In the market for a rental home in the capital? Here’s why your timing could be spot on.
It’s true that finding a rental home in London comes with challenges. Rents are high, areas unfamiliar and the market is fast-moving and competitive.
On the flip side, there are reasons that now is also a great time to rent in London.
Here are seven.
1. You may escape tenant fees
If you sign a rental contract after June 1, it will be against the law for the letting agent or landlord to charge you upfront fees.
With the cost of fees often running into hundreds of pounds per tenant in London, this is likely to be a welcome saving.
The new fee-ban forms part of the Tenant Fees Bill which also caps upfront rental deposits at 5 weeks’ rent.
Find out more with, Why June 1 is a crucial date for renters.
2. Some pockets of rental London are very affordable
Anyone who’s played Monopoly will know that rents in some parts of London will be cripplingly expensive.
To take an extreme example, Zoopla data shows the average rent on a two-bedroom flat in Mayfair (W1K) is £4,666 a month – requiring a household income of least £160,000 a year.
On the flip side though, other areas are still very affordable. The same two-bedroom flat would cost £1,020 a month to rent in Bexley (D8), south east London (or even £510 if you’re sharing). This would require a household income of £35,000.
3. You’re already in the right place
Zoopla has the highest number of London homes listed for rent compared with any other property portal. Start your search here by adding relevant filters.
4. Tenants are protected
Tenants both in London and across the UK are more protected than they’ve ever been.
So long as the rental contract you sign is an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, your deposit will be safeguarded in a government Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
These schemes also provide access to an independent redress service which you can lean on should your landlord unfairly withhold some, or all, of your deposit when you move out.
Further protection for tenants could also be in the offing – this time in the guise of security of tenure.
The Government has recently launched a consultation on abolishing so-called Section 21 ‘no-fault’ notices which enable landlords to give their tenants eight weeks’ notice to leave their property when a fixed-term contract has come to end, even if they have done nothing wrong.
5. The race against house prices has slowed
It’s a common worry among London renters, who also want to become homeowners, that house prices are rising faster than they can save for a deposit.
But house price inflation has taken a bit of a breather, according to the latest indices.
Average UK property prices in March were just 0.7% up on last year, according to Nationwide.
And, if you were looking to buy in London, average prices are even falling. In the first three months of 2019 London property was worth 3.8% less than the same period of 2018.
6. You can beat the London rental crowds
While the London rental market is competitive, you can still employ a few tricks to ensure you’re the master of your own destiny – for example, going to property viewings during the working day rather than waiting until the classic 6.30 after-work slot.
If you like what you see, you’ll be able to put an offer in first.
Find out more with, 7 sure-fire ways to bat off competition from other London renters.
7. You may not get another chance
There’s a reason that almost half (49%) of London renters are pre-children professionals aged under 35 on good incomes, according to data collected on behalf of Zoopla.
The advent of family life often comes with a reshuffle of priorities: the desire to own your own home, have outside space and family and good schools on your doorstep, can overtake the draw of urban life in spite of its flexibility, entertainment and culture.
So, perhaps then, the time is now.