New homes

Rental Standards Are Improving Across The Country

June 11th 2021

At Intercounty, we take immense pride in working closely with landlords, helping them to provide tenants with a high standard of service. We work closely with letting industry professionals, but we have also seen many landlords take the initiative when it comes to improving their rental property.

This is important, and we believe it lies at the heart of an improving rental sector, which is better for tenants and landlords.

Positive changes help everyone in the rental sector

A new study carried out by Paragon Bank suggests it is landlords who are driving the positive changes. It is estimated around £839m is spent each year on improving rental property before letting to tenants.

Paragon spoke to around 900 landlords, and uncovered a number of interesting findings:

  • 77% of landlords invest in rental property after buying

  • The average spend on rental home improvements from landlords is £8,720 each

  • The most common work undertaken is general painting and maintenance, cited by 67% of respondents

  • The next most common work is electric or plumbing work, listed by 44% of respondents

  • 37% of respondents say they have laid new flooring at their rental property

  • 32% of landlords have installed a new kitchen or bathroom

  • 24% of respondents have installed a new boiler

  • 23% of landlords have upgraded the standard of windows at their rental property

The number of “decent” homes in 2006 was 1.4m, but it is now 3.6m. In the past 15 years, 1.4m buy-to-let mortgages have been approved.

Improvements in energy performance rating

The same study found there has been a 272% increase in PRS homes with an energy rating of C or above. There are 1.8m homes of this standard today.

Richard Rowntree, Paragon Bank Mortgages Managing Director of Mortgages, said: “Landlords typically will make significant improvements to a property before letting to tenants, helping to improve standards across the private rented sector. Landlords will of course benefit from this investment through capital appreciation, but it always results in better quality homes for tenants.

There is a clear correlation between buy-to-let investment and improving standards in the quality of private rental homes. Standards of property in the PRS have increased significantly over that period. Overall homes in the sector are newer, larger, warmer and more energy-efficient than they were 10 years ago and tenants have more choice.”

Richard continued by saying; “Whilst we recognise more needs to be done to improve standards since 2009 there are nearly three times the number of properties with an energy rating of C or above, a 100% increase in the number of homes built after 1990 and a substantial expansion in the types of property available to rent in the PRS.”

For all lettings enquiries in Saffron Walden, please feel free to call us on 01799 513224 or why not email us at With considerable experience in the local letting market, and free valuation services, we look forward to helping you make an informed decision in the Saffron Walden rental sector.