UK private rental sector landlords are providing their tenants with stable long term tenancies as people shift away from home ownership toward more flexible forms of accommodation, according to research from the National Landlords Association (NLA).
The findings, from the NLA’s latest quarterly Landlord Panel, show that 54% of tenancies now last between two and three years, and that 32% last in excess of four years.
However, it’s not all good news. Despite the majority of tenants staying put for longer periods of time, some 49% of landlords surveyed have experienced rental arrears in the last 12 months and 37% are worried about instances of arrears in the months ahead.
The research also shows that the proportion of landlords who have added property to their portfolio has risen by 2% this quarter with 22% of landlords expecting to purchase additional property in the next 12 months.
However, investment to meet growing property demand seems to be problematic for some, with 31% of landlords unable to expand in the last three months due to difficulties accessing finance.
Other survey findings include the fact that 12% of tenancies last longer than five years and the average void period lasts for 69 days.
‘Longer tenancies and a lower turnover rate are both signs of much needed stability for both landlords and tenants in tough economic conditions. Private landlords are a key part of the investment mix required to meet the rising need for more flexible forms of housing at a time when demand for rented accommodation far outstrips supply,’ said David Salusbury, chairman of the NLA.
‘We recognise that the private rented sector is evolving and it now accounts for 17% of the UK’s housing stock. That’s why this year’s NLA National Conference seeks to educate landlords about their responsibilities, while focusing on the challenge of housing the changing needs of the population,’ he explained.
He added that the NLA National Conference 2012 will be held at Chesford Grange, Kenilworth, Warwickshire on Wednesday, 31st October.