East London home rentals under pressure

Two weeks ago, the GO! & Express discussed the state of the East London housing market with feedback from Sean Coetzee of Pam Golding (“All steady in the property market”, October 25). Since then, we have received further feedback from Trafalgar Property Management which builds upon the information presented.

According to Trafalgar national residential and commercial manager Janine Heugh, rentals in East London are currently under “downward pressure”.

“The first reason is an increase in the number of properties available to rent, because many tenants who find themselves under economic pressure are now not renewing leases but choosing instead to “double up” with friends or family to save accommodation costs,” she said.

A second is credit problems brought about by the current economic slump, which makes it hard for estate agencies to find quality tenants to fill vacancies. When combined with cost-of-living increases brought about by fuel price hikes and the raising of VAT, “many tenants simply cannot afford any further demands on their household budgets and will elect to vacate and seek cheaper accommodation if their landlord insists on a rental increase,” Heugh said.

“This is keeping a lid on rentals and we do not see the situation changing until the economy starts to grow faster and the employment rate improves.”

Heugh had some advice for landlords looking to maintain tenants in the current economic climate. “We would strongly advise landlords to keep their properties well-maintained and updated with internet and DStv connections and excellent security provisions.

“Quality tenants currently have a very wide choice of properties and are extremely price conscious. They want as much as possible for their monthly rent and will shy away from homes that are in poor condition or outdated,” she said.

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