Long Live The Tenant!
Mollie Swallow boasts modestly about how Lurot Brand keep tenants for a very long time and how this makes for happy landlords.
At Lurot Brand, we pride ourselves on several things – our quality of service, our database of mews-only applicants and our strength of dealing with mews related property issues to name but a few. However, perhaps one of our most impressive claims for lettings and one of our proudest boasts is our longevity of tenancy. Before joining Lurot Brand four years ago, I was an agent specialising in Prime Central London for 12 years. Typically, agencies find a tenant for six, 12, perhaps 24 months max at a push, imagine my surprise and delight to discover that here our current average tenancy is over five years.
Historically, it had been 7.5 years but after 2020, the arrival of Covid-19 and exodus from the city, we have seen it level out to five years. Many tenants are happily locking themselves into three-year contracts, with options to renew and the desire to stay much longer. Many benefits can be gained from this stability:
1. NO VOIDS
The biggest loss of rent for a landlord is a void period, something to be avoided at all costs. The average void period in London is 20 days (almost three weeks). If you are letting your property every year with an average three-week void period between tenancies, over a five-year period based on a rental of £1,000per week, this is a 17.3% loss of rent during this time.
2. REMEDIAL WORKS BETWEEN TENANCIES
Whilst both landlords and tenants have inventories and check outs in place to pay for works at the end of a tenancy, the landlords often end up forking out a substantial amount to cover fair wear and tear. If you have a new tenant every year, this can quickly add up. Industry wisdom says that typically a landlord should spend 1% of the value of the property on works after every tenancy. Doing this annually racks up further costs and impacts on the overall profitability of the let.
3. A BETTER RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LANDLORD & TENANT
Having what feels like a stranger move into one of your most valuable assets can be very daunting. In spite of our stringent reference checks and our ability as managing agents to take away some of the pain of a demanding tenant, it takes a while for a landlord and tenant to become acquainted and for a bond of trust to form. Having a long-term tenancy takes this away completely. In fact, some of our landlords and tenants have great relationships, having formed long lasting friendships.
4. LESS RISK OF AN UNDESIRABLE TENANT
No matter how thorough an agent’s due diligence can be, some crafty scammers do manage to slip through the net. By entering into long term tenancies, you massively decrease the risk of one of these undesirables moving into your home, and costing you time, money and a lot of stress.
5. LONG TERM TENANTS TREAT THEIR RENTALS WITH MORE CARE
It goes without saying that a long-term tenant is bound to treat the property that they are renting with much more care than someone who lives there for only a year or two. The house becomes very much their own and you will probably find that they are happy to take on some of the practical tasks themselves, having consulted with their landlord in advance.
6. RENT PAYMENT ISSUES
As we know life can be unpredictable. If a tenant has been residing at a property for a long time and runs into some unexpected financial issues, the longer the relationship with the landlord the much more likely they are to be upfront and honest about the situation before missing rental payments. They will feel better being able to let you know if they are struggling. You can tackle the issue before it becomes a serious problem, perhaps by putting a payment plan in place until they find their feet and catch up again.
Long tenancies provide security, peace of mind and save a landlord money. And lastly, we should mention that some might consider long contracts as a bonus sparing the need to be in contact with an estate agent every year; although we’d like to think dealing with Lurot Brand is always a joy and never a chore.