Posts with tag: Ocasa

Tenants in England paying council tax bills up to the equivalent of 37.5% of rent

Published On: November 11, 2022 at 9:15 am


Categories: Lettings News,Tenant News


The cost of the average council tax bill in England is equivalent to 17.7% of a tenant’s rent bill, research from rental platform Ocasa shows. For the hardest-hit renters, this rises to 37.5%.

It says rising inflation, interest rates, and living costs mean that renters are bracing themselves for hard times ahead, as many landlords start to increase rent prices to cover rising mortgage rates.

Many tenants are responsible for paying the council tax bill on their rented property in England, with the average council tax bill at £164 per month. Ocasa’s market analysis also found that, with average rent sitting at £926 per month, this means council tax costs the equivalent of 17.7% of rent.

When comparing regions, council tax is hitting tenants in the North East the hardest. The average council tax bill in the region is £175 per month, equivalent to 30.3% of the average regional rent bill which currently stands at £577.

In the North West, average council tax bills of £171 per month equate to 25.3% of rent and the same is true in the East Midlands, where council tax costs £172 per month. 

Council tax as a percentage of rent is also higher than the national average in Yorkshire & Humber (25.1%), the West Midlands (22.6%), and South West (19%), while renters in the East of England (17.5%), South East (16.3%), and London (8.7%) are paying less than the national average. 

When analysing the nation at local authority level, the analysis shows that the tenants whose council tax bills equate to the largest percentage of rent are those in Hartlepool, County Durham. Here, the average monthly council tax bill is £183 which is equivalent to 37.5% of the local average rent bill (£488).

Tenants in Burnley, Lancashire have an average council tax bill of £179, which is also equivalent to 37.5% of rent (£479).

Tenants in Middlesbrough are paying the equivalent of 37.3% of rent. The percentages are also high in Pendle (36%), Hyndburn (35.5%), County Durham (35.1%), North East Lincolnshire (34.9%), and Redcar & Cleveland (34.7%).

At the other end of the scale, London tenants have lowest price of council tax versus rent. Renters in the City of Westminster are paying an average monthly council tax bill of just £72 which is equivalent to 3.1% of the average monthly rent price of £2,359.

In Wandsworth, council tax of £73 per month equates to just 3.7% of rent, while tenants in Kensington & Chelsea (4.2%), the City of London (4.8%), Hammersmith & Fulham (5%), Camden (7.5%), Southwark (7.5%), and Tower Hamlets (7.6%) are paying well below the average for council tax as a proportion of rent.

Jack Godby, Sales and Marketing Director at Ocasa, comments: “This research makes it glaringly obvious that those tenants who can afford to pay the highest rent are being gifted with below average council tax bills, while those who live in the most affordable locations are being saddled with the most expensive tax.

“Is it fair that the wealthiest people are paying the least council tax while the hardest-up are paying the most? It certainly doesn’t seem so, but the government will argue that public services in the wealthiest areas are under much less strain – and therefore require less money to operate – than in those places where the population relies more heavily on government-funded assistance. 

“The result is a vicious cycle in which those with the least advantage become even more disadvantaged. As the current cost of living crisis becomes more entrenched, more people are going to have to turn to public services for help. And this comes at a time when the government is already expected to increase council tax rates.”

Average UK buy-to-let portfolio rental return up 18% annually, Ocasa research shows

Published On: October 26, 2022 at 8:58 am


Categories: Landlord News


The average UK landlord has increased the size of their portfolio on an annual basis and also seen a 18% increase in estimated total rental income, says Ocasa.

The specialist rental platform analysed data on current gross rental incomes, the average number of buy-to-let properties in a portfolio and the total rental income per portfolio, as well as how these factors have changed over the last year.

It says that, across the UK, the average buy-to-let investor has an average of 8.2 properties in 2022, a 17% increase on the average portfolio size of 6.9 properties in 2021.

The average gross rental income of the average property has also climbed by a marginal 0.5% to £7,891. As a result, Ocasa says the average buy-to-let investment portfolio is now returning an annual level of rental income to the tune of £63,917 – an 18% increase on 2021.

Largest average portfolios by location

Ocasa says investors in Yorkshire and the Humber currently have the largest portfolios with an average of 15.5 properties, followed by the North East (10.8) and East Midlands (10.5).

Buy-to-let investors in Yorkshire and the Humber have also seen one of the largest increases in portfolio size, up 50% year-on-year. This is second only to the South West, where the average buy-to-let portfolio has increased by 69%.

Central London has seen the third largest boost to buy-to-let portfolio sizes, with a 43% increase. While the average portfolio size in central London is amongst one of the lowest at just 8.3 properties, investors in the area are not only seeing the largest levels of rental income, but they’ve also seen the largest increase in this level of rental income.

Ocasa also says the average buy-to-let portfolio in central London commands an estimated £93,890 in rental income per year, up 42% annually. The South West has also seen a 42% increase in the estimated rental income of the average buy-to-let portfolio, along with the North West (37%).

Jack Godby, Sales and Marketing Director at Ocasa, comments:“It’s great to see that, despite the UK Government’s best efforts, the buy-to-let sector has really hit the ground running in 2022. 

“Like any area of the property sector, investment levels, property prices and rental values can vary drastically from one region to the next and this understandably has an impact on the size of a buy-to-let portfolio, the rent achieved per property and the overall return made. 

“However, it’s clear that strength is building across the market with respect to an increased level of income. The fact that only two regions have seen the average portfolio size reduce is also testament to the resilience and consistency of bricks and mortar as an investment vehicle.”

Tenants reveal most off-putting features of rental homes and landlords

Published On: July 6, 2022 at 8:17 am


Categories: Lettings News,Tenant News


The biggest turn-offs when looking for the perfect rental property have been revealed by research from rental platform Ocasa.

Over 1,000 UK tenants were asked what they found the most off-putting about a rental property and a landlord.

Most off-putting rental property features

Nuisance neighbours were top of this list of red flags to look out for when searching for a new home. Landlords refusing to allow tenants to keep pets in the property ranked as the second biggest turn-off.

A lack of parking was the next biggest issue when it came to rental property appeal. A lack of outdoor space also ranked within the top five, along with being forbidden to redecorate or add personal touches to a property’s decor.

Most off-putting landlord habits

Tenants ranked a landlord’s inability to maintain a rental property to a modern standard as the most off-putting issue.

Landlords who fail to maintain safe living conditions were also on the list, along with those who consistently increase rents without reason.

The survey highlighted landlords visiting the property without a reason as an off-putting habit tenants look to avoid. They also listed landlords ending the tenancy without good warning or reason as an issue they’ve faced.

Jack Godby, Sales and Marketing Director at Ocasa, comments: “The rental market can be a tough place to live at times and not only is it very expensive, but many tenants will be put off by out of date or unsafe living conditions, restrictive tenancy rules and the insecurity and uncertainty that often comes with living in someone else’s property. 

“However, standards are improving and the industry is undergoing notable changes that focus on renting as a long-term lifestyle choice, rather than a necessity due to the high cost of homeownership. 

“This is particularly evident within the build-to-rent sector, which is providing a better quality of living coupled with greater security and flexibility to suit the needs of individual tenants. Of course, you may still fall foul of a nuisance neighbour but some things in life are unfortunately unavoidable.”

Research uncovers UK’s most unaffordable areas to rent a home

Published On: June 15, 2022 at 8:16 am


Categories: Lettings News,Tenant News

Tags: ,

Almost a third (31%) of postcodes in England and Wales are considered unaffordable, rental market research finds.

Specialist rental platform Ocasa has analysed the current cost of renting across each postcode in England and Wales, as well as the average household income. It found that 69% of areas are classified as affordable, based on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) definition. However, this means that 31% are unaffordable. 

The ONS defines a rental property as affordable as long as the cost of renting doesn’t exceed 30% of the household’s income

Ocasa points out that the average annual rent across England and Wales is £12,763, and the average annual household income is £43,341. Therefore, rent accounts for 29% of the average household income.

Regionally, rent is most affordable in the North East, where it consumes just 20% of the average household income of £35,774.

In Yorkshire & Humber, rent eats up 22% of annual income followed by the East Midlands (23%), North West (24%), West Midlands (25%), and Wales (26%). 

In the East, South East, and South West of England, average rent ranges from £12,000 to £15,000 and equates to 30% of household income in each region. 

The only region where Ocasa has found rent to be unaffordable is London. While the average income is £54,194, rent consumes 40% of this, with an average annual bill of £21,439.

Ocasa then analysed the rental market across England and Wales at postcode level and found that 31% of postcodes sit above the affordability threshold whereby rental income accounts for more than 30% of household income. 

London is home to all ten of the most unaffordable places in the country, with the worst offending outcodes being SW1 (77%), WC2 (74%), and W2 (73%). 

The least affordable area outside of London is the BN2 outcode area of Brighton & Hove, where rent eats up 60% of annual income. 

The WR2 postcode in Worcester is the most affordable pocket of the rental market, where a year’s rent costs just 15% of the average household income of £41,900. This is followed by DN21 in Gainsborough (15%) and TS26 in Hartlepool (15%).

Jack Godby, Head of Sales and Marketing at Ocasa, comments: “It’s reassuring to see that the topline cost of renting remains theoretically affordable for the average household but it’s fair to say that this probably isn’t the reality facing many at the moment, as the cost of living crisis is putting a real squeeze on our finances. 

“The cost of rent alone might not break the bank, but once you add household bills and travel, it equates to quite a considerable sum for the average household and millions of people are currently struggling to cover these costs.”