Tenants are spending more time in rental properties, highlighting importance of PRS landlords

The latest research by Zero Deposit, the tenancy deposit alternative, has revealed that while home owners are upping sticks and moving more often, the time spent in rental properties by PRS tenants has increased by 12% over the last decade, highlighting the important role landlords play in today’s property market.

Zero Deposit analysed the latest figures from Gov UK English Housing Survey looking at the number of years spent in a property for each segment of the market and how these lifestyle trends have changed over the years.

The analysis shows that when it comes to home owners, we’re moving more, spending an average of 9.2 years in a property (mortgage buyers). This is the second lowest amount of time spent in the last 10 years with the exception of the 2020-21 pandemic year (8.7) and some way below the average of 9.9 years seen over the last decade.

What’s more, it marks a 13.9% reduction versus a decade ago, with homeowners remaining in their properties for 1.5 fewer years today versus 2012-13.

However, when it comes to tenants in the private rental sector the opposite trend has emerged over the last 10 years.

The average PRS tenant currently spends 4.3 years in their rental home. While this has reduced slightly on an annual basis, down from 4.4 years, it sits 12.1% higher than a decade ago when tenants rented for an average of 3.8 years.

It also sits higher than the average of 4.1 years seen over the last decade as a whole, highlighting the importance of the private rental sector when it comes to providing long-term accommodation for those who haven’t made the transition to home ownership.

Sam Reynolds, CEO of Zero Deposit commented:

“Over the last ten years, tenants have grown increasingly reliant on the private rental sector due to the high cost of home ownership and we’ve also seen renting as a lifestyle choice result in tenants staying put for longer.

It’s also fair to say that, with renting itself becoming more expensive, many tenants would rather stay put once they’ve secured a rental property, rather than foot the costs of moving while their original deposit is still being held by their previous letting agent.

While the build to rent sector has looked to provide a solution to the requirement for longer term tenancies, it’s PRS landlords who are vital to the sector and are still shouldering the majority of the weight when it comes to the provision of these properties.

With the Renters Reform Bill also set to provide further security to tenants with respect to tenancy lengths and eviction powers, it’s likely that the time spent in the same rental property will continue to increase over the coming years.

This highlights just how vitally important landlords are when it comes to the rental market echo system and why we must encourage investment into the sector, not deter it.

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