The Landlord Works is built on strong foundations and aims to make life more simple for landlords, says Paul Wootton.

A proud partner brand to The Mortgage Works, Nationwide’s Buy to Let lender, with over 30 years’ experience, The Landlord Works exists to support landlords with their needs.

Research highlights a big concern for landlords is keeping up with change in the Private Rental Sector, 60% of landlords state they’re not sure how to keep up with property pricing and specifically whether they’re charging appropriate rent for their property.

Costs are increasing in almost every area of our lives, for all of us, landlords are not excluded from this. For landlords relying on rental income, increased expenditure may feel daunting, but often landlords are concerned for the welfare of their tenants and have to consider the costs of replacing a good tenant when considering rent rises.

The question we’re hearing from landlords is; ‘Should I increase my rent?’

During a period where landlord costs are likely to increase, The Landlord Works believe it’s really important for all landlords to have access to trustworthy insight, tools and information to make an informed decision about their rental pricing.

Insight into the rental market

Navigating what’s going on in the local market is a good starting point, aim to understand what rental prices surrounding your property are and what fluctuations there are in supply and demand.
Across the UK private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK have increased in the 12 months to March 2022. Rental pricing in London has seen far slower growth than the rest of the UK at only 0.4%. The UK excluding London sits at 3.3% and the average UK growth is 2.4% – the largest growth rate since December 2016.

This table from the latest ONS* data highlights the annual rental price growth across regions in England.

The East Midlands region is currently experiencing the highest growth in rental prices at 3.8%.

Research from Zoopla highlights that rental payments account for 37% of the gross income for a single earner, this is slightly up, but broadly in line with the 10 year average which sits at 36%.

And finally the availability of rental properties is low, staggeringly 39% lower than the 5 year average.

Free tools to help assess your options

It’s good to be reminded that choosing to be a landlord is often for investment purposes and rent is how landlords make a return on their investment. When costs increase it’s inevitable that rent will need to, however to maintain strong tenant / landlord relationships it’s important that rent increases are appropriate and not disproportionately to increase profit.

The Landlord Works have invested in a tool similar to those estate agents use which sources data from a number of references of property lettings and sales values across the UK. Data sources include land registry and local property listings data, and alongside providing an estimate of the rental value it also provinces local comparisons.

Information to help your decision

Landlords can not simply increase rents, and it’s always important to weigh up whether a small rental increase is worth potentially losing a good tenant. From a practical perspective most tenancy agreements will explain when and how landlords can change rent and there’s plenty of free information available to support landlords.

It’s really important to give tenants as much notice as possible of rent increases, explaining why you’re changing the rent, and being upfront by outlining the costs which have increased for you may help your tenant understand.

Even a small change could have a significant negative outcome for your tenant and it’s worth remembering tenants have the right to dispute increases.

If increasing rental payments doesn’t feel viable, it’s always worth reviewing costs and exploring options to reduce your portfolio outgoings. The Landlord Works free portfolio management tool could reduce accounting or portfolio management costs, which in turn could support you to maintain a long term reliable relationship with your tenant.

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