A home for just 18 months A home for just 18 months

A home for just 18 months

Direct Line for Business Research shows British renters spend an average of 18 months in a property before moving on.

  • On average, tenants get the moving itch after 18 months
  • One in 11 tenants vacate a property before the end of their tenancy agreement
  • Aberdeen has the highest rate of turnover when it comes to tenants walking out on a contract
  • The average landlord spends 22 days filling a property with new tenants 

London, 13 May 2016: British renters spend an average of 18 months1 in a rented property before moving on, according to new research by landlord insurance provider Direct Line for Business.

Birmingham has the lowest tenant turnover, with renters staying an average of two years and four months in the same property. Cardiff on the other hand, has the highest turnover, with the average property being vacated less than a year after being filled. Leeds (12 months) and Bristol (14 months) also have a high turnover of tenants, which could prove problematic for local landlords.

The analysis also looked at the average time it takes to fill a vacated property revealing that on average, it takes a landlord 22 days to find a new tenant. This could result in an average loss of £547 in uncollected rent2. When calculating the yield for a property, landlords need to take into account this void period and ensure they have sufficient resources to meet any mortgage, ground rent or other charges.

Vacant properties in Birmingham are filled the quickest, with a landlord finding a tenant in just 11 days. However, in Liverpool and Aberdeen landlords struggle the most to fill their properties, taking an average of 33 days, to find a suitable candidate. Direct Line for Business’s analysis estimates that this gap in rent could cost landlords as much as £761 in Liverpool and £913 in Aberdeen.

Even with such a competitive rental market in London, letting agents in the capital claim that it takes just under three weeks (20 days) on average to fill a property. With average monthly rents in central London surpassing £2,000 this could amount to a loss of £1,869 in income.

Table One: Average tenure of private tenants in rented properties across the UK

City

Average length of time a tenant remains in a property (months)

Percentage of renters who vacate a property before the end of their tenancy

Cardiff

11 months

5%

Leeds

1 year

13%

Bristol

1 year, 2 months

11%

Bradford

1 year, 3 months

5%

Aberdeen

1 year, 4 months

19%

Manchester

1 year, 4 months

7%

Sheffield

1 year, 7 months

13%

Liverpool

1 year, 7 months

6%

Edinburgh

1 year, 7 months

5%

Leicester

1 year, 8 months

4%

London

1 year, 9 months

9%

Birmingham

2 years, 4 months

10%

United Kingdom

1 year, 6 months

9%

The research also found that landlords can’t always rely on occupants remaining in a property for the duration of their tenancy agreement, with one in 11 (nine per cent) moving out early. The highest rate of tenancy turnover is north of the border in Aberdeen where a fifth (19 per cent) of tenants leave a property before the end of the tenancy agreement with Leeds and Sheffield both close behind at 13 per cent.

Nick Breton, head of Direct Line for Business, said: “This research highlights the pressure landlords are under to replace outgoing tenants in their properties. Vacant properties are obviously a worry for landlords but it's vitally important that they take into account void periods when calculating the affordability of owning a rental property.

“Staying on top of the on-going changes within the industry can be time-consuming and a battle for landlords and we fully appreciate the challenges they face when it comes to managing their rental properties. To help alleviate some of the stress, we have developed the Mobile Landlord app which can manage up to five properties. The app can track income, calculate yields, set handy reminders such as when a tenancy agreement may be coming to an end and also keep landlords up-to-date with any new changes in the market through its Knowledge Centre.”

Table Two: Time taken for landlords to fill vacant properties and potential losses in rental income

City

Number of days to fill a vacant property

Estimated loss in income due to uncollected rent during this time

Aberdeen

33

£913

Liverpool

33

£761

Sheffield

31

£713

Manchester

29

£844

Leeds

25

£806

Bradford

23

£351

London

20

£1,869

Leicester

16

£388

Bristol

15

£458

Edinburgh

15

£712

Cardiff

14

£465

Birmingham

11

£261

United Kingdom

22

£547

Top tips for landlords wanting to keep their tenants for the duration of their agreement

  • Be fair: The rental market is always shifting, so it’s worth keeping an eye on how competitive your rent is compared to the local market. The cost of rent is one of the biggest factors when it comes to influencing renters so making sure your tenants feel like they are paying a fair price will go a long way to ensuring they don’t look elsewhere
  • Be flexible: Assuming that you trust your current tenants in the property, it is always worth being flexible on certain elements of the rental contract. It is important for occupants to make their house feel like a home, so if this involves decorating or minor DIY – or even getting a pet – it is worth being open to requests and discussing them with tenants to make sure everyone stays happy
  • Be approachable: As a landlord, it is your responsibility to keep the property in decent condition for your occupants, and it is important for tenants to feel that they can reach you when they need to. By maintaining contact and being approachable, this could easily prevent small problems becoming big problems
  • Be helpful: As well as responding to requests, it can be hugely beneficial in the long run to make the first move – especially when a tenant moves in. Furthermore, if you know that for example a washing machine is getting old, it will only improve your relationship with your tenants if you replace it before it breaks down. This can also make your life a lot easier!

The Direct Line for Business Mobile Landlord app is free to download and available for both iOS and Android.

Notes to editors

1 Telephone research conducted between 13th and 27th April 2016 amongst 122 letting agents across the UK. Data for each city comes from a sample of at least 10 letting agents.

2 Loss in rental yield calculated by dividing the average rent in each city by the number of days a property is vacant. City-specific average rental values taken from home.co.uk and average UK rent taken from the HomeLet Rental Index for March 2016.

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Antonia Green
Tel: 020 7282 2967
Email: antonia.green@citigatedr.co.uk

Direct Line Group
Jade Trimbee
PR Manager
Tel: 01372 839 452
Mobile: 07825 315 931
Email: jade.trimbee@directlinegroup.co.uk

Direct Line for Business

Launched in 2007 Direct Line for Business provides a range of insurance products for the small business sector direct by phone or online.

Direct Line for Business insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line for Business and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line for Business products or get a quote by calling 0345 301 4827 or visiting www.directlineforbusiness.co.uk

Landlord Insurance Press Release

ADDED: 13th May 2016