Tenancies set to get longer

by Sarah Ashcroft

It is likely that landlords will begin to see longer tenancy agreements as renters seek to stay put for longer.

Mark Hayward, chairman of the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFOPP), said that the change in tenancy length has been caused by two main factors.

He said one of the main pressures comes from the need for security, with both landlords and tenants feeling more settled with longer leases, but there has also been a change in attitude when it comes to renting.

With so many people unable to get a foot on the property ladder, renting is becoming more acceptable, so much so that the current generation has been nicknamed 'Generation Rent'.

"I think that if the private rented sector is ever going to attract significant corporate investment, then those investors are going to have to see longer-term tenancies in place to protect their returns and their investment because, at the moment, you could have a void period every six months," said Mr Hayward.

The European model, where countries such as Spain, France and Germany have much higher levels of renting, supports the move towards longer tenancies.

"Also, if the tenant has got a secured tenancy for a period of time - we are talking years - then they are far more likely to take care of that property and invest in it because they are going to reap the benefits from that investment," he added.

Mr Hayward suggested that current figures show the number of all households that are rented stands at between 12 to 14 per cent.

However, by 2020, this is expected to increase to 20 per cent as fewer people can raise the money they need to buy a house.

Landlords should speak to prospective tenants about how long they intend to stay in the property to ensure they are getting the tenure they want and the tenancy agreement reflects this.

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Published on: June 29, 2012

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