The latest research into the rented property sector has revealed a shift towards longer term rentals which can be seen as being excellent news for the landlords letting out these properties. A tenant who makes a longer term commitment to a property is not only providing a guaranteed rent, but they are also building stability and trust into the situation. The good news doesn’t end there, however, since the tenants themselves are bound to feel more secure with a longer let and the area in which the property is situated will benefit from having a population which is far less transient than is the case with shorter term rentals.
The details of the research, as well as uncovering this shift in terms of how long people want to rent property for, uncovered other facts and figures which help to build a picture of what the average tenant is hoping to find whether searching for rooms to let in London or a larger property such as a house or flat. The first and perhaps most vital statistic is the simple fact that buying a property of your own in London and the South East has become more and more expensive as the years have gone by. During the final six months of 2013, for example, prices rose by an average of 4.8 per cent in London and 3.2 per cent in the South East as a whole. This increase, in relation to what was already an overheated housing sector, means that more and more people are finding themselves completely priced out of the market, particularly when the average house price is compared to the average wage.
The fact that London is always going to draw in people from around the world, for purposes of work or study, means that living space still needs to be found, and for increasingly large numbers of people this means renting a property. A report published in 2011 revealed that there were then 4.3 million households contained within the UK’s private rented sector, and, during the next five years, this number is expected to increase by over a million. A breakdown of the figures shows that tenants can generally be divided into separate groups. The largest single group are those aged between 25 and 34, but a large demographic shift is highlighted by the fact that the fastest growing sector of the market can be found amongst those aged between 35 and 44, people who, in the past, may have been expected to have bought their own home. A quarter of these tenants comprised young families and many of them now expect never to own their own home, a trend which will see demand for rental properties booming exponentially in the coming decades.
Another difference between these two groups of tenants is that the younger tenants still look for flexibility when renting a property, opting for shorter term lets and the option of mobility, whilst those in the older age group are now keen on seeking out longer term lets and the chance to find stability and put down some roots. Alongside this desire to be able to stay in one place for longer runs an understandable wish to find the best possible properties. Those planning on staying in a property for a long time are likely to be far more concerned with the quality of the property they rent and factors such as how many rooms they have, whether there is access to a garden and so on. After all, when looking at a property intended for a stay of just a few weeks, a tenant might be willing to overlook a few problems or accept some corner cutting, whilst a family wanting place which they can call home will want things to be as close to perfect as they possibly can be.
The good news for landlords is that this desire for higher quality and longer tenancies will mean it is far more likely that they will be able to build a trusting, stable relationship with their tenants, whilst also avoiding the difficulties and work involved in a high turnover of tenants. Not only that, but they will be able to build a database of happy and satisfied tenants willing to provide references and advice to those who come looking for property. A landlord with tenants of this kind will also be able to relax in the knowledge that their property is being looked after, tended and treated with the care which only comes from someone who sees it as being truly their own home.