Having a good tenant in your property for several years means no void periods, no 6 to 12-month re-let costs and, importantly, can mean your property is better taken care of so you benefit from lower maintenance costs throughout the tenancy.
Tenants who intend to rent for the longer term are looking for somewhere they can really call home. And that usually means a well-maintained, comfortable property that they feel they can put their own stamp on.
So, as a landlord, the first thing to do is make sure you have an appealing property in which everything is up to scratch and there aren’t going to be any maintenance issues for the foreseeable future.
The second thing is that you should be prepared to be flexible for the right long-term tenant. For instance:
- If you hadn’t previously wanted to accept pets, consider doing so. Almost a third of tenants we surveyed last year said they would be prepared to pay more rent if they were allowed a pet.
- Allow the tenant to redecorate, within reason.
- Consider any additional requests, such as upgrading the broadband.
How about demand?
The government’s own research has shown the average length of residence in the PRS is 3.9 years and our last PRSim LSL tenant survey (2018) showed that tenants over the age of 45 rent for an average of six years. While those aged between 18 and 44 tend to rent for between 2.5 and 3 years in total, many move every 12 months, but if they find the right home, they may stay longer. So there seems to be plenty of demand for longer-term housing.
Finally, if you do particularly want a long-term tenant, make sure you’re very clear with your letting agent. At Reeds Rains, we carry out thorough reference checks on all tenants so you can be confident whoever moves in with the intention of living in your property for the foreseeable future is suitable to do so.