One of our biggest frustrations is how the letting industry is misrepresented by the media. With scores of stories highlighting nightmare landlords leaving their tenants in disgraceful conditions and stealing deposits, you would believe that our country is filled with rogue landlords causing misery wherever they go. But the reality could not be further from the truth.
Douglas Haig, Vice-Chairman and Director for Wales of the Residential Landlord Association, said in a speech to the Wales Policy Forum, “We want to see the criminal landlords removed just as much as anybody else. But we can’t carry on painting the sector with one big brush, or keep introducing a wish list of regulations that makes it more difficult for the 90% that operate without any issues.”
We work with many landlords across South Wales, all of whom provide safe and secure accommodation for their tenants. Their priority is to make each tenancy as smooth as possible for their tenants, as they know that the happier a tenant is the more likely they are to extend their contract, thus minimising the possibility of a void period.
Void periods can cost landlords greatly; not only are you losing rental income whilst your property stands empty, but without a letting agent you are also having to dedicate your time and money to finding a suitable tenant. At Hathways we take a proactive approach to your rental property, and this is supported by our database of tenants actively looking for a rental.
Before your existing tenancy comes to an end we are already marketing your property to prospective tenants, as well as organising viewings for individuals on our database who are looking for a property like yours. As we cover the costs of all marketing activities, we can reduce your costs, as well as ensuring that your property is only empty for a short period between tenants.
The National Survey of Wales 2014 – 2015 found that 94% of people are satisfied with their accommodation; this is compared to 83% of people who are satisfied with their lives. As a letting agent, it is important for us to continually support our landlords, especially through the constant changes in legislation and criticism in the media. Being a landlord is getting tough, and it is of no surprise that some landlords across the UK feel as though they are being forced to sell their portfolios.
We work closely with our landlords when changes arise, helping them to implement these changes in their business without diminishing the standard of service they provide. As Douglas Haig has stated, the industry is painted with one big brush and yet, “We hear next to nothing about the tens of thousands of landlords offering safe and secure accommodation, or a whole range of people, including families, young professionals, homeless, refugees and those with different and sometimes very complex needs.”
With so many tenants happy with their homes in Wales, we feel that it is essential we continue to ensure that the high standards within the local lettings sector remain, but we need to change perceptions of what a typical landlord looks like.
Landlords come in all shapes and sizes, from those with one property seeking to supplement their existing income, to those that have a portfolio of several properties. Their experiences within the sector may vary, but their passion for what they do does not. No one would argue that the changes last year and those still proposed are making it tough to be a landlord, and we hope that the Government’s perception of the lettings industry will change.
In all industries you have the good and the bad, so let’s take a balanced and realistic look at the sector, because 94% of people in Wales are happy where they live.
Landlords, work with a letting agent who truly values your place in the property market, and is fighting for you to remain.
Hathways, the right choice for the right time