Tenancy lengths on the increase as London leads the way

Young couple with laptop looking at properties

The average length of private rental tenancies is on the rise, with more tenants and landlords seeking the security of longer term agreements.

New data from Your Move indicates that on average tenancies last for almost two years, with London tenants now staying in properties for an average of 20 months, while the South West has the shortest tenancies.

The London figure represents an increase of 18% on 2014 data, while at 44 months, the commuter belt reflects the longest UK tenancy lengths, with Sevenoaks in Kent, recording the biggest figure.

The South East and London commuter belt continue to prove in-demand areas for tenants and rental contracts are considerably longer than in the capital.

Rent within this region has risen consistently over the past three years and in June of this year, the average monthly rent was £885 per month, compared to £780 a month in June 2014.

In Wales, tenants tend to stay for an average of two years, although the small market town of Abergele saw an average of 30 months.

In Scotland, tenancy lengths average out at 18 months and in Northern Ireland the figure drops to an average of 17 months.

A separate survey from LSL reported that more than a third of tenants would prefer a tenancy agreement of a minimum of three years.

Richard Waind, director at Your Move, said:

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.

Andrew Turner, chief executive at Commercial Trust, commented:

Demand for rental homes continues to provide opportunity for the buy-to-let industry.

“With fewer properties available and many younger people resigned to waiting longer before they can afford to purchase a home, it comes as little surprise to see that more tenants are looking for longer-term tenancy agreements.

“Most people want some sense of stability in their lives and longer agreements can benefit both tenants and landlords by providing an element of security.

This information should not be interpreted as financial advice. Mortgage and loan rates are subject to change.