There is no doubt that rents have been rising in Brighton and Hove in the last two years.

As well as the increase in the number of students coming here and then staying in the city after their courses are over, there has been an influx of tenants from London, around the UK and from abroad, coming here to work.

The Brighton and Hove demographic has changed markedly in the last 10 years with the local average age dropping considerably. These youngsters would normally be the drivers of the First Time Buyer market. But the price of FTB property is beyond the reach of much of our younger population, with Brighton and Hove wages out of kilter with local property prices. Our sale prices have risen due to the obvious popularity of the city and the continued demand from London and inner South East migrants to the coast.


On top of this, much normal FTB property (one and two bedroom flats) is now owned by landlords so there is more competition and less property available for sale. Added to all of this, are the numbers wanting singles accommodation rather than couples.

With all these pressures on local property, and not enough new-build, it is no surprise rents are rising.

Interestingly, last week, a national property trade paper said that in the UK, there are over 65,000 households and rising, more than two months in arrears with their rent. Below that was a heading saying many UK landlords are considering raising their rents this year. A contradiction!

I have spoken to two local landlords in the last week, who have said they are not after the ‘market rent’ i.e. what the market will bear. They want secure, long-term tenancies with tenants who can afford their rent.

This sounds unlikely to ‘free market’ attitudes. But, these are not landlords dipping their toes in the water with one or two properties, but serious property investors who realise they need to invest in their tenants too. They would rather have tenants in for the long-term, with negligible or no void periods where they lose rent, but receive a good, steady income with reliable tenants.

A calculation all landlords should consider (not telling granny how to suck eggs) is the effect of losing one or two months’ rent on a year’s income, if tenants suddenly can’t pay or move out because they cannot pay and it takes a month or two to get a new tenant at the premium rent. Experienced landlords will all agree that long-term sustainable tenancies and rents below the ceiling rent is the better bet in an economy with so many variables.

Watch this space.