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Over half of tenants want six-month or one-year tenancies, survey shows

One of the biggest surveys of tenants in the private rental sector shows that a narrow majority favour a six month or annual tenancy - not the longer periods suggested by some consumer groups and politicians.

The survey was conducted by respected polling organisation YouGov on behalf of Knight Frank and involved some 5,000 tenants.

Of these, 69 per cent of tenants aged between 18 and 24 said they would prefer a tenancy agreement of up to a year, with 61 per cent of 25-34 year olds saying the same. Of those respondents who wanted a break clause, allowing tenant or landlord to end the lease early, most said their preferred time-frame to break was six months.

The survey also reveals that the private rented sector continues to grow in size - it now consists of around 5.4m, or 20 per cent, of properties now being let out to private tenants.

Other points from the survey show that 52 per cent of tenants say living close to work or their place of study is a key priority, and the main reason (30 per cent) for moving between rented properties was to upgrade to a better or larger property.

A total of 38 per cent of tenants have lived in five or more rental properties and the majority have moved within a mile of their previous property - although 19 per cent have moved more than 60 miles, indicating a relocation for work or study.

Other points include:

- nearly a quarter of Londoners are prepared to pay 50 per cent as a maximum amount of their gross annual income on rent;

- a quarter of those privately renting do not want to, or don’t know if they want to buy a home in the future. Of those that express a desire to eventually buy a home using a mortgage, less than half are currently saving towards a deposit;

- a quarter of those living in the private rented sector live alone, while 34 per cent live in a couple without children. Some 43 per cent of 18-24 years olds share with other adults in a flat-share.

It’s a fascinating snapshot of the sector and you can see it in full here.

  • icon

    So, we have a reliable survey that confirms what most people on all sides of the letting community already know. This is many thousands of people, even tens of thousands.

    How the hell do we get this through to the army of do gooders, petty officials, petty politicians and manipulative control freaks who are trying to mess with the current status quo for letting agreements? These people need to understand that the current lettings market, statistically and practically is working well.

    They also need to learn that when people break a lease (section 21 or they just move out and stop paying their rent) that statistically there is still only a very small problem. Tenants who are asked to leave are usually in the wrong even though they announce to the world how hard done by they are.

    I believe that landlords are to be held responsible for their tenants behaviour. How will this fit in with compulsory longer leases? Will the tenant just stay in residence and the landlord be repeatedly held in contempt of court each time the tenant re-offends?

  • Jon  Tarrey

    "These people need to understand that the current lettings market, statistically and practically is working well."

    Is it? You might want to ask a few people renting in London currently if that is the case. Or those living hand to mouth because half their monthly salary is going straight out of their bank account and into the hands of a greedy landlord.

    Not saying it's the fault of landlords - they're just taking advantage of the market conditions - but to say that the lettings market is working well is stretching things a tad too far.

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