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30 July 2012
A new study from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has revealed that tenants are staying longer along with their changing rental requirements.
The typical or average duration of tenancy in the UK has now risen to a record high of 20 months*. The rise has been caused by strong competition for new properties - 58% of ARLA member offices claim that there are more tenants than properties accessible, a rise of 2 % on the past quarter.
ARLA Managing Director, Ian Potter, said,
“The PRS is clearly picking the slack resulting from a flat housing market and the on-going lack of mortgage finance. As tenants stay in properties for longer, the importance of regulation in the sector becomes even more pressing.
The type of tenant seen by letting agents is also changing; 55% of new tenants are couples or young families who are struggling to purchase their first home. When asked, ARLA members said that ‘frustrated first time buyers’ were the most common group of renter they were encountering, ahead of those who prefer renting; those who have sold an existing property to rent; and those who have had their homes repossessed.
“Renting offers significant flexibility, which can be vital for working professionals who need to move in order to find employment. However, with an increasing number of families with younger children also looking to rent, having a secure and stable home environment has never been more important.
For this reason, I would urge tenants to use a licensed ARLA member. The lettings industry is unregulated and renters must be confident that they are receiving the best possible service. All ARLA licensed agents must adhere to a strict code of conduct, as well as offering client money protection and redress schemes, which protect all parties if things go wrong.”