The private rental market has witnessed significant growth in recent years, with the average tenancy now lasting over four years. Jacqui Glenn director at Argos for Business explains how partnering with a procurement specialist can ease some pressure points for landlords.
The British public’s attitude to renting property has evolved in recent years, with 62 per cent viewing renting as a long-term living plan; a trend reflected in the average length of a tenancy, which is reported to now last over four years. This trend has been largely attributed to rising house prices, which are predicted to increase by a further 25 per cent in the next five years, keeping first-time buyers off the property ladder and the rental market buoyant.
According to Savills UK, the private rented sector has seen the greatest value growth over the past five years, up by 57 per cent. And with the HomeLet Rental Index reporting the average UK rental value stands at £755pcm, a 4.9 per cent increase on the same period last year (£720pcm), tenants have come to expect more from their homes than in previous years.
With an increase in long-term tenants and rising rental fees, landlords are facing increased pressure to provide a high standard of accommodation over a longer period.
While landlords will strive to maintain their properties, it is inevitable that items will need replacing or repairing from time to time, and sometimes as a matter of urgency. 50 per cent of British tenants reported problems with their property in 2015, such as broken furniture and faulty equipment, and 35 per cent said that when they complained to their landlords, they were unsatisfied by the service they received. However, a bad reputation could impact negatively on a landlord’s ability to keep and retain tenants, as they often rely on word-of-mouth to establish a trusting client base and to generate new business leads.
Working alongside landlords, Argos for Business (AfB), a leading provider of merchandise to the property sector, is enabling property professionals to answer this shift in demand for quality accommodation. AfB takes a partnership approach to provide solutions that offer the landlord, and its tenants, the products that can enhance their living experience.
The Argos Business Account allows accommodation providers access to over 50,000 Argos products. The free account can be used for everything from furnishings, to kitchen appliances and electrical equipment. The facility offers four per cent discount on all orders, providing a simple way to stretch budgets further. Most importantly, there is no minimum spend on the Argos Business Account, so landlords can set up an account now and ensure they are well prepared for worst-case scenarios, avoiding disruptions that could impact negatively on tenants.
In addition to the challenges that stem from rising tenant expectations, landlords often face problematic cash flow issues as they rely on the timely income of tenants to cover business costs and expenses. A study has shown that one in five tenants regularly miss rent payments, as they struggle with the general cost of living. These shortfalls present multiple issues for landlords, including how to finance any emergency costs. The Argos Business Account however, helps to ease the pressure on landlords when unexpected costs are incurred, as it provides extended payment terms of up to 37 days.
With a shift towards longer-term renting, it is inevitable that items, such as furniture and white goods, will eventually need replacing or repairing, and sometimes as an emergency. In these circumstances landlords need to quickly replace broken or damaged items, ensuring a comfortable stay for tenants.
Offering up new accommodation to a dissatisfied tenant whose furniture or white goods may be damaged is not usually an option. Instead, the tenant will urgently require a replacement for the faulty / broken item, so they can continue to enjoy their home without disruption. Implementing a reliable procurement service will enable landlords to handle orders that require urgent action throughout the year.
Facilitating this need, Argos for Business’ Fast Track is a same day delivery and collection service, providing increased speed and efficiency to the private accommodation sector. Business customers are now guaranteed same day delivery on many items straight to their premises on orders placed by 6pm, seven days a week. This is desirable for landlords that need to replace items as a matter of urgency, avoiding disruptions to tenants. Alternatively, Fast Track Collection allows businesses to collect their products from 800 Argos store locations nationwide at specially marked Fast Track Collection counters, where corporate customers will find their orders ready for collection in as little as 60 seconds.
The private rental market has evolved significantly and tenants demand the best service and premium accommodation for their money. Maintaining properties to a high standard will become a vital component of delivering the best in accommodation, to help maintain a positive reputation and in turn, retain existing tenancy agreements and generate new clients.
To apply for an Argos Business Account online or to seek advice, please visit the website