New research has revealed that nearly four out of five tenants would like a rental lease that lasts between six months and two years.
Further data from the report by online letting agent PropertyLetByUs.com shows just one in five tenants preferred leases of between two and five years.
Just over half of tenants said that they hoped to move further up the rental ladder when they could afford to do so.
The survey found that the majority of tenants want their rental accommodation to feel like home, even if they are letting for a short period. 60% of tenants said they would like to redecorate their property and over 50% said they wanted to alter the carpets or flooring.
23% of tenants expressed their desire to install decking, 18% wanted to install a hot water tub and 13% wished for a patio.
‘Clearly tenants don’t want long leases,’ observed Jane Morris, Managing Director of PropertyLetByUs. ‘For many, longer than two years does not give them the freedom and flexibility they need. They may find a job, then move on to another one, start out living with friends and then want to move in with a partner. However, landlords like longer leases-they get charged fees each time their agent needs to find new tenants. Landlords can save money by using an online lettings agent instead of a high street lettings agent.’
Tenants prefer short-term lease agreements
Morris said that her company’s research, ‘shows that many tenants do aspire to owning their own home and a large proportion of them want to redecorate their rental accommodation.’ She feels, ‘this can cause a major headache for landlords, with many facing redecorated properties at the back end of the lease, with no prior approval secured by the tenant. The latest Tenant Deposit Scheme report shows that redecoration is a major cause of dispute, taking 32% of the share.’
‘We have seen properties with walls painted in bright colours, despite landlords specifying that the décor must be a neutral and standard lettings property colours, from off-whites and beige to magnolia,’ she continued. ‘One tenant decided to decorate the whole house black and white; removed all the carpets/lino downstairs and upstairs; and painted all the floors/ceilings/kitchen/bathroom tiles in a beautiful shade of black! She did keep the walls white. Another tenant chose a dark burgundy for all the walls, throughout the property.’
Concluding, Morris said, ‘even when a tenant repaints in the correct or authorised colour scheme, there are still problems. We have seen instances of bad paint application, patchy walls, paint spills on carpets, curtains, fixtures and fittings, all of which the tenants will be responsible for at the end of the tenancy.’
She stresses that, ‘it is vital that landlords carry out mid-term property inspections and ensure the inventory and check-in stipulates the colour and quality of the decoration. If tenants do want to decorate, they should be given colour swatches to choose from and clear instructions on what can be painted and how.’