Anna Bibby, 10 December 2020
The UK has often been portrayed as a nation of homeowners, but could this be changing? A recent survey has found that more tenants than ever are satisfied with renting their property and are happy with their living situation.
The lender Paragon Bank ran a report on UK tenants that looked into the habits and sentiments of 2000 tenants across the UK. In the survey, over half of the respondents said that they enjoyed renting their homes and that renting is more suitable for their current situation. The top three reasons they gave included that they didn’t have to worry about repairs (48 per cent), the flexibility to move home easily (35 per cent) and they liked the area that they were living in (32 per cent).
An overwhelming 68 per cent of tenants said that they had a good working relationship with their landlord. The majority found communicating with their landlord very easy, with 80 per cent of respondents saying that they found their landlords easy to get hold of. The majority of tenants were also satisfied with how maintenance issues were managed in their property - 65 per cent of respondents said that repairs are made promptly and 58 per cent said that the repairs were done to a high standard.
It’s no secret that the UK is a nation of aspiring homeowners and this is particularly evident in Paragon’s survey - 75 per cent of respondents said that they would like to own a property at some point in the future. However, this figure starts to diminish as we go further up the age categories. Out of all the age groups surveyed, tenants aged 25 to 34 aspired the most to become homeowners. At the other end of the scale, only 34% of tenants aged 65 and above wanted to own their own property at some point. This was also the age group that were the most likely to rent because they didn’t want the responsibility of owning their own property.
The results in this survey must be very encouraging for landlords, but how can they make sure that their relationship with their tenants continue to stay on a positive note? If the results of this survey are anything to go by, tenants appreciate landlords who are approachable and can communicate well. Make sure that you create a clear line of contact between you and your tenant so they feel comfortable enough to let you know of any issues with the property or any concerns that they may have. Not only will this improve your relationship with your tenants, but it will also eliminate any issues turning into larger ones further down the line.
It is also important for landlords to be reliable. Your property is your tenants’ home as well as being your asset, so it’s always essential to take your tenant’s requests seriously and resolve them in a timely manner and with care. If you find yourself in a position where you’re not able to do this, it might be worth your while to enlist the help of a lettings agency who can work on your behalf.
Finally, it’s important for landlords to be understanding. Approaching sensitive situations such as rent increases, arrears or property inspections needs to be handled in a delicate and empathetic way. Your tenants might be in a difficult situation themselves and are more likely to be cooperative with you if you are polite and approachable.
Tenants rely on landlords to provide homes, but landlords equally rely on tenants to provide income for them, so it’s very important that both parties have a strong and honest relationship with each other. An increasing number of tenants are choosing to stay within the private rented sector, so it’s important that they can make their rented property feel like a home.
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Anna Bibby, 10 December 2020