Tenant lobby groups may be campaigning for longer tenancy terms, but do tenants really want to stay in the same rental property for longer?
Housing charity Shelter has recently called for a five-year stable rental contract, which it believes will offer renters the stability they desperately need.
However, the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) claims that eight out of ten renters want tenancies of a year or less. Additionally, 70% of respondents also said they prefer a rolling contract with one or two months’ notice at the end of their tenancy to a new fixed-term tenancy.
Questioning whether tenants really do want longer tenancies, London estate agent Portico has conducted research to compare tenancy lengths today and eight years ago.
The firm found that back in 2008, the average tenancy was around 20 months long. Today, the average tenancy in London is about 28 months long.
So, are tenants looking for longer tenancies? If not, why are tenancy lengths increasing in London?
“We do not believe that tenants, especially London tenants, want longer tenancies,” says the firm. “We deal and interact with tenants on a daily basis, and we certainly don’t think the majority feel unstable, scared of being kicked out of their property by their landlord.”
It adds: “Our view is that tenants prefer short-term contracts, but they are being forced to renew their contracts due to the growing cost of house prices.”
Tenants enjoy the flexibility of renting, according to Portico. “They like the fact that they can pack a suitcase and go if their job situation changes, or they decide to move in with a friend or partner,” states the agency. “And this is not just the case for the 20-something renters, but also the silver-haired renters – a group that’s on the rise.”
So why do renters? want short-term tenancies? “The reason they all want flexibility and short-term contracts is because ultimately they view renting as a short-term solution on the route to homeownership,” believes Portico.
Although many prospective first time buyers are forced to live in the private rental sector, it appears that most aren’t giving up hope of owning their own home. It’s these tenants that aren’t willing to commit to a long-term tenancy, claims the agency.
Whether your tenants decide to stay in your property for the short-term, or wish to live there for longer, it is vital that you protect yourself against any changes to their financial circumstances. Anybody can suffer difficulties at anytime; ensure you still get paid with Rent Guarantee Insurance.