Landlords face challenge to get rents right in 2024

Rightmove predicts that landlords will have to “balance priorities” to get rent prices right over the next 12 months.

In the final months of 2023, the number of rental properties seeing a reduction in asking rent during marketing ticked up, with 23% of properties now seeing a reduction in advertised rent, compared to 16% this time last year, according to the platform.

Rightmove pointed out that a single renter with an average salary spends 51% of their wages on a typical rental home, compared to 49% this time last year, and 46% in 2019.

With rental affordability stretched, and the uptick in rental price reductions suggesting more renters are reaching an affordability ceiling, Rightmove believes landlords will need to balance the need to pay their mortgage with finding a good tenant they can develop a longer term relationship with and who can also afford the rent in their local area.

Christian Balshen, Rightmove lettings expert, said: “Landlords have always prioritised finding a good, reliable tenant for their home alongside the reality of having to pay the mortgage each month.

“Higher mortgage rates have had a knock-on effect for renters this year, as landlords who have faced these higher rates and therefore higher monthly costs, have needed, in some cases, to pass these on to tenants to some extent.

“Many tenants will have a cap on what they can or are prepared to pay in rent, and an increasing number of landlords are having to reduce their advertised rent, suggesting more are reaching this cap. 

“It will be vital for landlords to work closely with a local letting agent this year, who will be an expert in the dynamics of their local area, to help them to find the right tenant at the right rent for their local area.”

Average advertised rents ended 2023 10% higher in the UK outside of London and 6% higher in the capital. Following on from this, Rightmove believes advertised rents could finish 5% higher by the end of 2024 outside of London, and 3% higher within London.


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  1. Hit Man

    Say Rightmove who have no clue about lettings.

    1. KByfield04

      I’d argue that Christian, having founded Van Mildert which was doing 200k+ tenant references a year back in 2019 when RM acquired them, has better insights than most. In fact, he is probably positioned to see data most of us would dream of having access to!
      That said, I don’t think many will disagree with the sentiment of this piece and this was already a strong topic of conversation last year. Landlords balancing soaring mortgage costs, S24 hitting home but having to consider tenant affordability.
      I think Christian and RM are bang on the money here!

  2. Simonr6608

    And yet their assessment in my opinion is correct, rents are definitely reaching a point where they are becoming unaffordable especially for single renters. A 1- 2 bedroom property where I am now requires a minimum income of £36 – 40K PA

    1. CSM

      I’d agree- the average salary around here is only £26,500, so there is a real problem with rents being out of kilter with wages from an affordability perspective for many renters. Single renters under 30’s being the worst affected due to lower than average wages making self contained accommodation beyond the reach of many. We have a mix of single dwellings and HMO’s and have noticed the HMO tenants now include those we would never have expected to see years ago – professionals who have relatively well paid jobs, who still fail to reach the minimum income levels required for a one bed flat. Making renting harder for anyone to afford does nothing to alleviate the strain on the market in general. We also often have multiple potential tenants for the same property. The government needs to rethink its current strategy towards landlords and the markets in general. It seems, having tefloned the responsibility for providing rented homes to the private sector, it has in recent years set out to destroy the rental market , whilst making no efforts whatsoever to provide an alternative for those requiring housing.

  3. LVW4

    Let’s look at 2 examples. One is a renter and the other pays a mortgage. Both earn the same amount. According to Rightmove, the renter has reached their limit and expects their landlord to reduce their rent. But, the mortgage payer can’t expect their lender to reduce their mortgage payment.

    1. KByfield04

      I’d argue that them both having the same income means this example doesn’t ring true. Also, no landlord wants to place or keep a tenant with serious and legitimate concerns over their ability to pay the rent going forwards. Better to cover a £100 shortfall of rent Vs mortgage than months of rent arrears that can never be paid back.

      1. LVW4

        So, you’re saying it’s best that the landlord just sucks it up for fear of the tenant not paying. But for how long? How much… £100, £150…?

        I’m in that situation with my remaining BTL. I was stupid enough to think keeping my rents ‘affordable’ was a good thing, because I could afford to do so. But my mortgage payment has tripled, and despite 3 increases, it’s still below the market rate, and only just above the mortgage payment.

        The sensible thing will be to issue a S21 and sell up, at which point she’ll probably stop paying anyway.

  4. PossessionFriendUK39

    and yet more and more cost is being placed on Landlords, where the ultimate destination in any ‘ Business Principles for Dummies 101 ‘ lands on the customer. ( Tenant )

    In addition, such increased costs ( and ‘red-tape’ ) are haemorrhaging available properties for rent.

    1. KByfield04

      Mortgage rates have recently soared but are now on a noticeable decline- this has accentuated the impacts of S24. Apart from these, what do you think the biggest cost implications are to landlords?
      Many businesses have to go through times where profit (due to cost of the product or the current market value) is forfeited in the short term for long-term survival. Is this not what the PRS is going through now after nearly 2 decades of super cheap lending and very few cost implications?

      1. PossessionFriendUK39

        The cost of doing business is always reflected in the price of all businesses. Whilst interest rates have been low for a decade, – so have rents, compared to the market price of todays financial market.


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