A new study by the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) has blown a hole in the argument for longer-term tenancies. Five-year tenancies were promised by several political parties in the run-up to the general election, and campaigned for by homelessness charity Shelter.
The DPS sent out a survey to the tenants whose deposits they protect, and 39,855 responded. Eight out of ten said they preferred agreements of 12 months or less, and 89.83% preferred the agreement to last no more than two years.
Just over a third (34.6%) said that they would rather not be locked into a contract for any longer than six months.
Almost seven out of ten (69.88%) preferred to have a rolling contract of one or two months’ notice at the end of their tenancy. Renewing with a new fixed-term contract was preferred by only 28.05%.
Many of the participants left comments about not wanting to be tied to a property, valuing flexibility over security.
Julian Foster, Managing Director at The DPS, said: “This comprehensive survey suggests that the idea that tenants crave longer tenancies is a myth.
“Like landlords, many tenants prefer the flexibility provided by shorter tenancy agreements rather than being locked into long commitments over where they live and who they rent from.
“Tenancy agreements are vital ingredients in establishing happy tenancies for both landlords and tenants, and it’s critical that they reflect the needs of both parties.”