What Can Letting Agencies Expect in 2021?
We are still only at the start of 2021 and what a year it has been so far! Here is a short overview of what we think the new year will offer for agencies and landlords.
Further Property Restrictions
Even if our letting agency offices are closed, the housing market door never shuts as there are always tenants eager and ready to rent out properties. Physical property viewings for tenants looking to move should still be kept to a minimum. Though it is under speculation that the Government is planning on closing the housing market on viewings due to pressure building on them by medical advisors.
This will mean that if letting agencies were to close, then there would be no in-person viewings, but valuations in the office by appointment will be allowed. This will also mean that no house moves can go ahead until the restrictions are lifted, only essential home moves will be permitted.
Extension on Eviction Ban
The evictions ban has been extended until the 21st of February. There is no guarantee that a further extension will not happen as well. With this, letting agencies are encouraging landlords to keep clear and open communication with tenants to minimise the risk of rent arrears. Rent Guarantee and Legal expenses products have never been more important for landlords now.
With the notice period now being 6 months, (even when the tenant is not paying rent), this takes it to around 18 whole months until the landlord can get a property back.
Renting Homes Act (2016)
The Renting Homes Act replaces all previous acts, this includes the 1988 Housing Act. This means another huge change for landlords in the way that letting agents operate, such as AST agreements that automatically turn into ‘Standard Contracts’. There will also now be a legal requirement under the HHSRS for properties to be maintained to a specific standard and for electrical safety certificates to be made mandatory.
Brexit, COVID-19, and European Tenants
The country has been hit with a double whammy at the start of 2021, with Brexit and COVID being hugely detrimental to letting agents and agencies. This is because Brexit will most likely cause a drop in the number of European tenants as well as COVID massively limiting travelling.
The requirements for tenants to travel, work and rent in the UK will no doubt change due to Brexit. With working from home becoming the ‘new normal’ in 2021, many businesses, including many letting agencies, thinking about downsizing in staff.
Brexit on its own probably will not be enough to hurt letting agencies too much and the overall housing market should be okay. However, job uncertainty may fuel demand for rental accommodation as renters working with letting agencies may decide to keep their options open.
Contact Hadleigh Estate Agents for Properties to Let
If you’re looking for a property to let in Birmingham, then be sure to work with our letting agents at Hadleigh Estate Agents. We will help you find the perfect location for your needs.
Call our lettings team on 0121 426 3220 or you can send us an email here.