We’re frequently presented with figures for average rental prices and average yields, but it’s not that often we’re told how long the average tenant stays in a rental property.
It’s therefore interesting to take a look at a study recently carried out by a major insurer which focuses on just that.
According to the study, which compiled data from over 100 letting agents across the UK, the average tenant spends 18 months in a rental property before moving.
The study also picked out locations, with Cardiff having the shortest average tenancy, and Birmingham the longest.
In Scotland, the average tenancy in Edinburgh is 19 months, and in Aberdeen the average figure is 16 months.
The study also looked at void periods – the time in which a property is empty between tenancies.
It found that the average landlord – or their letting agent – takes 22 days to fill a vacant property.
In Aberdeen, this figure jumps to 33 days, while in Edinburgh it is below the national average at 15 days.
A vacant property results in a dip in rental income and the study found that the average landlord loses out on £547 of uncollected rent between tenancies.
Interestingly, and fortunately for Letting Solutions, these figures are far from our experience, especially in West Lothian. Time-to-let for us is measured in days rather than weeks. For example over the course of a recent week, we found tenants for six properties in a day or less.
It’s also important to remember that void periods must be taken into account when calculating a yield.
As experienced landlords will already know, not all tenants remain in a rental property for the duration of their contract.
In fact, the study found that around 9% of tenants move out early in the UK, with the figure particularly high in Aberdeen at 19%.
For the majority of landlords, housing long-term, reliable tenants is the aim. This scenario often means landlords spend less time worrying about their investment, and benefit from fewer and shorter void periods.
Of course, if tenants want to move, they will move. But if landlords make sure they are fair, flexible and unobtrusive they can increase their chances of retaining tenants for the duration of their contract.
For further advice on letting property, get in touch with Letting Solutions on: 0845 520 1420.
If you’re thinking about letting your property, you can find out how much rental income you could generate using our instant valuation tool.
Author – Brian Callaghan