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Surge in renters seeking ‘all bills included’

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A greater number of renters are looking for tenancy agreements with all bills included as the cost-of-living crisis grips the nation.

Demand for all bills included has jumped 36% in a year, outpacing the growth in requests for any other feature such as a communal garden or pets allowed, according to research from property website Rightmove.

And it’s no surprise as energy bills have increased by an average of 54% in April 2022 alone, while water bills have risen by up to 10% in England and Wales this year.

Rightmove looked at the changing behaviours of tenants against the backdrop of record rent rises and increasing housing bills.

With national asking rents outside London now standing at £1,088 per month (up 11%) and rents in the capital up 14% to £2,195, they’re rising at the fastest rate ever recorded.

As such, it found that tenants are staying longer in one rental property to avoid facing the surge in prices by moving elsewhere.

It found the majority of tenancies (63%) last over two years, with just one in five staying for less than a year.

And this could be due to 63% of the 1,300 landlords polled saying they had kept the rent the same for tenants over the past year. However, the remainder – 37% – said they had increased rents.

Meanwhile there are more than triple the number of people making rental enquiries as there are rental properties available “making it the most competitive ever rental market”, Rightmove said.

It explained the lack of available stock is due to more tenants staying put in longer tenancies, while others who delayed moving during the pandemic are now out in force.

‘Keep a good tenant rather than cash in’

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: “A shortage of rental homes and strong demand for the properties available has led to a greater number of tenants choosing to renew their leases and stay put, rather than re-enter a competitive rental market. People who had been waiting to see what happened last year are now being faced with record rents and so are seeking out properties where they can have more certainty over their outgoings, with all bills included becoming increasingly sought after.

“Landlords may have been tempted to put their rents up given the high demand from new tenants, but many understand the affordability challenges of rising rents and bills, as our study shows that the majority are charging their tenants the same as a year ago. Many landlords build up a relationship with their tenants over a number of years, and they will want to keep a good tenant for longer if they can rather than cash in on a rent rise in the short-term.”

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