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Make Sure the Price is Right on Your Residential Letting by Philip Suter - February 2006

With so many people entering the Buy to let market in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain and other countries it is very important get the rental price competitive. This applies just as much if it is a long-term letting or a self-catering holiday rental.

If you have just purchased a residential letting property and have a mortgage you naturally have to cover the payments, but regardless of a mortgage to service, if your property is over priced renters will not pay a higher price. The only time when this can happen is when there is a small supply of property and big demand for that that type of letting.

In the UK a tenant will still have to pay gas, electricity, water, Council tax, telephone and insurance on top of the monthly rent. In other words a rental of £650 per month means £900 per month of total outgoings. Many Landlords do not realise this and think that all the renters have to pay is the rent to them.

A landlord who insists that their property is “worth” £X per month and in reality they have been advised by the professional agent it is only worth £-X can have problems. If it stays on the rental market for a while at a price that is too high they will never make up the lost rental (unless there is galloping inflation). It can of course be a totally different scenario with a property that is being sold; particularly if property prices are rising in the area or country.

With a self-catering holiday rental you have to offer the property on what the ”market will pay”. Your property just might be located in area whereby there are seasonal or (one time) events when beds are at a premium and to be able achieve a much higher price. (Wimbledon- England for the tennis, Monaco for the Formula one Grand Prix, Cannes, France for the film festival, Cheltenham-England for the horse racing in March etc.) At other times unless your property’s price is competitive it will remain empty more often than full.

If you are using an agent, take advice from the agent. They are normally local to market conditions for long-term rentals and for holiday rentals a specialist agent will have studied your area and keep rental values up to date. If you are using the Internet as a guide spend some time researching. Use a search engine to find a rental agent in the area your property is located in or for a self-catering holiday rental get comparables from a site like

Finally remember with the long term rentals market that although some people are prepared to make an offer, don’t pitch the price high so that you think you will get a Tenant wanting to make an offer. They don’t necessarily do that. Many people wanting to rent think that prices advertised are fixed and the owner won’t negotiate or they don’t even think to go down that route. They will look at the next available property in “their price bracket”. This is rather like shopping in the High Street. They will only pay the price the “goods” are being offered at in the window.

With a holiday rental,it is very rare for a holidaymaker to make an offer; they just purely search in their price bracket.

Philip Suter is a Director of JML Property Services a UK based company offering Insurance products on line at and a holiday home advertising service and management training within the uk. He is a very experienced property consultant with over 30 years work in the Residential letting business in the UK and served on the National Council of ARLA. He is a Fellow of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and a Member of The association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) Article Source:

©Philip Suter jml Property Services February 2006


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