You may have a particular tenant type you prefer to let to, or you may be more focused on the length of time they’re going to stay in your property. Either way, it’s useful to know which tenants are more likely to be long-term renters and which are likely to move on after 6 or 12 months.
Our 2018 tenant survey showed that while ‘younger independents’ – that’s those aged 18 to 24 – intended to rent for an average of 2.6 years, over that short time most lived in two or three different properties. ‘Flexible professionals’, who are aged 25 to 44 and do not have children, are much the same. At the other end of the spectrum, those ‘reconciled with renting’ – 45 or older – expected to rent for an average of nearly six years and moved just once or twice over that time.
One key factor in how long a tenant will stay is their personal circumstances. Younger people and ‘flexible professionals’ tend to change jobs and therefore move more often, and the vast majority are aiming to buy their own home as soon as possible.
However, it’s also true that if you provide tenants with a comfortable, well-maintained home that suits them, unless their circumstances change, there should be no need for them to move. As such, there are three key things to focus on to retain tenants for as long as possible:
- Be up front about the length of let you’re looking for and choose the right tenant in the first place.
- Be flexible. If a potential long-term tenant with good references makes any additional requests, consider accepting a pet, installing a tumble-dryer or upgrading the broadband supply. A third of tenants would pay around £24 extra a month to have a pet and 30% would be prepared to pay an additional £19 for high-speed broadband.
- Maintain the property well and respond quickly to problems, making it clear you care about your tenant’s home.