Before the coronavirus lockdown last year, the UK housing sector was already facing a crisis. The horrendous situation has been going on for years and is believed to be caused by several factors, the most significant of which is the lack of supply. Not enough affordable homes are being built in the UK and the waiting list of tenants looking for rental properties is getting longer every day.
A significant contributor to the crisis is high rental costs despite many reports of disrepair in home issues. Tenants in both private and socially rented homes have to deal with terrible living conditions for fear their landlords might evict them if they complain.
The lack of available homes is one of the factors that drive the increase in rentals and house prices. Since there will always be a demand for homes (as the population continually increases), there will always be a demand for safe and secure homes as well. Experts suggest that if the supply is more than enough, there will be no need to increase rental rates and more people will find it easier to afford a decent home for their families.
Options for would-be renters
The biggest challenge for those who are planning to rent or are already looking at rentals is to find a decent home that they can afford. Even privately rented homes are getting scarcer every day.
For those with limited income, social housing may be the ideal option, but as mentioned earlier, there is a long waiting list. Social housing is provided by landlords—either a housing association or a council—that is registered with the social housing regulator.
Would-be renters may choose choice-based letting as well, which means they can provide their council with a list of the properties they are interested in. This does not guarantee them a home, though, as the waiting list still applies to this scheme. In addition, there are steps that they need to follow. These are:
- Find properties (or a property). Listings are typically found in local libraries, council offices, council websites, and local papers.
- The properties chosen must be eligible for choice-based letting. It is important to choose the right property: a family home, a house for one, or a disabled-friendly house.
- They then have to bid on the property they chose. They won’t have to spend anything on their bid, though. All they have to do is apply by text or phone, or via online means.
- The next step is to wait for the council’s decision.
Again, since there is a shortage of available homes, they will probably have to stay on the waiting list for some time. If ever there is a property available, they should accept the offer as soon as they can. Otherwise, they’ll have to go back to the waiting list—further down the list this time. They may try to bid on other properties if they want to.
Another option for would-be renters is to rent from housing associations. Local councils have an agreement with some housing associations that allow associations to receive direct applications from tenants on the waiting list.
If a would-be renter can afford to, a privately rented property should be their first priority. Aside from high rental rates, privately rented homes are almost always on an assured shorthold tenancy, meaning landlords can end the tenancy at the end of a fixed term (six months or more).
Aside from the expensive rent (which may increase annually), private landlords require renters for advanced rent and a deposit payment.
What would-be renters should consider
Before finalizing any tenancy agreement, would-be tenants must ensure the property they are renting is decent. It should follow safety and security standards. They must also be aware of their tenant rights, especially if they’re renting a property that has already been rented several times.
It is important to see the property before signing any agreement, especially if they want to make the most of their investment. There’s the distinct possibility that some parts in the house are in a dilapidated state, so being extra careful is better than regretting in the end.
Housing disrepair is a common problem in many rented properties. While there are landlords that diligently embrace their responsibilities, there are rogue landlords who would rather evict their tenants instead of handling disrepair complaints. Remember, getting evicted in the middle of a housing crisis is never ideal.
As such, every would-be tenant should be aware of what they must do before starting their tenancy and when problems such as housing disrepairs arise. They must be confident that they can deal with whatever their landlords’ reaction may be. They should know that if there is disrepair that needs to be fixed, they have experts that they can approach for support and assistance.
If you are a would-be tenant who would like to learn more about the housing crisis and how to cope with issues relevant to it—like housing disrepair – get in touch with disrepairclaim.co.uk. They’ll provide you with everything you need to file a complaint against a landlord who is ignoring your requests for repair.