RENTS across Edinburgh are soaring again with parts of the city seeing “unprecedented” rises.
Though Aberdeen remains the most expensive city in the country to rent property, with the average rent for a two-bedroom home standing at £899 a month, Edinburgh has taken second place, with £729. And while rents across Scotland have risen by one per cent over the last year, renters in the Capital are now paying approximately 1.3 per cent more than previously.
However, one property manager claims that in parts of the city the average rent has been hiked by five per cent in the last six months.
Rob Trotter, Senior Property Manager at DJ Alexander in Dundas Street, said: “As it’s getting more difficult for many people to afford to buy a home, there is a much higher demand for rented accommodation.
“But with people already renting staying in properties longer there simply are not enough places available and as demand rises, so do prices, especially in the city centre, and places like Marchmont, Morningside and Bruntsfield. In the last six months rents in some key locations have risen by as much as five per cent.
“The new legislation banning certain fees and the new Tenancy Deposit Scheme also translates into extra administration for landlords, and many of them will ask for more rent as a way to cover these costs.
“There is always something that people can afford, but they may need to be more realistic. They might not be able to move into somewhere as fancy or as central as they’d been picturing, but they won’t be homeless.”
Mark McLeod, owner of Clouds Property Management on Forth Street, added: “Things are very different from how they were even three or four years ago. In certain pockets of the city we’ve seen unprecedented levels of rent be asked for – and paid.
“The Quartermile Development, for example, has a lot of buzz around it at the moment and we have just rented a one-bedroom flat there for £1,200 a month.
“However, this doesn’t mean that people on a tighter budget won’t be able to afford to rent property in Edinburgh. You can still get a good one-bedroom flat in the city centre for £600-650 a month.”
Jon Black, Secretary of Edinburgh Private Tenants Action Group, which campaigned for the new legislation against additional fees, believes rents in the Capital may have peaked.
He said: “I think letting agencies in particular have a vested interest in giving the impression that rents are soaring, since they get a percentage of any rental income, but in our experience they have plateaued, and I think they will soon drop.
“Lots more people are finding it difficult to sell houses at the moment, and it is likely a lot of them will decide to rent them out instead. However, there are lots of empty homes that local authorities should be working to bring back onto the market.
“The council and the Scottish Government also need to invest in more social housing, which will leave less people at the whim of landlords.
“And tenants need to have the confidence to negotiate. Recently some workers here at EPTAG moved into a property that they had managed to barter down from £600 a month to £550 – renters are in a stronger position than many of them realise.”
Huge divide in prices across city
a furnished £1,200 a month property in the Quartermile development is surely one of the city’s most expensive one-bed flats being advertised at the moment. Prospective tenants are also required to part with a £1,400 deposit.
The most expensive two-bedroomed property currently advertised on the Citylets website is an unfurnished penthouse in Wyvern Park, in the EH9 postcode.
However, at the other end of the scale, an unfurnished two bedroom flat in Durar Drive, Clermiston, EH4 is currently advertised at just £525 a month.