Private rental sector tenancies are getting longer according to the Residential Landlords’ Association.
It says new government figures show that the average length of residence in family-sized rental units is growing, a trend often linked to the need to keep a stable address for households with school-age children.
According to the English Housing Survey for 2014-15, over the past 10 years the proportion of private rented households with dependent children has increased from 30 per cent in 2004-05 to 37 per cent in 2014-15.
Related to this is the trend for the average length of residence for private sector tenants in their homes increasing to four years - just 12 months ago the average was 3.5 years.
The survey notes that those living in private rented housing for a longer period generally paid less rent.
Now the RLA says it wants government to remove barriers to longer term tenancies, including restrictions imposed on landlords by lenders and by freeholders of leases.
“More can be done to help landlords offer longer term tenancies without the need for compulsory three or five year tenancies. We are calling on the government to use the Housing and Planning Bill to remove barriers preventing landlords from offering longer tenancies, including mortgage and leasehold conditions that may prevent this” says RLA chairman Alan Ward.
“Notable increases in the average length of time tenants stay in a private rented property show the system already enables longer tenancies that so many are calling for. Landlords are already meeting tenants’ requirements and there is no need heavy handed legislation that would disrupt supply of badly-needed accommodation.”