A leading lettings expert insists that greater regulation in the private rental sector can work for the benefit of landlords and buy to let investors.
Bob Cherry, partner and head of residential lettings at Galbraith agency in Scotland, says it’s clear that landlords have been hit by law changes in recent years, particularly in Scotland.
However, he insists that rents are continuing to perform well, the sector still offers good returns, and that landlords could be seen to have benefitted from the changes - especially, of course, if they work with an agent..
“More stringent controls have been imposed on lettings agents in Scotland – for example the introduction of the lettings’ agent register, Code of Practice and the requirement that agents must undertake new additional professional examinations” he says.
But he insists these changes have resulted in two benefits for landlords using an agent for residential lets.
“Firstly, lettings agents who remain in the sector are those who adhere to the highest professional standards and are prepared to make the investment necessary to retain highly qualified staff” adds Cherry.
“Secondly, tenants are chasing a limited supply of property. This means that rents are typically rising – properties let through Galbraith have increased by 3.9 per cent on average over the past 12 months. In addition, landlords and their agents can select from a pool of waiting tenants – with the benefit that it is possible to engage with only the most reliable, carefully vetted tenants.”
And he adds: “In April 2019, rents increased in every region of the UK except the North East. The largest increases were recorded in Scotland and Greater London - 6.7 per cent and 8.2 per cent respectively year-on-year, according to Rightmove.”
A survey by a tenants’ organisation last month found that almost 30 per cent of tenants in Scotland do not aim to ever own a property - proof, suggests Cherry, that demand for let accommodation will continue into the long term.