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Landlords take advantage of rental market demand

Tenants in Aberdeen and Edinburgh are being priced out of the market because demand for accommodation has soared since 2009. And landlords in the cities are being criticised for increasing rents by 10% to an average of £862 per month.

Experts are warning that the soaring cost will make it even more difficult for young people, who cannot get on the first rung of the property buying ladder, to afford to rent a home either. In areas such as Edinburgh and Aberdeen, demand for good quality rented homes is outstripping supply, and the amount of time a rented property is empty is the lowest throughout Scotland. The 20th annual report from Citylets has heralded a bright future for the rental sector across Scotland but Shelter Scotland, a charity helping the homeless, believe the good news for landlords is not so good for tenants and they expect the housing shortage to get worse throughout 2012.

With a huge lack of social housing in Eastern Scotland many people have little option other than turn to the private rented sector. The Scottish Association of Landlords feels that the figures could be skewed by the large amount of properties coming on to the rental market in both Aberdeen and Edinburgh that are not traditionally typical rental stock. This is because homeowners who are unable to sell in the depressed property market are looking at landlord property quotes and becoming reluctant landlords.

Dan Cookson, senior analyst with Citylets, said “Generally, landlords are enjoying steady increase in rents, while properties are generally empty for less time. The good news for tenants is that many rent rises are well below inflation. Landlords are not being greedy. It’s a competitive market and most of them are in it for the long term and realise that short-term rent hikes are likely to lead to longer void periods. But where renting was once the easy, cheap alternative to home ownership, rising rents have forced many ordinary families to cut their spending on essentials like food and heating, or uproot and move away from jobs, schools and families in search of cheaper rents.”