If you asked a landlord what the average length of a tenancy in the UK was, they’d probably find it difficult to answer. In the past, landlords have tended to offer short term rolling contracts, and it’s up to their tenants how long they stay. However, new research from the National Landlords Association shows that 86% of tenancy agreements are over two years, with 32% of the total making it over four years.
Changing Rental Attitudes
This news is no surprise given what we’ve been hearing about rental attitudes over the last few months. The economic downturn is still causing difficulties for prospective buyers, and renters are looking to stay longer periods while saving for that elusive deposit. Some of these longer tenancies might also be down to the fact that a minority of tenants now see renting as a long term solution.
Saving Costs, Saving Time
From a landlord’s perspective, longer tenancies are ideal, providing their tenants are right. The fewer times you’re able to screen tenants, sign new contracts and clean the property on departure, the better. You can avoid void periods and save on the costs of unoccupied property insurance: it makes sense to save yourself time and money by offering secure, long contracts to tenants and you can start to make your professional relationship much stronger.
Risk and Tenancy Length
It’s certainly cheaper to offer tenants longer tenancies, but it’s not always less risky. Tenants can get into bad habits over time, and the things that were once at the forefront of their mind might be harder to remember. Tenants will also take more liberties with decoration over a longer tenancy, which isn’t a problem in itself necessarily, but it is worth keeping an eye on their activities.
Longer tenancies could well start meaning safer and more secure investments for landlords and if you’re looking for new tenants and new properties, why not think ahead to the longer term? You might just find yourself with an investment that lasts a lifetime.