16:35 PM, 6th January 2012, About 10 years ago 11
Frustrated sellers are turning into reluctant landlords as the stagnating housing market in some areas has driven buyers away.
Around half of letting agents report a rising number of unintended lets as homeowners either cannot sell or are holding off accepting offers until property values increase.
The number of reluctant landlords has risen by almost a quarter from 40% to 47% in the past 12 months, according to a survey by the Association of Residential Letting agents (ARLA).
While numbers have remained static or decreased in London and South-East, the rest of the country has seen a huge increase in the number of reluctant landlords.
In the North-West, the number of letting agents dealing with reluctant landlords has risen from 47% to 62% in a year – while their colleagues in Scotland also confirm a similar rise from 47% to 65%.
Other regions have also seen lesser rises, reports ARLA, like 40% to 46% in the South-West; 44% to 48% in the Midlands and 61% to 67% in the North-East.
The findings also revealed the most likely homes let by a reluctant landlord are detached and semi-detached houses, while least likely are studio flats.
“Letting a property is an excellent way of generating consistent income from your property, if the correct approach is adopted by prospective landlords,” said ARLA president Tim Hyatt.
“Lettings is an unregulated industry and there can be pitfalls for both landlord and tenant, including loss of monies. While we are, of course, happy to see an increase in the number of landlords, it is vital that every landlord – reluctant or keen – seeks expert advice before embarking on a rental arrangement.
“In particular, we would advise anyone considering renting or letting a property, to consult a licensed ARLA member. Licensed agents have to adhere to a strict code of conduct, and must have a number of consumer protection mechanisms in place, meaning that if things do go wrong, there is a way to seek redress.”
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