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London property market blog


/ by Penny Guest

Tenancy lengths increase as landlords and tenants attempt to lock in for longer

The lettings market in London is currently experiencing a huge amount of growth, with available properties approximately doubling compared to the same time last year. We’re noticing rises, particularly in areas that were once less popular, and this ‘overspill’ is becoming increasingly prevalent as the traditional ‘core’ rental areas become too expensive for many tenants.

As rents continue upwards it is no surprise to see tenants requesting longer and longer tenancies. Traditionally in the lettings market it has only been corporate tenants who offered landlords any form of long term commitment, ie, longer tenancies with built in rent reviews.

So called corporate lets were once held as the holy grail for landlords looking to let and forget, not having to worry about finding tenants every year. However in the current market we are increasingly finding that private individuals are intent on locking into multi-year tenancies. And many more tenants are now offering the sort of commitment previously only available from the corporates.

As a result, pre-agreed rent increases are often built into the tenancy agreement to ensure that the rent keeps pace with the rising market and also in line with the tenant’s budget. Alternativley, a prearranged flat rental amount, usually spanning the length of the tenancy, can be implemented. These clauses ultimately ensure greater security and peace of mind and while this trend is more often seen as an advantage to tenants, it is also gaining popularity among landlords who are keen to avoid costly vacant periods where their property could remain un-let.

We're finding that more of our landlords are eager to let their properties for 24 months or more, often however with the option to include a 12 month break clause . This ensures either party is able to end the tenancy period earlier if needs be and circumstances change. These days, it is very rare that we receive a request for a 6 month lease from a tenant with the minimum usually being 12 months.

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