One in five tenants has lost out in a property bidding war during the last two years, with those in London, Southampton and Brighton facing the toughest competition.
Cornerstone Tax’s poll of some 700 tenants discovered that 17% had lost out on their chosen home, and that those in Southampton (28%), followed by Brighton (27%), London (26%), and Manchester (20%) were most likely to be affected.
Landlords have begun to place insurmountable pressure on prospective tenants to deal with rocketing demand, according to the tax firm, with many UK renters offering a year’s rent upfront and tenant CVs to try and secure a home.
According to a Rightmove survey, the average property attracts 20 inquiries to letting agents, more than triple the eight inquiries received before the pandemic.
Cornerstone Tax’s chairman, David Hannah, says it’s unfortunate that many renters now feel the need to jump through multiple, previously unnecessary, hoops. “The government’s proposed Renters Reform Bill will undoubtedly relieve the stress of many tenants, but I’d argue that policymakers ought to be assessing the root causes of the current rental market turmoil,” he adds.
According to Cornerstone, 15% of landlords are considering selling up due to rising costs, with the average landlord losing £7,500 amid sky-high mortgage rates and unfavourable tax burdens. The exodus is contributing to a supply and demand imbalance, perpetuating a vicious cycle where tenants across the country continuously lose out.
“Last week’s major headline was that the rate of inflation had fallen dramatically to 4.7% - that should have been the signal for the Bank of England to begin looking at cutting the interest rate in order to inject short-to-medium term optimism into the UK housing market,” says Hannah. “Despite this, interest rates remain at 5.25% and will continue to do so until the BoE’s next major decision.”