A survey by Ocean Finance has revealed that over 60% of surveyed tenants admitted to not liking something about their home and nearly 32% said that they had ‘rushed’ into the tenancy and moving into their new home, as a result of the housing shortage.
Other complaints that the survey highlighted included the property being too small, too cold, in the wrong location with incompatible neighbours and even that the rent is too high.
When facing a shortage of rental properties, many tenants have been found to ‘make do’ with what seems like the best option, unfortunately causing regret in the long run.
Whilst these survey results seem negative, it does highlight a lot of the advantages of the rental market. Whilst it can seem terrible to have poor neighbours or a small house to live in, a rental tenancy in the current market averages 1 year, often with clauses to leave early or to vacate the property ahead of the tenancy end date when agreed with the landlord.
After this time tenants can choose not to renew, changing property with a better image in mind of what questions to ask agents/landlords and with an idea in mind of more desirable traits in their new home such as a garden or off road parking etc. This means tenants that suffer a negative experience in a rental home can keep in mind their past tenancies and work to avoid repeating those experiences.
Compare this to home buyers that enter a 5 year mortgage and suddenly discover that the neighbourhood is not what was advertised or that their property has a number of underlying issues. Unlike those in the rental market, these home owners are stuck in an expensive contract that can be financially impossible to leave, with a home that is problematic for much longer than a 1 year rental term.
While on the topic on tenancy duration, it is important to note that the Labour government in the upcoming election is promising to increase tenancy contracts to 3 years as an effort to ‘help’ the rental market and tenants. This could leave tenants stuck in properties with the problems we have mentioned before with no legal options to leave and get away from bad neighbours or low quality housing.
Here at Let-Leeds we feel that the strengths of flexible tenancy durations and the option to leave poor housing after a set period are strengths of the market. This obviously doesn’t address the issue of poor standards however, but landlords that cannot tie down good tenants for any period of time should review their properties and fix the issues that are causing problems in order to improve their rental home and renting experience.