Harsh reality of finding a house to rent | Property rental

I was saddened but not surprised to see the article on the UK rental crisis (“It’s a total disaster!” How soaring rents, fierce competition and unscrupulous landlords are breaking up tenants, 1st september). I am in a similar situation. I am a midwife, therefore a key worker, and after living in Mexico for the past four years I have decided to return to the UK to work for the NHS.

I was offered a job in York in May and have been looking for a home there since early June. I’ve made countless trips to York from Northumberland, where I’m staying with my parents, and have been turned down for every property I’ve applied for, even though I have good references and a guarantor if needed. On one occasion I was on the train to view a property only to be called and told it had already left. On the other hand, an agent told me that he was waiting for a response from the owner, only to be told later by his colleague that the owner had rejected my request a few days ago.

My kids have been really excited about moving, but I’m at the point where we might have to go back to Mexico just to find a place to live so they can go to school. I have rented all my adult life in the UK and it has never been more stressful. At least now I know I’m not alone.
Sophia Room
Hexham, Northumberland

Elle Hunt’s article talks about the disaster of soaring rents, rental queues and the horrors of private renting as if it were a national scandal. Most of the examples cited are in London, and that is where the problem really lies. This is not happening in Newcastle upon Tyne. I bought my first investment property in 1986 and since then the rent on that building has increased by 1.6% per year – barely runaway rental inflation. Now let’s get to the reality of investing in housing. I’m getting quotes for a new roof on a property. The work will cost around £22,000 and I will also be upgrading the existing insulation and having the building repainted.

The approximate price will be £30,000. This work will be free of charge for 15 tenants, as will building insurance, gas, fire and electrical safety certification, and the maintenance service that we provide. There are thousands of decent owners across the UK.
Steve Banks

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