As the economic effects of the pandemic continue to bite, landlords face uncertainty about the risk of rent arrears. However, our newly packaged Concierge lettings package will reduce this risk with a free 12 month rent guarantee courtesy of Goodlord.
The guarantee is one of a number of important features and services in our new Concierge lettings package, which has been developed to help landlords manage their properties more effectively and improve their returns in these challenging times.
The services include free referencing, compliance checks, financial consultation, access to professional cleaning and handyman services, a property MOT, premium and featured advertising on the major property portals, and the support of an experienced property manager.
Changing priorities and falling confidence in the rental market
PWC’s UK Economic Report in 2019 highlighted one growing aspect of the rental market – what it called ‘generation rent’, the number of younger people forced out of the housing market by high deposit requirements, stagnant wages and high property prices. The report found that the proportion of 16-24 years renting had risen from 51 percent in 1998/99 to 73 percent in 2017/18. For 25 to 34 year olds the proportions rose from 20 percent to 46 percent over the same period.
Looking at the wider picture today, a Homelet report for October found that average UK rents had dropped by 1.3 percent since September, although they were up 2.2 percent on the previous year. The report provides an interesting snapshot into the current rental values across the UK which you can see below.
While ‘generation rent’ is alive and kicking and demand for rental property is still strong, the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked what The Guardian called a “gear change in demand” and a “glut of properties in some areas and shortages in others.” “The reassessment of priorities brought on by the pandemic, with millions working from home and many wanting more space, combined with plummeting numbers of international students, is wreaking particular havoc on central London”, said journalist Rupert Jones.
Rental figures from the October 2020 HomeLet Rental Index
Landlords feeling the squeeze
A recent survey by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) found confidence declining among members. Fifty-six percent felt they would not achieve their annual goals, compared to how they felt three months previously.
This lack of confidence is reinforced by figures from the NRLA suggesting rent arrears in England could total £437 million as a result of the pandemic.
This has led 78 percent of landlords surveyed supporting a request to the Government to help sustain the rental market by providing interest-free loans paid directly to landlords to cover arrears since the first lockdown in March.
The NLRA believes that, although many landlords have worked with tenants to help resolve their financial difficulties, this benevolent attitude is not sustainable. And, given the current difficulties of achieving evictions, landlords could face serious problems.
Portico can help
It was against this background that we decided to develop our new Concierge lettings package. While an essential part of the package is the rent guarantee which will protect landlords in these tough economic times, we also felt it was important to help landlords find and screen the best tenants possible. Here’s what is included with the Portico Concierge Lettings Package, which costs 14.5%.
That begins with advertising. Concierge provides premium and featured advertising on all of the leading portals, Rightmove, Zoopla, OntheMarket and Portico. The adverts will look different, with an exclusive format that stands out and, we believe, will attract up to 30 percent more applicants.
As part of that service, we will arrange to have professional photographs taken to present your property in the best light.
When the applications come in, we will carry out a free, comprehensive referencing check on all applicants and any guarantors. This will help to ensure you only deal with quality, viable prospective tenants, but it will immediately flag any potential financial issues.
Related: Landlord Checklist and Paperwork
Property MOT and professional clean
To make sure your property is in the best possible condition before you show it to prospects, a Portico Handyman will give it a 10-point ‘MOT’ and we’ll carry out a thorough professional clean. This will ensure you can command the best possible price for your rental property. To get a quick estimate of how much rent you could earn, try out our online rental calculator.
The Handyman will check the property and let you know about any issues that may need to be resolved before viewings start. The service provides one day’s labour and up to £50 worth of materials to carry out any remedial work. Our professional cleaners will ensure that the property is clean and safe after the current tenants have left.
Before new tenants move in, we’ll check that all your appliances are compliant. This service includes checks for Gas Safety, PAT, EICR and Energy Performance Certificates. We can also make a free landlord licensing application or check that your current licence is valid.
Related: Covid-19 Changes To Lettings Legislation
Two free inspections
Twice a year, we'll carry out an inspection of the property to ensure it's compliant with all licensing requirements. We’ll provide a comprehensive report with photographs and any necessary advice on actions you need to take.
12-month rent guarantee
We think this is one of the best rent guarantees in the industry. It covers rent for 12 months up to a maximum of £100,000 if you face rent arrears and after vacant possession has been obtained, we will pay 75% of your rent arrears for a maximum of two months or until the property is re-let; whichever happens first. There is no excess so you receive all of the money and Goodlord will handle claims on your behalf.
The policy also includes property damage cover, with Goodlord covering the costs of any civil dispute where large damage occurs.
Financial consultation and tax return support
We’ll provide a free Annual Financial Services Consultation with a professional accountant to help you improve your net yield and your return on investment. We can also help you complete your tax return for a fee. This can be helpful given the complexity and changes associated with landlord taxation.
Read More: How Is Rental Yield Calculated?
Peace of mind and a better return
It’s a challenging time being a landlord, so we hope our Concierge lettings service can take away some of the hassle and burden of managing your property, with the peace of mind that you are secured against potential losses from rent arrears or vacant periods. And, we want to help you get the best return on your investment in what is still a very important market.
If you would like to discuss the Concierge package or find out more about the services it offers, please contact us on 020 7099 4000. If you are considering selling your property, get a free online property valuation in just a few clicks, or give us a call and we can come and value it for you free of charge.