Reeds Rains Property Blog

Property News from Reeds Rains

Q2 2015 - Tenant Arrears Tracker


Severe tenant arrears at two year high

  • As of second quarter of 2015, total of 74,000 private sector tenants owe more than two months’ rent
  • Number facing serious arrears up 4.4% on quarterly basis, and 7.2% higher than in Q2 last year
  • But landlords absorb deterioration, as eviction orders now lower on both an annual and quarterly basis
  • Landlords’ own arrears continue to improve, with just 5,700 seriously behind on mortgage payments

The number of tenants seriously behind on rent has risen to the highest level in two years, according to the latest Tenant Arrears Tracker by estate agency chain Reeds Rains, part of LSL Property Services PLC.

There are now 74,000 tenants owing more than two months’ rent, as of Q2 2015. This means 5,000 more households are in significant arrears than a year ago, or an annual increase of 7.2% since Q2 2014, when this figure previously stood at 69,000 across the UK. On a quarterly basis, the number of cases of severe arrears has risen by 4.4% or 3,100 households, since standing at 70,900 in Q1.

Read the full report >

Buy-to-Let Index - August 2015


Rents retreat in August

  • Rents drop on a monthly basis, down 0.1% since July to stand at average of £803 per month in August
  • Annual pace of rental growth tempers to 5.5% over the last twelve months, down from 6.8% in July
  • While London and the South East slow, rents across the Midlands and East of England hit all-time highs
  • Despite slower rent increases, tenant finances worsen – as the proportion of rent in arrears rises to 9.9%
  • Landlords see gross yields steady at 5.1% while total annual returns stand at 9.3% including capital growth

Rents across England and Wales have fallen on a monthly basis for the first time since March, despite fresh records in three regions, according to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from Reeds Rains.

Average rents fell by 0.1% on a monthly basis, down from £804 in July to stand at an average of £803 in August. On an annual basis rents are now 5.5% higher than in August 2014, representing a slowdown since July when annual rent rises stood at an all-time record of 6.8%, 

Adrian Gill, director of estate agent Reeds Rains comments: “August has witnessed a break in a series of blistering rent rises. 

“Yet this mild correction comes on the back of a whole year of acceleration. Rents are rising rapidly on an annual basis, underpinned by an improving economic picture for many potential tenants – and the peak lettings season is only just about to start this autumn.”

“There is also no major change to the fundamentals of supply and demand. This means that in the longer-term, faster rent rises may become a semi-permanent feature of the British property market. Alongside purchase prices, rents will continue to rise rapidly until something happens to address a drastic shortage of homes in the UK.”

Read the full report >

New Lettings Manager at Reeds Rains York


Lettings Manager Sarah Bown Reeds Rains York

Local estate agent Reeds Rains is delighted to announce the appointment Sarah Bown as lettings manager for their highly successful branch in York.

The appointment comes as part of Reeds Rains’ drive to develop business in the area and make sure that, by providing a step by step approach, they make moving easier for their customers.

Previously from a corporate estate agent in Yorkshire, Sarah is a member of the Association of Residential Letting Agents with 9 years’ experience in property which includes auctions, the exchange of contracts and all aspects of the lettings industry. 

Sarah said: “I’m delighted to be joining my colleagues at York. Reeds Rains offers great opportunities to local landlords and tenants and I’m looking forward to building on its success in the future.

Reeds Rains invest millions of pounds every year on marketing and advertising homes for sale. For most addresses we already have a list of buyers registered with us who are currently looking in this area. So, as soon as we have completed the property details, we can email and phone potential buyers with the view to achieve a quick sale.

At the same time we will put the property details on and send them to the leading property websites: Rightmove, Zoopla and Zoopla’s 15 partners like the Daily Mail online and Mumsnet.

Reeds Rains has already won great support from the people of York and we’re now really looking forward to welcoming new customers to the branch.  We’ve got so much to offer and are continuing to develop new and improved services – it’s part of my new job to make sure I promote Reeds Rains and I’ve got every confidence that customers will be impressed with the great service we can offer.”

If you’d like to know more about Reeds Rains and the services it offers, simply call in to their office at Queens House, York, YO1 6JH call them on 01904 655546* or access their website on

(*) Calls may and/or monitored for training and/or data protection purposes.

Rental Regional Review



Continuing this year’s trend of rents increasing by more than the rate of inflation, our latest Buy to Let Index shows that June experienced the quickest rise since records began in 2009. 

The average rent in England and Wales has reached a high of £789, that’s up 1.4% on May’s figure and up 5.6% since last June, with nine of the ten regions in England seeing increased annual growth in the last month. The East is experiencing the strongest rises, with rents increasing by nearly 50% more than those in London. These rises are being driven by a lack of stock and an increase in people’s ability to pay higher rents as the economy recovers. 

Adrian Gill, Director of Reeds Rains, comments, “Growing wage packets and a strengthening economy mean that a greater number of tenants are able to afford higher rent but we mustn’t lose sight of the driving force behind rent increases – the mismatch of supply and demand. Expanding our housing stock needs to become a national priority.”

Perhaps giving weight to the argument that an increasing undersupply of housing stock is primarily responsible for current rent levels, our Index (Hyperlink) also shows that the proportion of rent in arrears is continuing to rise. In June it stood at 8.7%, up around one per cent on both May 2015 and June 2014. However, the overall trend across the past five years, despite peaks and troughs, is downward and therefore indicative of a slow and steady economic recovery.

Annual returns have fallen slightly for landlords, from 11.9% in the 12 months to June 2014, to 9.2% for the year to this June. Rental income made up more than half of the total, demonstrating the strength of the rental market and the importance of understanding which is most important to you as an investor, capital growth or income for your Buy to Let profits.

In the face of the latest Budget changes targeting landlords’ profits, it is important to remember that property can still offer consistently good returns. However, Adrian Gill states that if the industry is to continue to thrive in the long term, “there needs to be a greater emphasis on what can be done to help tenants and landlords alike. It’s one thing to slap landlords with a tax and call it a done deal, and quite another to address the issue of housing in a consistent and sustainable way. The cornerstone of progress, as ever, is housebuilding.”


The rental market in Wales remains steady, with an encouraging one-month increase in rents of 1.9% from May to June. Average rents stand at £567, holding their own against the Midlands and East Midlands, and higher than Yorkshire and the North East.

Unlike the majority of regions in England, yields in Wales have increased slightly in the 12 months to June, currently at 4.5%.

And a reminder that private landlord registration will become obligatory in Wales this Autumn, delivered by Rent Smart Wales. You must register both yourself and the addresses of your rental properties, and if you undertake the letting or management of your properties, you must also become licensed. See for full information.


If you are looking to make energy performance improvements to your rental property, you could cut the amount of tax you pay by claiming the Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance (LESA), which allows you to deduct various insulation and draught-proofing costs.

At the same time, provided you have a valid energy performance certificate (EPC) for your rental property, you can apply for a grant to install renewable heating systems, via the Northern Ireland domestic Renewable Heat Incentive. If your application is successful, you will receive an upfront sum and a payment every year for seven years. To be eligible for the scheme, the system must be biomass, air or ground source heat pumps or solar thermal panels. See for more information.

Finding the Right Student Accommodation



WHEN looking for student accommodation, don't wait until it's too late. As soon as you know where you're studying, find out what accommodation is available to you and what conditions are attached.

If you have only just gone through clearing or have found yourself without a house or flat, don't worry as there will be plenty of private rented accommodation left that will still be available to students. The great thing about private rented properties is independence; you are in charge of where you live and who you are living with, and the flexibility it gives you, as the private rental market is packed with different options to suit you.

However, there are some aspects you need to take into consideration such as managing your bills, and dealing with admin - especially if you are liaising direct with the landlord. You need to check their credentials which is why it is always best to go through a reputable agent.

Once you have secured a property, you will normally have to give a non- refundable financial commitment to reserve a property, so make sure you spend time choosing who you want to live with to ensure a harmonious household.

You will need to go through referencing at which point you will need a guarantor; this is someone who will guarantee the rent and terms of the tenancy should you not be able to.

Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) are jointly and severably liable which basically means that all parties, tenants and guarantors are responsible for the tenancy.

You will be required to pay a holding deposit which will normally be when the lease agreement starts - this usually goes towards the dilapidation deposit for the tenancy. As long as the property is given back in the same condition it was given to you in, then this will be returned. All deposits by law must be registered into a tenancy deposit scheme which will ensure it's safeguarded, so to protect this, make sure an adequate inventory is done prior to move in.

Make sure you receive up-to-date gas and electrical safety certificates as these are required by law; and be prepared to pay the rent monthly in advance and from one account. In terms of your finance, full- time students are exempt from paying council tax but part-time students aren't. You will need to get a TV licence on top of all your bills (water, electric, gas, phone line, internet) so make sure you budget for this before you sign. You will need to be careful wherever you rent as you are a burglar's target; ensure the landlord has fitted key operating locks on the windows and deadlocks on all external doors.

It pays to know a little about tenancies and landlord responsibilities, and likewise, know your obligations as a tenant and respect others that live in the vicinity.

For more information, contact your local branch

By Hannah Davies

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