There was a slight cooling of demand during September in the lettings market compared to the lettings frenzy seen throughout the summer, but overall the latest figures paint a picture of a much stronger rental market than seen at the same time last year, with the average cost of rent at a year-to-date high of £1,104 per property. In other news, the energy crisis is dominating the headlines at the moment, so we take a look at what this could mean for your tenants. Plus, the furlough scheme has officially ended, but it remains to be seen what impact this will have on the economy.
All the best,
The Revive Property Sales and Lettings Limited team
How the energy crisis could impact you and your tenants
The UK has been gripped by the emerging energy crisis, with fears are escalating that energy prices could soar to unaffordable levels. Tenants are advised to check who their supplier is and what tariff they are currently on using a recent energy bill. If they are on a standard variable tariff or prepayment meter, they will be subject to the Energy Price Cap increase on 1 October 2021. If possible, Ofgem recommends “shopping around for a better deal”. If they’re on a fixed rate tariff, the price per unit of energy used is locked in for a specific period, usually 12 or 24 months, they are probably best to remain on it until the end of their contract. If their supplier goes bust, they will not have their power cut off. Ofgem will appoint a “Supplier of last resort” and customers of the failed supplier will be switched to the new supplier on a new “deemed” contract, with energy supplies will continue as normal as they are switched over.
If the energy supplier goes bust during a change of tenancy, you should make a note of the date and meter readings. The supplier appointed to take over supply will be responsible for billing accounts from the day the supplier goes bust. The new supplier will be responsible for ensuring any credit on the account is honoured, while the failed supplier will bill for any owed amounts.
Furlough scheme finally comes to an end
After 18 months, the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme – better known as the furlough scheme – has ended. The Bank of England says that uncertainty about how the end of the scheme will impact the labour market has increased, with the incomes of 1 million people still being supported by the scheme according to the most recent figures. Despite a buoyant job market, the Bank of England notes there have been difficulties matching available jobs to workers. It is possible, therefore, that the end of the scheme could have an impact on some tenants’ wages and underlines the continued importance of protecting yourself against the risk of unpaid rent with rent protection insurance.
If you’re concerned about any of your tenants’ ability to pay rent, please do get in touch with us to find out how we can help you as part of our fully managed service.