A highly unusual point of view expressed about the lettings game from a letting agent in London: Marc von Grundherr, lettings director of Benham & Reeves Residential Lettings, said: “George Osborne has done more for the rental market than any other Chancellor in history”.
His reasoning is that with the average purchase price of a house in London now over £500,000, many purchasers of family homes are now liable to pay 10% or 12% Stamp Duty rate. They have calculated that they can rent for years, often in better neighbourhoods than those where they could afford to buy, for the sum they would pay in Stamp Duty alone. So tenants are better off in this particular very rarified environment – although the sting in the tail comes with the rest of Mr Grundherr’s comment: “with demand continuing to rise and the anticipated exit of amateur landlords from the market, rental values this year are likely to continue on an upward trajectory”.
Therefore rents will rise to accommodate these same tenants who currently feel they would be better off. So maybe not so much better off after all? For the rest of us (and as the local market for renting rarely includes properties over half a million pounds), looking at the market for our Leicester landlords and how rents will impact upon Leicester tenants, the prospect of apparently “amateur” landlords exiting (not sure I would quite term any of my clients that!) is a double-edged sword. Take good advice from well-informed agents, I suggest.