Recent data from has revealed that the average tenancy length in the UK is now 20 months, up 18% from 2014.
These findings come as separate research from the Corporate Client Department of its parent company, LSL Property Services plc, reveals that 25% of all UK households are predicted to be occupied by private renters by 2025.
London, home to nearly a fifth of the UK’s rental properties and the home of Generation Rent, has average tenancy lengths of nearly two years (20 months), and is on a par with the UK average, Your Move data reveals. This is despite the fact that the capital remains comfortably the most expensive part of the country to rent in, with average payments hitting £1,277 a month in June 2017.
Outside of London, across the South East and commuter belt, rental contracts are decidedly longer. Here, the Kent town of Sevenoaks boasts the longest tenancy lengths in the UK, with the average property being let for 44 months. With the region proving to be a hot spot for London commuters looking for more affordable housing options, rents in this area have been steadily climbing over the last three years, rising from £780 a month in June 2014 to £885 in June this year.
The shortest tenancies in the UK were found in the South West (15 months), where the average rent has fallen to £664 a month in June 2017 from £684 nine months previously. When examining tenancy lengths in local towns within the South West, Your Move found tenancies were even shorter in both Filton and Taunton, where average rental agreements are as little as six months.
Over the Severn Bridge in Wales, where the average rent as of June 2017 is £599, the typical renter stays in the same property for two years. Tenants in the small market town of Abergele, however, are staying put for 30 months on average.
In Scotland, tenancy lengths hits 18 months, with renters in the east of the region staying in rental properties for 20 months on average, while those in the Highlands and Islands changed contract every 16 months.
In the last of the four nations, Northern Ireland is currently experiencing rentals lasting an average of 17 months.
As renting becomes an increasingly popular option for more people in the UK, Your Move is working to ensure tenancy agreements, including their lengths, offer more benefits to both landlords and tenants. The February 2017 Government Housing White Paper highlighted the benefits of long term tenancies for both tenants and landlords, and the recent results of the Tenant Survey from LSL, found that over a third of its tenants would prefer a tenancy agreement of a minimum of three years. With more and more renters being of the age to start having a family and some living in the properties until their old age it’s clear that many would want the security of at least a three-year tenancy.
Richard Waind, director at Your Move, says:
“As the nature of the rental market continues to change, it is positive to see both tenants and landlords benefiting from longer tenancy agreements. Not long ago we saw a rise in short term lets with many landlords viewing them as the most lucrative option and tenants preferring the flexibility they provided. However, we’re now seeing a shift towards longer term rentals and the security that they can provide both landlords and tenants.
“Our research has shown that tenants want to feel settled and if landlords can provide a suitable living space and service, tenancy lengths may increase across the UK. Through this type of extended agreement, we hope to see more cooperation between landlords and renters who both benefit from the affordability and stability long-term renting can provide.”