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Longer tenancies make inventories and inspections vital - claim

The UK’s largest provider of inventory services says rising tenancy lengths make a combination of inventories and regular inspections more valuable than ever.

No Letting Go cites the latest English Housing Survey findings that private renters live in their home for 4.3 years on average – up from 3.9 years as recently as 2017. 

The EHS found the average length of residence increasing with age, from a mean of 1.3 years for private renters aged 16 to 24, up to 5.7 years for those aged 45 to 64 and a much larger 17.5 years for private renters aged 75 and over. 


While the time in current accommodation was relatively short, time in tenure appeared longer, according to the EHS, suggesting that private renters were moving home within the private rented sector.  

It found that most private renters had rented from private landlords for a continuous period of three years or more. In total, 18 per cent had been private renters for three to four years, 24 per cent for five to nine years, and 30 per cent for 10 years or more.

“The trend has been this way for quite some time, with the average tenancy length slowly rising over the years. This isn’t surprising given the growth of the private rented sector among all ages in recent times, now accounting for 19 per cent of all households in England” explains Nick Lyons, founder of No Letting Go. 


He continues: “While this is undoubtedly good news for landlords and letting agents, in terms of more tenancies, more rental income and more growth for all involved, longer tenancies also potentially increase the problems surrounding maintenance, repairs and wear and tear, which could in turn increase the number of issues at check-out. 

“Rather than longer tenancies making inventories less vital, they actually make them more so to increase transparency, create a solid evidence trail and keep issues to a minimum if a tenant decides to move out for whatever reason.” 

And he concludes: “No-one doubts that longer tenancies are better in terms of stability, peace of mind and comfort for landlords and tenants, as well as longer management contracts for agents – but it shouldn’t be a time to get complacent or to take tenancies for granted. Because long tenancies have a longer gap between the start and end, for obvious reasons, the need for the check-in report to be as thorough as possible is actually much greater.” 

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    The increasing length of tenancies makes the Govt's timescales for introducing EPC C even more laughable. Much of the improvement required in an older property - floor insulation, internal wall insulation - is very intrusive and needs to be done without tenants in situ. With tenants staying longer the opportunities to do this sort of work are few and far between and the Govt's target dates of 2026 / 8 are unrealistic.


    Renting is a professional activity and as such, it carries costs. If your properties are not up to scratch with current regulations, sort them out. If that means paying for your tenants to locate elsewhere while the work is done, pick up the tab and get on with it. Alternatively wait until they go and then get it done. Either way stop whinging. Right now, renting for most landlords is the closest thing there is to free money.


    Of course it carry's cost Echis and costs for any business are always passed onto the end user, I spent June and July repairing and improving a property, on completion it was re let for £150 per month more, I am presently doing the same to another property and I fully expect another increase of £150 - £200 per month when re let, I work very hard doing this work myself, it's not free money and I've never worked for peanuts, why should I ?


    Andrew, fair point but market rules apply. If your properties can get an extra £150 per month, that is down to what the market will take. When it comes to remediation, it may take a few years to get the money back. Tricia is implying she has problems on this score, but she has to take the hit and look at this long term. Dumping tenants to resolve cash issues is not the way to do it. There is a professional aspect to this and tenants have lives. There are ups and downs to letting for everyone.


    Echis I agree tenants do have lives and none of us want to dump good tenants but at the same time we are not charities, any dumping of tenants will be caused by the government

  • Trevor Cooper

    Me thinks he is just trying to build up business. No harm in that, but modern-day tenants live transitory lives, never committing for more than 12 months. I'm old enough to remember tenants in the same houses for 20 years or more.

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    Inspections are so important they should be done by the landlord to build up a rapport with the tenant and nip issues in the bud. I don't believe a third party will do either as well as I do.

    I'm not at all bothered about a couple of broken glasses or even an oven that's so dirty it needs replacing so an accurate inventory is not essential and I have never charged for damaged or missing items.

    I'm really only concerned about reducing the gap between tenants which means ensuring that the property can be quickly turned around to avoid loss of rent and I am usually successful in this.

    I very occasionally use a letting agent to ensure that I am still charging as high a rent as the market will bear but I have never paid anyone to deal with the inventory or routine inspections.


    "Inspections are so important they should be done by the landlord to build up a rapport with the tenant and nip issues in the bud. I don't believe a third party will do either as well as I do."

    Rapport is built up between two reasonable parties. Professional landlords have the skills to build up rapport and also deal with bad tenants. Tenants are not equipped to deal with bad landlords. In the latter case, letting agents sit in the middle and make money playing off both sides. In short I agree with you. The market needs more professional landlords and fewer letting agents. A good tenant does not need or welcome inspections. If there is a problem, they will say so.

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    on the contrary, longer tenancy equates to less of a need for an inventory, after 6 years a tenant stays, then DPS gives nothing to the landlord even if its malicious damage as its past its life expectancy. furniture, deco etc. the place can be trashed and Dps will not award u anything, Iv been there.


    So something has to be added to the rent to compensate

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    I agree with Pet Pro but for different reasons. I do not take deposits on principle and made a decision that doing Inventories was on balance not cost effective and nothing has changed my mind regarding taking inventories. The only problem I encounter with not taking inventories is that it is now requirement of some Councils licence conditions. I do not think the councils have thought this matter through.

    The kind of tenants I deal with would not pay the last month's rent and enforcing against tenants who have left is nigh on Impossible.

    Pet Pro's experience only adds another reason not to bother with inspections.

    Jim Haliburton
    The HMO Daddy

  • George Dawes

    Every checkout I’ve done and attempted a claim has been a pointless affair , from now on I just demand plenty of rent up front as a safety cushion.

    One tenant years ago decided to paint all the oak and pine doors without permission, that was a total nightmare


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