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In recent years, the English rental market has experienced significant transformations, marked by rapid increases in rent prices and a growing number of accidental landlords. These landlords, typically individuals who have inherited a property or acquired a second one, are not the commercial portfolio holders often portrayed in the media. Instead, they seek a stress-free tenancy that covers mortgage payments, if any, and ensures compliance with ever-evolving legislation. As we progress further into 2024, the landscape of landlordship is poised for a shift, with the majority prioritising tenant relationships and rent stability over aggressive increases.

According to recent statistics, just 24% of landlords intend to raise rents in 2024, while a substantial 68% plan to maintain current rent levels, and a modest 8% are considering rent reductions. This data reveals that the majority of landlords are not looking to maximize their investments through aggressive rent hikes but are instead opting for a more balanced approach.

Over the past few years, rent prices have surged, witnessing an average increase of £135 per month since Q4 2022 and an astounding £450 per month compared to the same quarter in 2019. This relentless surge has placed considerable financial pressure on tenants across England. As landlords, many of whom fall into the accidental landlord category, recognise the importance of maintaining good tenant relationships, they are opting to tread cautiously when it comes to rent hikes.

Finding and retaining high-quality renters has become a paramount concern for landlords. The importance of nurturing a positive landlord-tenant relationship cannot be overstated. Landlords who value long-term, reliable tenants understand that excessive rent increases can strain these relationships. Hence, the decision by 68% of landlords to maintain existing rents is a testament to their commitment to stable tenancies and the welfare of their tenants.

We are now well and truly into 2024 and landlords are bracing themselves for several challenges. Foremost among these challenges is the rising cost of maintaining, repairing, and running properties. In addition to these ongoing expenses, legislative changes continue to be a source of concern for landlords. Keeping up with the evolving legal framework is essential to ensure compliance and avoid potential disputes with tenants.

For accidental landlords, these challenges are particularly daunting, as they often lack the resources and expertise of professional property investors. Many of them find themselves managing properties due to unforeseen circumstances such as inheritance or acquiring a second property. Their primary goal is to secure a stress-free tenancy that helps cover mortgage payments and ensures compliance with the law. The majority of them are not driven by profit maximization but rather by the desire for stability and a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship.

To address the issue of rent increases, landlords should consider adopting a more gradual approach, aligning rent adjustments with market conditions. This strategy can help avoid sudden and drastic rent jumps mid-tenancy, which can strain tenant finances and relationships. By implementing moderate, market-driven rent increases, landlords can strike a balance between their financial goals and tenant satisfaction.

Whether you’re an existing Landlord with one lettings property, or a portfolio holder with multiple assets, we can help you maintain a positive relationship with your tenants whilst getting you the right return on your investment.