Majority of Scots are happy to rent a property, research reveals

Over 70% of Scots are happy to rent a property, according to new research, with many opting to live in the private rented sector for lifestyle reasons and the added flexibility it provides.

A survey, carried out by GVA and PRSim, found that renting isn’t merely a ‘necessary evil’ while saving for a home – as popular wisdom would have it – but a large majority of Scottish tenants are content living in rented accommodation. What’s more, 82% said renting a property best suits their current life circumstances.

This ties in with an increasing demand for privately rented property, especially among those aged 16-34 – the group often referred to as millennials or Generation Y. The most recent Scottish Housing Survey found that there has been a dramatic rise in the number of 16-34 year olds privately renting, up from just 16% in 1999 to 40% in 2016. This sharp increase has been caused by a number of factors, including the difficulty young buyers have in getting a foot on the property ladder thanks to high prices/deposits, the slowdown in real wage growth since the global financial crisis took hold in 2008 and the changing attitudes and outlooks of young people in Scotland.

Letting Solutions October 2017 Blog 2

Although the shortage of housing remains a barrier for those who want to buy, there are many who are perfectly happy to rent for the long-term. It’s not seen as a short-term stopgap while they save for a home, it’s viewed as something more lasting and stable.

While it’s true that many people in the 20-34 age bracket have ambitions to own a home, this demographic – often known as Generation Rent – aren’t averse to long-term renting too, with a third of people looking for tenancies of three years or more.

With affordability issues and a lack of housing stock representing substantial challenges for aspiring homeowners, the appeal of long-term renting is obvious – offering people better flexibility and affordability. As the above research states, nearly three quarters of Scots are happy to rent a property and one-third are eager for tenancy agreements of at least three years, which means landlords have plenty of would-be tenants to target their rental properties towards.

Promisingly for landlords who let property in towns and cities, research suggests that the proportion of 20-34 year olds residing in urban areas is predicted to rise significantly in the coming years, while the number of one-person households is anticipated to increase by 31% by 2039.

The majority of renters in this age bracket – and others – are likely to prefer medium to long-term tenancies, offering them some security and stability over time. If you are aiming your property towards families or even retirees, this desire is likely to be the same. Long-term renters are good news for landlords, guaranteeing a steady stream of rental income and a better chance of achieving strong rental yields.

As such, it’s advisable to do all within your power to secure good tenants on long-term contracts. This will be beneficial to both you and them. Tenants will be keen to make a house a home and place down roots in a community, something that is far more likely if they have security of tenure and a good relationship with their landlords.

To secure the right tenants in the first place and build a friendly, mutually beneficial relationship with them, you need an experienced letting agent in your corner to help you on your way. Whether you’re a first-time landlord or a seasoned investor, here at Letting Solutions we can ensure that your rental homes are kept in tip-top condition and that your tenants are kept happy throughout their contract.

As West Lothian’s first dedicated lettings agency, we have the skills and knowledge to ensure you get the best possible gains from your rental property in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

We help you at every stage of the rental process – from marketing the property and vetting tenants to preparing inventories, carrying out repairs, collecting rental payments and overseeing the end of a tenancy.

As a landlord, you need to pounce on the increased demand for rental property in Scotland before others do. Not having to worry about the management of your homes will help you with that.

To find out more about what we can do for you, please get in touch with us on 01506 425693.

We also provide free and instant online valuations to give you a good idea of how much your property could be worth in the current marketplace.