portfolios, but overall demand could be sustained by first time buyers who still cannot afford to purchase a property and there will be more choice in the rented sector with the completion of a variety of build-to-rent schemes.
"At Caxtons we are keen to promote the benefits of engaging a good letting/managing agent who can steer a landlord through all the complexities of letting residential property."
* The Conservative Party has formed a minority government and has signed a "confidence and supply" agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party.
Of 94 residential lettings and management property agents in the Canterbury, Kent area Caxtons is officially *number 1, having secured the most 'new instructions' in the 10-week period between 7th November 2016 and 17th January 2017.
According to latest statistics from Rightmove, with 294 instructions, Caxton beat its nearest registered rival into second place by a massive 120 more instructions. The total number of new instructions during the period was 611, meaning that Caxtons managed to capture almost 50% of the available 'new instruction' market.
In addition, and across the same time-period, Caxtons came top of the 'let agreed' table. Of the 66 registered residential lettings and management agents' offices in the area, Caxtons secured 89 of the 164 total residential properties let during that time – well in excess of 50% during what is traditionally a quiet season for moving home.
Duncan Reeves, Associate Director at Caxtons, said "We are delighted that both our Canterbury Student Lettings and Residential Lettings teams are reaping the rewards of all their hard work.
The past six months have been tough for the property sector, not only in Kent but country-wide. There has been much uncertainty following the referendum vote and new legislation has, and will, affect landlords and buy-to-let property. This means we, as residential lettings and management agents, have to be extremely diligent, professional, efficient and cost effective at what we do. And we not only have to please our landlord clients, but their tenants too.
"Kent is a lovely county to work and live in and Canterbury is a busy and desirable residential and university destination. At Caxtons we will continue to ensure we look after both landlords and tenants to the very best of our ability. And even if their time in Canterbury and the surrounding villages and towns in Kent is short, we will help them find - and hopefully enjoy - their new homes."
*Rightmove Intel Report statistics