Would longer term tenancies make renting more attractive ?

It was recently stated by an operator of private rental homes in the UK, that the Private Rental Sector is currently “dominated by amateur landlords” and must be improved if rogue operators are to be rooted out. He claimed a “totally new” rental sector needs to be created through investment from large long-term investors.

In the same week a report from the British Property Federation (BPF) claimed the UK is “too obsessed” with homeownership and that UK councils need to build more homes for the Private Rental Sector.

It highlighted that the Private Rental Sector will be crucial to the UK’s recovery from the housing crisis and the ‘build to rent’ sector is growing at a time when more rental properties are needed.

Whilst there are many professional lettings agencies providing excellent services that are regulated by industry bodies such the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA), The Property Ombudsman Service (TPOS) and the Propertymark Scheme (Propertymark), there are some rogue landlords and Letting Agents giving the industry a bad name.

Our national obsession with homeownership has tended to see renting as second best, but the stigma of renting is now changing. With house prices continuing to rise in many areas, homeownership remains out of reach for many people. For many younger people renting is becoming a lifestyle choice, and one which many are actually beginning to happily embrace. They see the freedom and flexibility rental offers, even if it means they do not have the means to create capital.

In 2013 the Office for National Statistics said homeownership had fallen for the first time in a century and Experian research showed that Luton and its surrounding areas had seen a more than 10% increase in renters from 2001 to 2011.

The rental market is also changing, and whereas a few years ago it tended to be students and people in their 20s that were the bulk of the renters, now many older people are renting.

A greater number of retired people are choosing to step off the property ladder to rent; and one-third of renters are now aged over 41.

The industry needs to look to the future and offer options such as long term tenancies and professional management services to make renting more attractive. If this happens we believe that the negative mindset some people hold towards renting will continue to change.

The industry as a whole needs to work together to weed out those that give the rental sector a bad reputation, help change perceptions that renting is less desirable than homeownership, and ensure a highly professional service for all its future tenants, retired or not.

Contact Daniel Bourke of the award winning and licensed Belvoir Dunstable Letting Specialists for a no obligation consultation or guidance on 01582 343209 or call into our shop oat 18 Church Street, Dunstable