Are Eastern Europeans Leaving The UK?

by Mark Alexander

22:00 PM, 19th August 2018
About 3 years ago

Are Eastern Europeans Leaving The UK?

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Are Eastern Europeans Leaving The UK?

I have a theory, and I hope I am wrong!

Many Eastern Europeans came to the UK because they could earn more, and despite the higher costs of living they could send money home to their families.

However, a few years ago, every £1 they sent home converted to around €1.40 whereas it’s now closer to €1.10.

That’s just one factor. Another is uncertainty over whether they will be able to stay in the UK post Brexit. Another is the rising cost of living, rents being a prime example. Landlords are looking to increase rents to cover their own increasing costs.

Recently, I had an excellent Eastern European tenant move out of one of my properties to move to Germany. He said he had been offered a better opportunity. I didn’t think much of it at the time, save for the fact he was an excellent tenant and I was sad he was leaving. Nevertheless, I did my sums, decided it was worth keeping the property and advertised it to re-let. I didn’t even increase the rental price, which had remained the same since he moved in four years ago. At that time I had several applicants to choose from.

Two weeks after advertising the property I hadn’t received any enquiries. The advert was fine and I put it down to lethargy due to the hot weather. Nevertheless, I hate rental voids so I decided to drop the price by £80 a month. My thinking was that I would be inundated with enquiries, because mine is the best property in the area and I was advertising it at least £50 a month below the advertised rental price of inferior properties. The plan was to pick the best applicants and then go to final offers to try to get them to bid higher.

Another four weeks on and it still isn’t let. I had one applicant but he had a history of unsatisfied CCJ’s and I couldn’t get rent Guarantee Insurance on him. My view is that I would rather have an empty property than to risk taking on a tenant that an RGI provider considers too risky to underwrite.

Having done the sums again, it now transpires this property falls into the Return on Investment category I set for properties to sell when they become vacant.

It seems quite clear the amount of housing stock available for private rental is dwindling, due to onerous legislative policy. So why is my property still empty? My concern is that demand from tenants might be reducing even faster than supply of property available to rent, especially if migrant workers are moving out of the UK.

I appreciate one property doesn’t show a trend, so I’m interested to read others’ comments on thoughts and recent experiences.



12:02 PM, 20th August 2018
About 3 years ago

I have worked with polish people's since 2009 doing all king kind of building work. I'm doing a double storey extension for 2 flats in and im in process of starting a brand new development of 4 flats in Birmingham. I'm now struggling to find polish workers.

It is correct to say europeans have gone back since brexit vote. I'm now looking for the UK builders they are very expensive plus????. As a result of higher development cost I will definitely increase my rents.

Mark Alexander

12:08 PM, 20th August 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Kabs at 20/08/2018 - 12:02
That’s exactly the kind of circumstantial evidence I was expecting. The Goveyhas no way of tracking how many people are returning to their own Countries to my knowledge. This is worrying. The UK needs a migrant workforce. It always has and always will, regardless of what some people might otherwise think.

Gwen Davies

10:59 AM, 21st August 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 20/08/2018 - 11:11
Could it be that people living in that area are more able to afford to buy? In wales we have many people living here who cannot afford to buy, despite low house prices.

Gwen Davies

9:19 AM, 22nd August 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 20/08/2018 - 11:11
It could be your agents marketing strategy? It could be that renters now use different media’s to look for properties. A lot of people use Facebook to look for rental properties.


23:37 PM, 25th August 2018
About 3 years ago

Without a doubt they are leaving. I used to have a constant number of Eastern European's calling for accommodation pre BREXIT however hardly none now. I housed many of them as they proved to be good tenants however, now I have none although I have a reasonable portfolio.

Unfortunately, I too have found it much more difficult to rent out instantly which was the case in the past and have had to lower rents. I however get a vast number of British prospective tenants with no deposit or rent in advance.

I think the problem is not only that the Eastern Europeans are going back to their homelands but also there are no more new arrivals which is what is causing the drop in these tenants.

I am no doubt lucky in that my properties are all in the Greater London (Croydon & Sutton) area where it is still very easy to rent and rents are good for one that has bought property in the past.

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Revised Right to rent requirments from 21st June