Utilities management service Tenant Shop says demographic changes leading to more families and older individuals renting privately represent an opportunity for agents and landlords.
In the most recent English Housing Survey, widely regarded as an authoritative snapshot of the rental sector, shows the proportion of private renters aged 55 to 64 was nine per cent in 2017-18, up from just five per cent a decade earlier. The previous year's EHS documented a 1.8m rise in the number of family tenants over a decade.
Meanwhile a range of other studies - most recently one by FTI Consulting and law firm CMS - have revealed an increase in the number of middle-aged renters, with or without children, as well as older people renting for lifestyle reasons.
"More people from all demographics are choosing to live in the PRS for the long-term. This development has provided agents and landlords with the chance to work with new age groups and those that cater to older tenants and family renters within their service offering can reap the benefits" says Tenant Shop managing director Glenn Seddington.
He says older tenants or middle-aged renters will be looking to work with agents and landlords who provide a reliable and comprehensive customer service, including in-person services as well as those online or via the phone.
"Older tenants may also be looking for insurance products to protect their most valuable belongings and their families, and an alternative way to access the utilities market" Seddington explains.
"By working closely with our agent partners, we have been able to support them further following this shift in market activity. And those that always like to be at the cutting-edge of the trends and lead the way with customer service are understood to already be yielding results" he adds.
Meanwhile family renters - likely to be much busier - are probably seeking low-stress and hassle-free service from property professionals.
"Tenants with young children are more likely to be under financial pressure, so they will be looking to keep bills down through introductory offers and deals when it comes to utilities" continues Seddington.
"Agents who can make key introductions, as well as providing expert advice on things like contents insurance, can start to build long-term relationships with these tenants who will become the buyers, sellers and landlords of the future" he says.