The rise of the long-term tenant
Long-term tenancies are definitely increasing and we are seeing more people staying for lengthier periods. In fact, tenancy lengths have almost doubled at some of our offices...
“We’ve definitely noticed a trend towards longer-term tenancies at our office. This was especially noticeable in January and February when we didn’t get the volume of notices from tenants looking to move on at the beginning of the year as we usually do,” says Patsy Day, owner of Belvoir Bury St Edmunds.
Most tenants have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST) which despite their name these can run for extended periods, giving tenants the option to stay in a property for many years or just a short period to fit their requirements.
Darragh Lee of Belvoir Cheadle has had a similar experience up North, perhaps indicating a national trend towards long-term renting. “The tenancy lengths at our office are quite long. On average our tenants stay from 18 months to two years, but we’ve got some tenants who have been in their properties for about five years, and a few that haven’t moved for eight or nine years.”
Owner of Belvoir Aberdeen Lewis Stuart has described similar occurrences. “Most of our tenancies tend to run for two years or more and our longest tenancy dates from 2006. Aberdeen has two universities and many of our tenants are students but we’ve noticed an increase in tenancy lengths in this sector too. Students are no longer moving on an annual basis as they once did and are tending to stay at the same property for longer.”
Supply and demand
An increase in tenancy lengths is influencing housing stock levels, with many properties now attracting numerous potential tenants.
Tenants are not serving notice in the same amounts as they were previously, so this has a negative impact on stock levels as that ‘churn’ isn’t there. When tenants new to the market start looking for somewhere to live, they often find it harder to find the right place so many tenants queue for properties.
Because of longer tenancies there are lower housing stock levels and it’s starving the market completely. The influx of new tenants is thriving but many new landlords are needed, so Belvoir offices are actively seeking additional properties to add to their portfolios.
With a strong rental market and high tenant demand it’s a great time to become a letting agent with Belvoir.
“I chose to join Belvoir because it could offer a combination of going out on my own but knowing I’d got a lifeline if I needed it,” says Jeremy Clarke of Belvoir Christchurch.
“Since I opened my office in 2004 the company has grown considerably. Now, as well as support from Central Office, we’ve also got mentors and regional development managers which has got to be a huge benefit to anyone joining Belvoir moving forward.”
A successful franchise operation, we now have more than 160 offices nationwide. Franchise owners join us from a range of backgrounds and with a varied amount of experience in the property industry.
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Long-term tenancies – landlord benefits at-a-glance...
√ Fewer ‘void’ periods
√ No consistent ‘tenant-find’ fees if your property isn’t fully managed
√ Familiarity and a mutual understanding of expectations
√ A reinforced bond between landlord and tenant
√ Decreases the risk of getting an unfavourable tenant
√ Reduced wear and tear during ‘move ins’ and ‘move outs’
√ A long-standing tenant is more likely to look after the home and treat is as they would their own