Typical tenancy duration just 18 months
By |Published On: 13th May 2016|

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Typical tenancy duration just 18 months

By |Published On: 13th May 2016|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

A new survey has revealed that tenants are now taking on tenancy agreements for an average of just 18 months.

Research conducted by Direct Line for Business indicates that tenants are adopting a shorter-term view on renting property.

These figures are surprising, given that previous investigations indicated that the average tenancy length was longer.

Regional renters

The smallest tenant turnover was found in Birmingham, where renters stay for an average of two years and four months in the same location. This was followed by London, with tenants staying for one year and nine months. Leicester was the third best city for longevity, with tenants staying put for one year, eight months.

Edinburgh, Liverpool and Sheffield all have average tenancies of one year, seven months.

On the other hand, Cardiff has the greatest turnover of tenants in Britain, with tenants staying in the same rental property for less than one year (11 months). Leeds sees its tenants stay for exactly one year, with Bristol seeing renters stay put for 14 months.


In addition, the survey showed that the typical annual void period for buy-to-let landlords currently stands at 22 days. Looking at existing rental values, this could see losses of £547 in rent that is not collected.

Of course, this will have a negative effect on overall rental yields. Landlords should consider taking out unoccupied property insurance, to protect themselves against damages.

Birmingham again leads the way for filling vacant properties in the quickest time, with a landlord in the second city finding a tenant typically within 11 days. Buy-to-let landlords in Liverpool and Aberdeen fair the worst, taking an average of 33 days to fill their property

Direct Line for Business analysts suggest that this gap between tenancies could cost landlords as much as £761 in Liverpool and £913 in Aberdeen.

Typical tenancy duration just 18 months

Typical tenancy duration just 18 months


Further data from the investigation shows that landlords cannot rely on their tenants to see their tenancy agreement through. One in eleven renters were found move on before the conclusion of their contract.

The greatest rate of tenancy turnover is found in Aberdeen, where 19% of tenants leave their property before the end of their agreement. Leeds and Sheffield were both close behind, with 13%.

Nick Breton, head of Direct Line for Business, observed, ‘this research highlights the pressure landlords are under to replace outgoing tenants in their properties. Vacant properties are obviously a worry for landlords but it’s vitally important that they take into account void periods when calculating the affordability of owning a rental property.’[1]

‘Staying on top of the on-going changes within the industry can be time-consuming and a battle for landlords and we fully appreciate the challenges they face when it comes to managing their rental properties,’ Breton added.[1]

[1] https://www.landlordtoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2016/5/average-tenancy-is-now-18-months

About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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