The majority of Brits are at home with renting, and landlords are confident despite Help to Buy.

By Mark Long

Rising rents and rising property prices are causing more landlords to see the Buy to Let market as an area for expansion. Tenants are also becoming increasingly acclimatised to the situation. A study from BDRC and Allsop LLP revealed that 91% now see their rented property as their ‘home’ rather than temporary accommodation. But concerns still remain over security and an early end to their tenancies.

Three quarters of tenants have been renting privately for over four years, two fifths of those were living in the same property for the entire period. Retired tenants and families stayed in rented properties the longest at an average of three and 2.8 years respectively. Nevertheless, almost half of those who rented worried that a landlord might abruptly terminate their tenancy. The study seemed to show that they have little to be concerned about – almost all the landlords surveyed saw their private rental investments as long term options, and 23% intended to expand their portfolio.

The Government’s Help to Buy scheme has done little to deter landlords from the private rental sector or tenants from renting – the survey reported that only 7% of landlords are planning to sell their property in the next 12 months. Similarly, the study also concluded that 39% of tenants plan to continue to rent while only 27% intend to buy a home. The opinion of landlords about the sector was largely positive, with two thirds saying that their expectations for their letting business over the next three months were either good or very good, almost as many as at the pre-recession level recorded in Q3 2007.

Renting has become as established and commonplace as owning in today’s property market. Tenants increasingly have to adjust and to see their rented properties as more than a stop-gap towards owning their own home. While there may still be concerns and the Government may continue to encourage buying over renting, the situation looks unlikely to change any time soon and landlords can feel secure knowing that their rental properties remain a valuable investment or source of income.

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