Letting takes off

Nimesh Shah
Nimesh Shah

RESIDENTIAL estate agents say a fundamental shift is taking place in Hemel Hempstead’s housing market away from selling towards renting.

Ian Potter, operations manager of the Association of Residential Letting Agents, said: “Our research suggests that, while more and more people seem to be renting post-recession, for many this is through need rather than choice – a trend that will likely continue as long as the demand for homes outstrips supply.

“Further, with the average age to buy a first home now reported to be 35, it’s also possible that renting will become the norm for more people than ever before.”

And Nimesh Shah, joint MD of Surelet Property Rental Services in Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead said his business had seen so-called ‘accidental landlords’ overtake the buy-to-let landlord by as much as 35 per cent the last three months. An accidental landlord is someone who has to move but cannot sell.

But Mr Shah warned that inexperienced landlords needed to have their eyes wide open before letting out their property.

> Surelet’s franchise in Hemel Hempstead came out top in the company’s national business service award. The team won the accolade for creative marketing for a campaign over Christmas and working with the local community.