Tenants are renting the same UK private rented sector property for longer as the rental property shortage

continues to limit choices.

Tenants are staying put in the same rental property for an average period of some 20 months, according to the latest research from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

The tenancy length figure is up year-on-year from an average of 19 months reported in the first quarter of 2012, indicating that tenants are beginning to take a longer-term view of renting property in the UK private rented sector (PRS).

ARLA’s data comes from 527 member offices and 56.9% of ARLA registered letting agents have reported greater demand from tenants looking for rental property than there are properties available.

There has also been a dramatic reduction in the number of lettings and property managing agents reporting an increase in suitable properties coming on to the market for rental purposes because they can’t be sold, with figures down to just 29% from 42% at the end of 2012. The result is a rental property shortgage across the UK.

ARLA’s Managing Director, Ian Potter, said: “Our data suggested that tenants are increasingly sitting tight in their property and either reluctant or unable to move. This stagnation means fewer and fewer properties are freed up. We know that many tenants renting with ARLA member agents are frustrated first-time buyers, so it will be interesting to see if the recently announced Government initiatives such as Help to Buy will impact upon these numbers.”

Read the full ARLA Buy-To-Let Review here

Tenants are becoming more selective about where they want to live and the lack of available rental property choice means that they are keen to be making the most of the facilities and quality of the accommodation they currently enjoy.

Landlords with longer term tenants are far more inclined to stay on top of property repair and maintenance issues and many are prepared to invest further in the quality of their rental property if it means that tenants stay longer.

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