A new survey has suggested that the typical UK tenant expects to stay part of the Private Rented Sector for the next ten years.
Research conducted by AXA indicates that despite this, fewer tenants say they are renting as they cannot afford to buy a property.
In 2013, 67% of tenants questioned said that they rent property as they cannot afford to buy. This year, this figure has dropped to 44%, indicating that people’s attitudes towards renting are changing.
One third of those questioned said that their main reason for renting was due to the ‘freedom and lifestyle benefits’ it brings.
Additionally, AXA says that tenants in the UK are experiencing something of a surge in financial confidence. In 2013, only 13% of those surveyed said they were saving up for a deposit. This figure has nearly doubled this year to hit 25%.
Relocation, relocation, relocation
The survey also shows that tenants are beginning to favour more frequent relocation, believing they will stay in a rental property for an average of two years.
61% of the 1,000 surveyed said that they are in favour of short-term contracts of six months to a year. Just 18% said that they would benefit from five or ten year leases.
In the next five years, nearly two-thirds of those asked said that they plan to relocate to a different part of the UK. 10% said they plan to emigrate.
Topping the list of so-called stepping stone towns were London, Bristol and Edinburgh, where tenants tend to stay for the shortest period.
Typical tenants expect to rent for the next decade
AXA’s survey also reveals that landlords’ biggest concern is a high turnover or tenants. Only a minority said that they know their tenants personally, with a huge 70% saying they see their renters once a year or less!
Darrell Sansom, managing director at AXA Business Insurance, said, ‘rental culture is not as well embedded in British society as in other European countries. Short-term tenancies prevail here and while bringing benefits to some, this means that both landlords and tenants can feel as if the ground is constantly shifting under their feet.’
‘With such a mobile tenant population, landlords need to work that bit harder to encourage longer stays. Few tenants are interested in being locked in to a long lease, but little compromises on things like pets, freebies like broadband or cleaning services, offering to redecorate-can build precious loyalty,’ he concluded.