Tenants seek ‘bills included’ homes as energy costs rise

Tenants seek 'bills included' homes as energy costs rise
Tenants seek 'bills included' homes as energy costs rise

Property portal Rightmove reports a rising demand for all-inclusive rents, with “bills included” becoming the second most searched term, up from fourth place a year ago, as rising energy prices put pressure on renters. However, some renters, such as students, still find the costs to be a burden on their thoughts despite inclusive rents. Property buyers are also expanding their search for affordable homes.

Pets remain the top search term for rental properties, but “bills included” has jumped to second place, according to Rightmove data. The pandemic has seen people seek extra space while working from home, leading to searches about whether the property had a garage and whether it was furnished.

However, a year later, the priority has shifted to “bills included”. Build to Rent operators are offering flats that include bills, and may also provide on-site gym membership. Rents linked to inflation may have risen sharply as prices soared.

Private landlords are unlikely to offer all-inclusive rents, which represent only a small portion of the rental market. Although students may have access to such deals, 20-year-old Sofia Gauntlett-Palou, a student at the University of York, stated that it doesn’t eliminate the stress of bills.

Despite the fact that their bills are included up to a cap set by the landlord, she said that they have to limit their energy use and be mindful of the excess charges if they go over the cap.

The cost of renting has significantly increased, and tenants have little bargaining power due to a shortage of properties, according to Sofia Gauntlett-Palou, a second-year social and political sciences student.

To help with living costs, she worked in a shop during her gap year before university and is planning to work throughout the summer to pay for next year.

A survey by Save The Student showed that 63% of university students had difficulty paying their rent, up from 53% a year earlier, and this had an impact on their mental health.

According to Dan Wilson Craw, the deputy director of Generation Rent, an organization that advocates for renters, inclusive rents have their pros and cons. On the one hand, not having to deal with a utility company and the possibility of large increases in bills can be appealing.

On the other hand, it can be challenging to determine if you are getting a good deal, and negotiating a lower rent at the end of your initial tenancy can be difficult if energy bills have fallen.

Additionally, if the landlord increases the rent to account for higher energy costs, it can be challenging to determine if you’re getting a good deal without knowing your energy usage. Finally, if you need to save money, you can’t reduce energy consumption.

Some renters aspire to buy their first home, but house prices are not falling fast enough to improve affordability, and potential buyers may face higher mortgage rates than expected.

According to Rightmove data, this uncertainty about affordability has led to potential buyers:

  • Searching for a wider range of prices
  • Extending their search to cheaper properties than originally intended
  • Looking in a wider geographical area, often in more affordable areas on the outskirts of towns and cities

During the pandemic, there was a surge in interest in rural and coastal areas, but the latest data shows that buyers are now prioritizing affordability over location.

Mr. Bannister, who is a property data expert at Rightmove, stated that the top priority for most buyers is to find a suitable home within their budget. He also mentioned that the data from Rightmove suggests that people are expanding their search to more areas in order to achieve this goal.


Sumber : bbc.com