Increasing numbers of landlords and investors are able to re-let their property before the existing tenant moves out, according to Countrywide.
The UK’s largest estate agency group reports that so far in 2015, 33% of all new lets were agreed while the property is still occupied, up from 27% last year.
The average let agreed while tenants are in place is equal to 105% of the asking rent, or an average of £35 a month more than the asking rent.
In London, 51% of new lets are agreed while there is still a sitting tenant in the property, up from 41% in 2014.
Where a deal is agreed before the existing tenant leaves the property, there is an average of just six days between the existing tenant moving out and a new one moving in.
Where a property hasn’t been let prior to a tenant leaving the property, the first week of marketing is when landlords are most likely to achieve the highest rent, says Countrywide.
During the first seven days, the average let is agreed at full asking price; a figure which unsurprisingly falls the longer a rental property is on the market.
The first weekend after coming onto the market is when the majority of the most motivated would-be tenants view the property.
Countrywide says that in 98% of the cases where a landlord accepts an offer below the asking rent are after the property has been on the market for more than a week.
In slower rental markets, generally outside of cities, the average landlord has to wait an extra 15 days to find a tenant willing to pay the full asking price compared to those letting a property in the city centre.
“In larger rental markets, more new lets are being agreed well in advance of the current tenant leaving. As a result we’ve seen void periods fall, with a growing number of landlords having a new tenant lined up over a month before their existing tenant leaves. While leaving some time for maintenance between tenancies is advisable, increasingly there’s just a matter of hours between a tenant moving out and one moving in,” says David Fell, a research analyst at Countrywide.
“The buzz around a new property coming onto the market is usually the landlord’s best chance of securing the tenant willing to pay the most rent. In more competitive markets, the first tenant to view a home is often willing to pay a small premium to ensure the landlord takes the property off the market and that no further viewings take place. Proactive tenants who are looking to move quickly are frequently willing the pay the most,” he adds.