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Tenants are staying longer and their rental requirements are changing, according to new research from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
The average length of tenancy in the UK has now increased to a record high of 20 months*. The increase has been attributed to the strong competition for new properties – 58% of ARLA member offices state that there are more tenants than properties available, an increase of two percent on the previous quarter.
Ian Potter, ARLA Managing Director, said, “The PRS is clearly picking the slack resulting from a flat housing market and the ongoing lack of mortgage finance. As tenants stay in properties for longer, the importance of regulation in the sector becomes even more pressing.”
The type of tenant seen by letting agents is also changing; 55% of new tenants are couples or young families who are struggling to purchase their first home. When asked, ARLA members said that ‘frustrated first time buyers’ were the most common group of renter they were encountering, ahead of those who prefer renting; those who have sold an existing property to rent; and those who have had their homes repossessed.
Mr Potter added, “Renting offers significant flexibility, which can be vital for working professionals who need to move in order to find employment. However, with an increasing number of families with younger children also looking to rent, having a secure and stable home environment has never been more important.
“For this reason, I would urge tenants to use a licensed ARLA member. The lettings industry is unregulated and renters must be confident that they are receiving the best possible service. All ARLA licensed agents must adhere to a strict code of conduct, as well as offering client money protection and redress schemes, which protect all parties if things go wrong.”
*The data from the ARLA Members’ Survey of the Private Rented Sector, covering Q2 2012, was drawn from 542 member offices. Together with the ARLA Survey of Residential Investment Landlords, June 2012 – conducted among 1134 landlords – the report forms the ARLA Review and Index. All surveys and statistics can be downloaded from http://www.arla.co.uk/
The Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) was formed in 1981 as the professional and regulatory body for letting agents in the UK. Today ARLA is recognised by government, local authorities, consumer interest groups and the media as the leading professional body in the private rented sector. ARLA is a sister organisation to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).
In May 2009 ARLA became the first body in the letting and property management industry to introduce a licensing scheme for all members to promote the highest standards of practice in this important and growing sector of the property market. Both ARLA and NAEA members are governed by Codes of Practice providing a framework of ethical and professional standards at a level far higher than the law demands, and both Associations have their own complaints and disciplinary procedures so that any dispute is dealt with efficiently and fairly.
Members regulated by ARLA and NAEA, can as a member benefit, advertise their property for sale or to rent on the PropertyLive portal www.propertylive.co.uk
For further information contact:
Tel: 020 3128 8181
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