Rental market frenzy: Tenants face 25 enquiries per property

Rental market frenzy: Tenants face 25 enquiries per property

9:41 AM, 5th October 2023, About 8 months ago 8

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The rental market in the UK is experiencing a frenzy of activity, as letting agents report an average of 25 enquiries from prospective tenants for every property on offer.

And the chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), Ben Beadle, says the figures come as landlords see their lowest profits since 2006 and there are ‘no winners’.

Letting agents have seen a staggering increase from the eight enquiries per property they were getting at the same time in 2019, and higher than the 20 enquiries they received in May this year.

The data, released by Rightmove, shows how competitive the rental market has become, as tenant demand outstrips supply across the country.

According to the property platform, the number of properties available to rent has dropped by 35% compared to 2019, although it has improved by 14% since last year.

Most sought-after rental property types

The most sought-after rental property types are two-bedroom semi-detached houses, followed by two-bedroom terraced houses, with smaller properties facing more pressure from the demand and supply gap than larger ones.

Ria Laitmer, lettings manager at Clarkes agents in Bournemouth, said: “The gap between high demand and a severe shortage of rental stock at the moment is just crazy.

“We’re receiving mounting enquiries for each property to rent from would-be tenants, with queues of tenants arriving to open-house viewings and the majority being left disappointed as there is just not enough properties on the market to meet the demand.”

‘Massive supply and demand imbalance’

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the NRLA’s chief executive Ben Beadle said: “We have a massive supply and demand imbalance if we have got 25 people queueing around the block for one property, that is something that isn’t normal.”

He added: “We have a million people waiting for social housing and the PRS is housing far more people than it was intended to do.

“We know that demand is white hot, and we also know and it’s all well and good for the government to pick a fight with the private rented sector, but the PRS is housing many more people than it was intended to do.”

Landlords would pay less tax

The presenter read out a government statement issued in response to the Rightmove news saying that landlords would pay less tax due ‘thanks to our cuts to stamp duty and landlords can claim tax relief on financing their property purchase and day to day costs incurred when letting out, replacing furniture etc, and we are increasing the supply of affordable homes by providing money for that’.

Mr Beadle said the government was being ‘disingenuous’ and pointed to Section 24 which means landlords cannot offset their mortgage costs which has made some properties ‘no longer a going concern’.

He added: “What we have seen is a relentless kicking for the past decade to make renting a property out much less attractive so it should be no surprise that see these figures.”

Mr Beadle also pointed out that landlords are taking home their lowest profits since 2006 and ‘there are no winners here’.

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10:19 AM, 5th October 2023, About 8 months ago

I'm surprised it's only 25 potential tenants. When I've previously advertised my properties I usually had more than that many people interested. I'm about to advertise one, so it will be interesting to see how many enquiries I get this time. From what I've heard demand is very strong where I am. There's a difference between realistic potential tenants and dreamers though. I expect there will be many enquiries from people who would not meet the selection criteria or be able to provide satisfactory references etc.


10:40 AM, 5th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Deb at 05/10/2023 - 10:19
You’re right Deb, I’ve just let one of my properties and had 88 enquiries! I guess it depends where you are in the country. I’m just about to advertise another one and dreading it. It s definitely a frenzy!

Michael Holmes

11:57 AM, 5th October 2023, About 8 months ago

I have never been able to understand how politicians and the media have never been able to join the dots when it comes to the PRS.
If you allow half a million people into the country every year and are only building 100,000 houses in that time, you are obviously going to end up with a huge imbalance in housing provision. At the same time they are crucifying the PRS with ever more onerous regulations, tax thefts and pillorying Landlords in the media. Go figure. The Americans refer to such situations as clusterf****.


14:29 PM, 5th October 2023, About 8 months ago

I must admit it is why I like the OpenRent model(no connection). For my 2 flats in Hackney I have recently received 50-100 replies. I use the filter question to narrow it down and try and find the best fit for me and reply via msg rather than have to field telephone calls.
I see 5-6 applicants and will get offers whether it be longer contract/rent up front or a higher rent. I'm experienced enough to delve deep with questions, do not do an open house and it's not just about the highest bid...far from it. I find it's a morning well spent although emotionally draining. It is tough out there for renters and you sense the desperation to find somewhere and is more like a job interview for them. I've been doing this for 40 years and it's easily the toughest it's ever been. Short sighted virtue signalling bad govt. Well done George.


15:21 PM, 5th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by geester24 at 05/10/2023 - 14:29
I have been doing this for many years and I follow the same procedure as you.
I like open Rent except I take longer selecting prospective tenants these days. I guess I am worried about the implications of the RRB and this affects my judgement.
It is tough for renters and tough for us also and the sad thing is that this mess could have been averted if we had sensible laws and the Government stoped listening to their blinkered advisors at Shelter and generation Rent.
I had 76 applications last time I advertised a property which is a lot more that the 25 applications per property reported on the news today.
I know that this is not uncommon in London.


16:49 PM, 5th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by geester24 at 05/10/2023 - 14:29
I do not think selective licensing has helped in Hackney as some LLs have sold up in SL areas as they don't want to lose control of their asset to a council clip board busy body fining for small issues during inspections..

The fact that London Councils have all gone SL mad again has reduced LLs and resulted in higher rents.

The sad thing is councils claim to improve affordable renting with SL schemes. A joke which cause no laughter for tenant or LL.


15:28 PM, 6th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Deb at 05/10/2023 - 10:19It has been the same for me. Advertised a property 6 weeks back and had over 50 people contact me in the first 12 hours for a house in North Lincolnshire! Saying that, a high proportion of enquiries were from people who did not meet my evermore stringent selection criteria.


9:07 AM, 7th October 2023, About 8 months ago

2 beds are probably more popular as they're smaller, cheaper to heat up and family sizes these days are smaller. There are more single people (due to lots of separation and divorce) and people are having less kids, so I'm not surprised. If there's less property on the market to rent, maybe people are moving less and landlords are selling up - withdrawing stock, so I'm interested to see how far this rental market goes before it implodes totally. The madness can't continue forever can it? All these people in temporary housing - hotels etc., It's unsustainable.

The advice I've seen for would-be renters to combat this ever-worsening situation is:
1. Move in with family (if you have any)
2. Move in with friends (club together)
3. Go to a less competitive part of the country to rent (probably up North)
4. Move abroad (if you can work remotely)

For those it applies to - flash your Ukrainian passport (see article on LL incentive payment) - that might catapult you ahead of the queue.

Its a madness.

I do not understand why they can waste money on HS2 transport projects yet not build a few more bloody houses?

It's at times like this, I say - we have the government we deserve. Someone voted in these muppets. They've been there a long time. Out of touch, mainly all gone to private school, in Westminster and they just don't have a clue.

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