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Boost for landlords as tenant sentiment remains high

Mon 25 Nov 2019

With the general election just around the corner and Brexit not too far behind, landlords continue to speculate about the future of the buy-to-let market.

Fortunately, despite ongoing political uncertainty, it seems the vast majority of tenants are still happy to rent, with 75% content with their renting situation and a third of them happy to rent forever.

This is according to findings from specialist lender Landbay, which questioned 2,000 private tenants in the UK. It found that men are more likely to be happy renting forever (36%), compared to women (31%). Concerning age groups, two thirds of those aged 55-plus are happy to remain tenants.

When asked for their motivations behind staying in the rental sector, the top three reasons cited by tenants were: not wanting to make the financial commitment to buy a home, having fewer responsibilities than a homeowner and the flexibility that renting offers.

A separate survey from Halifax revealed that 30% of older individuals in the private rented sector think that it is now ‘the norm’ for many tenants to remain renting forever.

While homeownership is still very much a goal for some people, with the number of first-time buyers rising from 72,180 in H1 2019 to 170,060 in H1 2019, renting is still the best option for a significant number of people who wish to lay down roots for the long-term.

Why is this good news for landlords?

With tenants happy to rent for longer, this means a protected investment and regular income for landlords. Not only does a long-term tenancy reduce the stress and fees of finding new tenants, but they also reduce the impact of void periods.

Long-term tenants, by their nature, are more likely to take good care of your rental property, effectively lowering repair costs and disputes. They may also prefer unfurnished lets, as they often like to put their stamp on their home – meaning you have even less to worry about when letting your property.

Tenants’ happiness to rent can also help you to foster a good working relationship with them. Someone looking for a long-term home tends to want stability and reliability – similar to you as a landlord. If both parties share the same goal and expectations, you are more likely to have a harmonious and productive relationship.

Attracting long-term tenants

In order to find the right tenants for your rental property, you will need to vet them accordingly. This includes meeting them or showing them around the property itself to build a rapport.

Once you’ve found your desired tenants, you want to ensure that they feel at home. As we mentioned before, tenants may well be in favour of redecorating the space to make it their own, so consider giving them the freedom to do so, along with any guidelines you see fit.

It could also be beneficial to be a pet-friendly landlord, as you will have more tenants to choose from. A fair number of tenants either have pets or might consider owning pets in the future, so it could be worth going down this route. However, you would need to get the insurance and charge a slightly higher rent to protect your property from animal damage.

In any case, your letting agent will be there to guide you through the lettings process and help you to make the most of your buy-to-let investment.

As West Lothian’s first dedicated lettings agency, we at Letting Solutions have the knowledge and expertise to ensure you get the best possible results from your rental property.

For more information about our services, and to find out how we will manage the tenancy on your behalf, please get in touch with us on 01506 425693.

We also provide a free and instant online valuation to give you an idea of how much you could be charging in rent each month.

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