Landlords who want to do their utmost to advertise their properties and attract tenants should strongly consider creating an online presence.
That is the suggestion of recent comments made by James Davis, private rented sector expert and chief executive of Upad.co.uk, who argues that the lettings market is moving increasingly online.
"More and more tenants are online [looking for] a place to rent. So we are seeing a massive growth in the amount of email enquiries we get from tenants, as opposed to people calling," explained.
"The number of calls we get have remained pretty static but email enquiries have been going up exponentially. So the rental market is moving more and more online rather than offline."
As well as advertising properties online, a growing number of landlord and tenant services are also now available on the internet, from property management firms to professional landlord insurance quotes.
Meanwhile, as well as landlords advertising their properties, tenants are having to go to increasing lengths to make themselves appealing to landlords in what has become an extremely competitive marketplace for those seeking rented accommodation.
Mr Davis advises that there are a number of things tenants can do to give themselves the best chance of being offered a tenancy agreement.
"Tenants need to make sure that they are packaging themselves up as best as they can to a landlord; ideally being referenced," he said.
"They should [make sure] that they've got bank statements, evidence of their deposit, references from a previous landlord, to stand out from the crowd and be the one that the landlord is going to let to because there are far more tenants than supply."
His comments follow a report released earlier this week by the University of Cambridge, commissioned by the Resolution Foundation and the housing and homeless charity Shelter, which predicted that the number of people renting accommodation privately could rise to 22 per cent by 2025 if current trends continue.
Posted by Simon Hayes