New figures from the Association of Residential Lettings Agent (ARLA) show that tenants are staying put in the same property for record durations in the UK.
In 2009, ARLA members recorded the average length of a tenancy across the UK as 16.5 months but this number has increased by 17% as the latest research shows renters are now spending on average 19.3 months in their homes.
‘Possibly as a reaction to tough financial times, tenants seem to be spend longer in their rented properties and the average tenancy is in excess of 19 months,’ said Ian Potter, operations manager at ARLA.
Responding to these new figures, ARLA is calling for both tenants and landlords to remember the benefits of creating a comprehensive inventory at the beginning of each new letting contract.
‘This increase in the length of tenancies will inevitably lead to greater wear and tear in rented accommodation and fewer opportunities for down time between tenancies for landlords to make improvements. Landlords and tenants alike should remember that disputes over deposit returns can be one of the biggest headaches facing both parties, but these can be easily avoided if a professional inventory is prepared,’ he explained.
‘Renters should ensure that a thorough inventory details not only the contents within the property, but the condition of them as well as the condition of the property itself. This should include fixtures and fittings such as carpets, curtains and light fittings,’ he added.
He also pointed out that a licensed letting agent will offer tenants the best advice on inventories, including checking if an inventory exists or if any extra charges are invoked by drawing up a new document.
‘Landlords and tenants often share the costs involved in preparing the inventory; these costs should be seen as a necessary investment that helps protect them both, but should be made clear at the outset of any agreement,’ said Potter.
ARLA advises tenants moving into a new rented property to use a member of the Association of Professional Inventory Providers (APIP) as they provide a recognised standard of inventory provision, advice and guidance.
Letting agents who are members APIP have been through a training process and have passed an assessment to demonstrate their abilities in drawing up an inventory and conducting the check in and check out. In addition the fully qualified member of APIP will have their name and membership number included in the inventory.