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Renters opting for shorter tenancies

Date online: 07/12/2015

The results show that rented accommodation is becoming a more established flexible form of tenure, an attribute welcomed especially among younger workers. More than two-thirds (69%) of tenants aged between 18 and 24 said they would prefer a tenancy agreement either six months or a year, with 61% of 25-34 year olds saying the same.

The mobility that the rented sector allows is underlined by the reasons why people move, with the largest cohort of tenants who have lived in more than one privately rented home identifying the desire to upgrade (30%) to a larger or nicer property as the reason for their last move.

Whilst the rental market remains highly cost sensitive, affordability now ranks 5th as a concern amongst renters compared to 1st in last year’s survey, revealing more positive sentiment linked to rising salaries and the general economic recovery.

The survey, conducted with YouGov, also revealed that:

- More than half (52%) of tenants said living close to work or their place of study is a key priority

- 30% of respondents said their main reason for moving was to upgrade to larger or nicer  accommodation, emphasising the flexibility of the sector

- More than a third (38%) of tenants have lived in five or more rental properties. While the many respondents had moved within a mile of their previous property (23%),  around a fifth (19%) had moved more than 60 miles, indicating a relocation for work or study, highlighting the flexibility of PRS as a tenure

- The majority of tenants across the country (28%) said they would be prepared to pay between up to 30% of their gross income on rent, although in London, nearly a third of under-25s (31%) are prepared to pay up to  50% of their income on rent

- A quarter of those living in the private rented sector live alone, while 34% live in a couple without children. Some 43% of 18-24 years olds share with other adults in a ‘flat-share’

Grainne Gilmore, Head of UK Residential Research, said: “The Tenant Survey shows us that priorities for tenants when choosing a property include proximity to their place of work or study, how easily they can reach transport links and how affordable the property is. Tenants are mobile, owing to the flexibility offered by renting as a tenure, and while the motivations for moving vary, the largest cohort of respondees identified the wish to ‘upgrade’ to a bigger or nicer property as their key motivation for moving into their current rented property.”

Tim Hyatt, Head of Lettings at Knight Frank, said: “The face of the Private Rented Sector is changing rapidly amid increasing large-scale investment.  Already a dominant form of tenure in the UK, it is also becoming an established asset class, and we believe that Knight Frank’s market-leading Tenant Survey provides key insights into the market, addressing the fundamental questions for investors seeking to bring to market a Build-to-Rent development which perfectly meets tenant requirements.”

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