As York rents rocket, some people are being forced to leave their homes of many years because they can’t afford the monthly payments some landlords are demanding.
Last week, we revealed that York was the least affordable city in Yorkshire to rent a home – with prices going up by 10.2% in a year.
YorkMix has been speaking to one couple who agreed to tell their story, but didn’t want to be identified as they were worried their new landlord would not approve.
The family and their dog spent 15 years at a three bedroom property in the city centre and kept the place neat and tidy. They say they only bothered the landlord when something serious happened and paid their rent on time every month.
Then the landlord decided that the property could fetch more than the £675 a month they were paying and asked for a rise of nearly £300.
That’s a staggering 44% hike.
They had already agreed to an increase of £100 pounds a month before the Covid pandemic.
‘Just had to move’
The family decided that they were not going to pay that much considering there were issues with the property that were not being addressed. They found another better one with a landlord who appreciated a long-term arrangement.
The father told YorkMix: “We were very sad because we liked the house, the street and the neighbours and everything. But we just couldn’t afford to go that high and we just had to move to a different place.”
His partner said: “We had done a fair bit to keep the house tidy and it was hard to get the landlord to do things. We actually paid for new floor coverings which this person wouldn’t do.”
When faced with the increase, they asked the owner if there could be some work on the house in return for the increased rent – but received a firm no.
So they felt they were not getting value for money, and moved straight away paying a little less rent for a house with a new kitchen and bathroom.
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They say the neighbourhood is not as quiet as where they lived before but they love the new house which is much bigger.
They feel very lucky to find the new property and get it secured, as initial searches were very depressing and they worried they might not find anywhere in York at first.
The landlord in this case isn’t doing anything wrong. They are not obliged to update fixtures and fittings.
All a landlord really has to do is make sure it their property legally safe and fairly clean.
In times where rental property is more available, then there will be increased competition to find good tenants. But at the moment the demand for property in York is so high that a property will spend very little time on the books of letting agents.
YorkMix has spoken to one landlord in the city who takes a different view. Again they are not keen to be identified.
He says he is not interested in achieving the highest rent possible as that can lead to a regular flow of tenants on six month contracts.
He wants reliable people who love living in his houses and who will look after them. In return he keeps their rents at manageable levels taking into account his needs and theirs.
As a result they stay for years reducing the bills associated with finding and checking new tenants.
Estate agent’s view
Estate agent Simon Cartwright of Indigo Greens in York says different owners want their property to achieve different things.
“There are career landlords, and they are in it for literally maximising their yield (rental profit).
“But there’s also landlords out there who just want a little pension pot. For them it’s a case of getting a good long-term tenant for the property. They don’t want the highest amount.”
He also says those that go for the highest fee can sometimes find that they have tenants who expect a much higher standard for the fee too – and if they don’t get satisfaction thy will shout out, loudly.
“I mean, it could be that if people are just bothered about getting the highest amount, then the tenant is going to be more demanding because they’re paying more money.
“So they expect everything to be pristine.
“I’m not saying that people who pay less should expect less. But I think what we have found is that people who are believe that they’re paying over the odds for a property actually try and cash in on that and say, actually, I demand a higher service.”