Are tenants really in favour of long-term agreements?

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Are tenants really in favour of long-term agreements?

Short or long-term lets?

There are pros and cons for choosing between long and short-term tenancy agreements. But since no two tenants are the same, it can be hard to tell what the average tenant really wants.

For landlords, long-term tenancies are the most viable option as they reduce void periods. In the lead up to the 2015 General Election, the Labour Party seemed to support this. As part of their manifesto, the political party proposed to make three-year tenancies – along with capped rent increases – the norm in the private rented sector. This was intended to offer both tenants and landlords more stability. But there wasn’t enough evidence at the time to determine if tenants were in favour of the move.

 

New research provides some clarity

Recently, the homeless charity Shelter proposed a Stable Rental Contract. This gives tenants the option of renting a property for five years should they wish to. In contrast, however, the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) surveyed 4,000 tenants; the results of which provide an insightful basis for whether tenants want a short-term let or not.

The survey found that almost 90% said they preferred contracts that lasted up to two years, while 35% of the total stated they wanted ones no longer than six months. Plus, when asked about a rolling contract of 1 or 2 months’ notice at the end of their tenancy, 70% of tenants favoured this.

 

What does this suggest?

The statistics from the DPS would then suggest that tenants are in the market for short-term lets. Julian Foster, DPS managing director, comments that the results of the survey suggest “that the idea that tenants crave longer tenancies is a myth. Like many landlords, many tenants prefer the flexibility provided by shorter tenancy agreements, rather than being locked into long commitments over where they live and who they rent from.”

He adds that it’s critical for tenancy agreements to reflect the needs of tenants and landlords in order to keep both parties happy.

 

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