Some 40% of tenants described their recent hunt for a rental home as difficult, and half of them said it took far longer than they expected before they were able to secure a property, new research has found.
Movestreets, the property portal designed for the mobile generation, has revealed how tenants are struggling to find a property in the current rental market, with high demand and a time-consuming application process causing many to miss out on their dream rental home.
In the last decade, the total amount of rental stock within the private rental sector has increased by 23% to 5.4 million homes, meaning there are now over 1 million more rental properties within the sector.
However, the number of total renters has also increased by 24%, meaning there are now over 12.8 million tenants reliant on the sector in order to put a roof over their heads – a rise of nearly 2.5 million.
With demand higher than ever and stock levels failing to keep pace, tenants are having to act fast if they want to stand a chance of securing their chosen rental home.
Even when they do, MoveStreets found that they are still being beaten to the punch by other tenants before they get the chance to let it.
Approximately 73% of tenants stated that they found one to two properties that they classed as perfect, but these properties let to someone else before they had a chance to secure them.
For 18% this frustration occurred on between three to five rental properties, with 9% missing out on six or more rental properties during their search.
These gripes seem to have been exacerbated by the process of dealing with multiple letting agents, with 74% of tenants saying that relaying their requirements and having to undergo the referencing process with multiple letting agents was a time-consuming process.
Adam Kamani, chief executive officer and co-founder property portal of MoveStreets, comments: “The number of us reliant on the rental sector has grown steadily over the last decade and tenant demand has never been higher. As a result, the rental market has become a very competitive space where multiple tenants are fighting it out for a single property, while those who are unsuccessful are forced to go back to the drawing board.”
For those looking to secure a rental property, Kamani recommends planning in advance and ‘attacking the process as a full-time endeavour’.
“This can be hard, particularly if you are working or moving to a completely different area, but all too often a property that may be available in the morning will have already been let by the time you clock off in the evening,” he says.
“Being able to act fast can put you ahead of the pack and the ability to view and begin the paperwork process immediately after viewing is the best way to ensure you don’t miss out.”
Kamani advises: “Before you start your search, get a good idea of what sort of information will be required from you and create a document that you can adjust and send to each letting agent as soon as they request it.”
“You can also register your interest for new rental properties, so research which letting agents are operating in your desired area and make sure you’re on their mailing list.”
“Persistence is key and while it can feel like an uphill struggle at times, stay positive and proactive and you will find the right property,” he concludes.