Belvoir Lettings, which has 150 offices nationwide, supports the predictions of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which reports that 1.5 million additional 18-30 year-olds are likely to be priced out of the residential sales market over the next eight years.
“A depressed residential property sales market, lack of mortgage facilities for first time buyers and an inability to save for high deposits are all factors that are forcing a generation of Brits onto the long term rental market,” confirms Dorian Gonsalves, CEO of Belvoir Letttings.
“Many of our offices are already reporting a trend for tenants to remain in rental properties for much longer than was previously seen, but this does mean that new tenants can struggle to find good quality accommodation.
“Long term tenants are good news for landlords, who do not have to incur costs to re-let a property and if the tenant is a good one, pays their rent on time and looks after a property really well because they view it as a family home rather than transient accommodation, they are very valuable to the landlord.
“Long term renting is now being recognised as a viable alternative to home ownership, which was probably not the case for previous generations in the UK, although was certainly the case throughout Europe.
“Renting provides tenants with the freedom they need to adapt to changing circumstances. In a world of job uncertainty tenants are now thinking long and hard about their circumstances and trying to balance the cost of renting against the problems of saving for enormous deposits, difficulties in obtaining mortgages and anxiety about future interest rates.
“Tenants are able to budget their outgoings more easily, and do not have to worry about expensive maintenance issues, which remain the responsibility of the landlord.”
This week has also seen the publication of Sir Adrian Montague’s government-commissioned review into the shortage of housing in the private rental sector and Belvoir welcomes many initiatives in the report.
“The report suggests that the government could look to provide a number of “targeted incentives” to encourage the development of build-to-let business models, which could include sharing development risk in the short-term,” says Dorian.
“Additionally, in areas of high demand for rented accommodation, the report suggests that land could be made available to developers on the grounds that a proportion of homes should be let out to tenants, with a code of standards so that tenants are aware of what standards to expect of new rental developments.
“Belvoir Lettings welcomes and supports any government initiatives that will help to attract investment, ease the pressure on the rental market and provide tenants with high quality private rental homes. Demand for rental properties is extremely high, and Belvoir offices across the country are constantly seeking new properties to help meet tenant requirements.”