8:30 AM, 30th August 2022, About A year ago
Escalating energy bills has seen a collapse in the number of landlords offering a tenancy that has the ‘bills included’.
That’s according to new research from lettings tech specialists Vouch who say that there has been a steady decline this year in the number of properties offering fixed costs for rent plus bills.
Vouch processes more than 10,000 tenancies each month on behalf of tenants across the UK and their findings show that the number of homes advertised as having ‘bills included’ in July 2022 was an incredible 90% lower than seen in January 2022.
The proportion of tenancies being offered inclusive of bills in January and February of this year was consistent with levels seen throughout 2021.
However, in March, just ahead of the first of the price cap changes in April – when household energy bills increased by a record 54% in April 2022 – numbers dramatically decreased.
A tiny fraction of all tenancies – just 1.75% – were being offered as inclusive of bills by July.
This is down from 19.8% of all tenancies in January.
Simon Tillyer, the chief executive of Vouch, said: “Tenancies where the cost of bills is rolled into one monthly fee have always been relatively common – particularly with student lets or houses of multiple occupancy.
“But the massive, and growing, rise in energy bill costs means that landlords are very reticent to commit to bills inclusive offers.”
He added: “With so much uncertainty around just how high costs will go over the next six months, I’m not surprised ‘bills included’ tenancies have pretty much disappeared.
“Tenants and landlords are grappling with a new rental landscape and we’re seeing patterns of behaviour shift accordingly.”
While the number of tenancies being offered with ‘bills included’ has collapsed, Property118.com revealed last week that the number of tenants searching for rental properties with that term has leapt into first place.
The news from Rightmove comes after an analysis of the search terms that their tenant users enter to find a home to rent.
Last year, the term was the sixth most searched for tenancy.
They also found that there is a huge imbalance between supply and demand and that renters are casting their net much further to find somewhere they can rent.
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