How to Attract Long-Term Tenants

Over the last few years, more and more people in the UK have been renting homes rather than buying them. We’re also staying in rented homes for much longer without moving.

As such, landlords who can offer extended tenancy periods are likely to be very popular in the future. 

Long-term tenants offer many benefits to York landlords, but you might not have a clear idea of how to attract them to your property. In this article we’ll also explore how you can bring long-term tenants into your rental property. We’ll tell you more about our letting services, which include letting management in York.

What’s the current situation with UK tenancies?

York Minster with houses

At the moment, most people rent properties under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. According to The Guardian, 80% of tenancies in England or Wales are set at 6 or 12 months. After this point, tenants rent on a month-to-month basis until they decide to move out.

However, according to the Nationwide Foundation we are living in our current tenancies for longer. In 2008/9, 18% of renters had been living in their property for 3–5 years. In 2015/16, that figure jumped to 30%.

As a result, the government recently launched a consultation on tenancies, which could lead to longer tenancy periods. The National Landlords Association says tenants are pretty evenly split on this issue. Regardless, we believe properties suitable for long-term renting are only going to become more popular.

Who is looking for long-term tenancies?

three women in front of houses

Young people make up a significant portion of the rental market, and that number is on the rise. Buy Association reports that there’s been a 10% drop in young people owning property in the UK. Since many young people will be professionals who aren’t ready to buy, or students looking for decent housing, we believe many long-term renters will be young people.

We’re also seeing a rise in renters aged 35–44. While some of these will be professionals, we also believe some will be parents looking for a suitable family home.

Based on this, a diverse range of properties could be suitable for long-term renting.

Are new rental properties being built?

blueprint with pen and ruler

Yes! In fact, we’re seeing a rise in ‘build-to-rent’ properties across the country. Down south, Transport for London is planning to build 3,000 flats above London tube stations. Of these, at least 40% will offer tenancies lasting at least three years. Sheffield in the meantime is planning to create 300 ‘build-to-rent’ apartments across three buildings.

In the meantime, the York Press reports that a developer wants to build York’s first ‘build-to-rent’ properties in the city centre. The project will include 196 rental-only flats. The plan is for the flats to be a mix of modern studios, as well as one and two bedroom apartments.

For many cities, properties that can only be rented are fast becoming a key part of the property landscape.

What are the benefits of long-term tenancies?

laptop with financial details

If you’re a landlord, a long-term tenancy brings several advantages:

· You have a guaranteed income.

People who enter into a long-term contract are likely to stick around for some time. This means you can depend on their rent for much longer as well.

· There are fewer void periods. 

Since a property only makes money if someone is living in it, having long-term renters ensures your property is making money for longer.

· You have long-term relationships with trustworthy tenants. 

It’s human nature when living in a house or flat for a while, that we want to take care of it. A tenant staying in your property for some time is likely to look after it, which could mean less repair work for you to worry about. It also means you get to know one another and avoid misunderstandings or any messy confrontations down the line.

· If you’re one of  York’s landlords, you can take advantage of the high student population.

Finding decent accommodation is a major consideration for any student. Knowing they have a great house to come back to each year can make your property very attractive.

· Stress-free management. 

Quantum’s managed service can handle many of the messy tasks of being a landlord. Learn more about our managed service here.

How can I attract long-term tenants?

paintbrushes and paint can on newspaper

There are many different things you can do to make your property more attractive.

· Have a transparent contract. 

Make it very clear you’re interested in long-term tenancies, to filter out tenants looking for a shorter stay.

· Keep the property in good condition. 

Long-term tenants don’t want to face a lot of little problems when they move in. They want to start on the right foot in their property, so sort out any issues (like faulty sockets, patches of damp or broken lights) before you show the property!

This is especially important if you’re showing a property to families. Parents need to know their home is safe for children; that means they’ll be looking at garden gates, window catches and other potential hazards. Take a look at the house as a parent (or ask a parent you know) to anticipate any problems.

·  Make sure you’re offering the right property type. 

If you’re in a popular area for schools or students, an apartment will be less desirable than a family home. Conversely, if you’re in a city centre near a lot of offices, an apartment within easy reach of business will be very popular.

·  Bring some knowledge about the local area to the table. 

Hopefully your tenants will be with you for some time, and that means living in an area that meets their needs. Parents will want to know about schools, parks and other child-friendly areas, while students will need info on the nightlife and transport links. We’ve gathered some insight into school catchment areas for York and also have a student-focused living in York overview.

·  Be flexible about the property. 

Tastes change, and your tenants may want to redecorate the property down the line. This can go a long way to keeping a tenant in your property, so think carefully about allowing them to—within reason—spruce things up a bit.

· A property that allows pets is also a big draw.

Long-term tenants want to make roots and having a family pet is one of example of how this is done. Specifically saying that you’d allow pets in your property is a big draw for long-term tenants and with an open relationship with your tenant you can manage any minor property damage caused by pets – should these arise that is.

It can take some time to find the perfect tenant. However, long-term renting can bring huge rewards for both tenant and landlord. To help things go more smoothly, Quantum offers professional letting management in York:

–  We handle the monthly rent and send it directly to your account.

–  We’ll visit the property regularly, and discuss any maintenance issues with your tenants.

–  When your tenants leave, we’ll resolve any post-tenancy issues in a polite, professional manner.

It’s all the benefits of being a landlord in York without the stress of handling the responsibility solo. Visit our Managed Service page for more details.

Or if you’re curious about how our team of property experts can help you find long-term tenants feel free to call us on 01904 631 631 today.

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