Tenancy agreements lasting longer

by Sarah Ashcroft

Landlords will now be prepared to allow tenancy agreements to last longer than at present as renters look to stay in properties. Malcolm Harrison, spokesman for the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, believes the average length of a tenancy is likely to increase because of the current economic climate, which is looking negative for many.

Surveys from around five years ago showed the average length of tenancy was around about 14 or 15 months. "Fairly quickly after that they were increasing up to two years and I would not be at all surprised if they have increased quite a lot since then," Mr Harrison says.

"People don't know what is happening [with the economy] - we are in a recessionary climate. They may be in work and everything is going well with their jobs, but they are nervous so they are not going to make any major moves. This will decrease activity."

While the spokesman said there were no definitive figures on tenancy agreements lasting longer, "the probability is that people are looking to move and stay for longer than they would have done before".

His comments come as figures from buy-to-let lender Halifax suggest landlords could be looking at higher incomes. Almost two-thirds of Brits polled by the bank expect rents to rise in the next 12 months, compared to just three per cent predicting a fall.

Additionally, the survey suggests a pessimistic outlook for first-time buyers that could mean more people are looking to rent in the short-term. For those already renting, the study supports the idea that most will be staying put and extending their tenancy.

Raising a deposit was the biggest obstacle to buying a house, cited by (57 per cent), while concerns about job security (55 per cent) and the general availability of mortgages (30 per cent) are also seen as ensuring people continue to rent.

Published on: February 7, 2012

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