Big demand for city rental accommodation but it is not all a bed of roses for landlords

There has been a noticeable increase in demand for rental properties in Galway of late, compounded by additional property buyers being held back by restrictive bank lending, increasing employment, and a general increase in population. According to local property letting agents, there has been a ‘surprise spike’ in queries in recent months, and rental properties are being snapped up within days of becoming available, and they expect that rising demand for rental properties will continue for the foreseeable future but caution that it can still be a tough business.

Residential rental specialist Michael Fahy senior of City Property Services said that activity in the rental market is incredible, especially in these leaner times. ‘We are inundated with renters looking for good quality accommodation in the city centre and the surrounding suburban areas. In the last two weeks we have let 12 properties and that would have been 50 if we had the stock, even at this late stage in the year. We rented a three-bed house recently on the Knocknacarra road and it rented on the same day as the old tenant vacated. Our advert on Daft.ie had over 1,000 hits for that house alone. That’s incredible activity for the economic times we are in – we have had to increase our staff to eight members, just to keep up with the demand. In the 10 years since we bought our new premises on Prospect Hill, I have not seen the like of the amount of people coming through the office door seeking accommodation, and amazingly are doing so to try and get a head start on those searching on Daft.ie We try and cater for our existing 800+ tried and trusted tenants that need to move first but that’s now proving to be even more difficult due to limited stock. It is easy to rent property now but it is as difficult as ever finding the right person. We have it down to a fine art at this stage but we have many private landlords approaching us to help them remove problematic tenants. We do this work regularly but problematic tenants can be a nightmare, especially when they try to hide behind the legislation designed for genuine cases, so correct selection from the outset is vital. We took over the management of a property in Rahoon this week following an assault on the landlord in the house by an acquaintance of the tenant. Professional property rental needs to take a thorough, respectful, and no nonsense approach with both sides.”

Local estate agents have experienced a surge in sales of late, ‘many of which are being sold to investors’ according to his property industry colleague, Niall Browne in O’Donnellan & Joyce. “This is good news,” says Michael Fahy, “as we need more stock on the rental market to meet demand.” However, he cautioned that there would be less demand for poorly maintained rental properties. Tenants are very energy conscious and are looking for well maintained homes, especially the ones that have had an insulation upgrade. Warm homes rent very well and a good tenant is easier find when the house is right. Best of all, they generally want to stay longer which is good for landlords too. City Property Services is located at 67 Prospect Hill and can be contacted on 091 562725 through www.citypropertygalway.com

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