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London: Power Swinging To Tenants So How To Take Advantage?

Patient London FTB

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I've not posted on the lettings sub-forum before, but wanted to ask if any London renters have noticed the market becoming less of a nightmare recently?

IMO, rent falls are spreading from the centre of London outwards due to a combination of extra supply from new-builds and the ridiculously high rents having reached a ceiling.

So I thought it would be worth starting a thread on how renters can take advantage of this power shift when agreeing new contracts. LLs with voids and competition from other LLs are in a very weak position.

Beyond the obvious one of putting in low offers, one idea that occurs to me is to get a clause in the contract calling for a cut in rent should the LL decide to sell the flat, from the time they give notice of it going on the market to the time either it is withdrawn from the market or the tenancy ends. This would be a) fair, and b ) gives the LL pause before selling.

Anyone got any other ideas?

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I've seen quite a few reductions and things staying on the market for weeks if not months. Not sure how best to take advantage, other than maybe going for shorter contracts in the expectation that you'll be in a better position when it comes time to renew/extend, and that a LL can kick you out after 6 months anyway.

IME EAs are very reluctant to put anything nonstandard in a contract, though, so insisting on weird terms might hold you up quite a bit. (Remember EA and LL interests overlap but don't coincide.)

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I had little luck negotiating with existing landlord. But the rents on empty properties advertised with Eas seem to be falling fast. Think some LLs are still relying on inertia and high letting fees to hold their tenants hostage, however once the rent falls break that limit then expect interesting times ahead.

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  • 4 months later...

I'm seeing lots of empty two bedroom flats locally during my regular RM / Zoopla searches. Am looking to move from current rental due to dodgy heating which landlady hasn't managed to fix in over a year. 


The question is - when are these going to start falling in price. Some have been advertised for three months now and still not let. Prices holding firm around £1250 which is crazy. A few seem to have reduced their prices but it's literally by £25 or £50 a month tops. Don't they realise they've already thrown away £3500 ish hoping to find someone willing to pay the extortionate rent. 

I check every day hoping to find some that are reduced properly. But alas. Surely something has to give soon. 

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