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. With landlords still receiving rent from the vacating tenant, they are under less pressure to negotiate. In comparison tenants moving into an empty property have more room to negotiate on the rent, knocking an average of £21 a month off what the landlord was looking for.
In London, 51% of new lets are agreed while there is still a sitting tenant in the property, up from 41% in 2014. The level of demand from tenants in markets where the level of demand is highest and the time to find a tenant is shortest, means landlords are able to reduce the time a home is empty. 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. 10% of the time a new tenant moves in on the same day that the existing tenant moves out.
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. During the first seven days, the average let is agreed at full asking price; a figure which 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. In London’s fast paced rental market, fewer landlords need to wait until the weekend to find a tenant. Twice as many lets are agreed on a weekday in London than in any other part of the country.
Every day a rental property is on the market without a tenant, the landlord is losing rent. If a deal is not agreed during the first week of marketing, landlords become increasingly receptive to offers. 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.
Commenting, David Fell, Research Analyst said:
“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.
“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.”