Average tenant "expects to rent for another 10 years"

Thu 20 Oct 2016

A typical tenant in the UK believes they will be renting a home for at least another 10 years, a new study has found.

The research also discovered fewer tenants are renting purely because they cannot afford to buy a property. Instead, a change in attitude towards renting means more are benefiting from the freedom it offers.

Indeed, just 44 per cent of tenants said they are renting for financial reasons, compared with 67 per cent who claimed they could not afford to buy in 2013.

Allison Thompson, managing director at property specialist Leaders, says: “Many tenants are happy to be renting a property and see their long-term future in the rental market due to the financial benefits and flexibility it offers.

“Two-thirds of people who rent plan to relocate within the next five years - a step that would be more complicated if they had to sell their home before being able to complete a move.

“Even if tenants are not planning to move to a new town, renting offers the freedom to move to a new house when required. For instance, those who add to their family and need more space, wish to move closer to a place of work or downsize to save money can do so easily as tenants.”

Respondents to the survey by AXA also suggested they prefer short-term contracts of between six months and a year, despite some calls for long-term tenancies of several years to become the norm. Some 61 per cent of tenants said they are happier to rent for up to a year, while only 18 per cent believe they would benefit from a five or ten-year term.

Allison adds: “The results are clear; tenants enjoy the freedom and flexibility that comes with renting and are generally uninterested in being tied to a property for several years at a time.

“There are signs that renting is becoming more strongly embedded in British culture, as more people who can afford to buy choose to rent instead. Significantly more rental properties are needed to satisfy the high demand we are seeing across the country and there are many opportunities for buy-to-let investors looking to benefit from the strong rental market.”

For more information and advice on letting or renting a property, contact your local Leaders branch.