It might not feel like it depending on where you live, but rents are falling for the first time in six years. The statement was made by Countrywide, who are Britain’s largest estate agency.
Data from the agency shows that rents in London and the South-East fell by 5% and 3% respectively, in the last year. On the flip side, rents in other parts of the country continued to rise and demand for rental homes was growing in the East Midlands, the east of England and the North-West.
Countrywide, have said the main reason for the decline is because supply in London and the South-East currently outweighs the demand for rental properties. The agency has put this rental surplus down to the fact that landlords have been busy buying new accommodation before the 3% increase in stamp duty for buy to let homes kicks in, in April 2017.
However, Countrywide are predicting that rents won’t continue to fall and that as 2017 continues, they’ll start to increase again.
In the meantime, there is some tentatively good news for tenants in the potential banning of letting agents’ fees. The proposal was made in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement last year, and was just one of many suggestions on how to fix Britain’s ‘broken housing market’.
At the moment, many tenants in England and Wales have to pay letting agents for various services, such as reference and credit checks and these can add up. The average fee is £223 but some people are being charged more than £500.
It’s not clear exactly when the ban on fees will become law so tenants are facing some hefty costs just for the privilege of renting. So, if that’s you, then you’ll want to save money where you can – and one way to do that is knowing exactly where you stand when it comes to your home insurance.
If you rent a property, then your landlord is responsible for insuring the building itself – so you won’t have to fork out for buildings insurance. You will however, need to cover your own belongings, which is where contents insurance comes in.
Knowing what you need to consider when you rent can be tricky – especially if you rent with other people, so find out more in our simples guide: do I need insurance if I rent? And once you’ve worked out what you need, you can start searching for the right kind of cover, right here at comparethemarket.com