This week I was asked an interesting question by a local landlord who, after reading M9 Property News Online and watching our episode of Britain’s Benefit Tenants, emailed me and asked me – “Do you think North Manchester Landlords are meeting the challenges of tenanted families?”
This was an interesting question and brought me back to something my lettings manager Joe recently said when he appeared on Channel 4. We were handling a particularly challenging eviction, of a lady with a family. The landlord was self managing and had found their own tenant, 6 months into the tenancy the landlord had decided to evict the tenant as they had only received 1 months worth of rental payment for the entire period.
The below video gives Joe’s thoughts on evicting benefits tenants:
Regardless of whether you’re a tenant or a homeowner, to be able to successfully bring up a family, the most important factors are security and stability. A huge factor of that security and stability in a rented property is whether the family is constantly moving. Nowadays standard tenancies last just six months with families at risk of being thrown out after that with just two months’ notice .
There is much debate on how to tackle this, one school of thought says we need to deal with the terrible insecurity of Britain’s private rental market by creating longer tenancies of 3 or 5 years instead of the current six months.
However, the numbers and my experience seem to be telling a different story. The average length of residence in private rental homes has risen in the last 5 years from 3.7 years to 4 years (a growth of 8.1%), which in turn has directly affected the number of renters who have children. In fact, the proportion of private rented property that have dependent children in them, has gone from 29.1% in 2003 to 37.4% today.
So although the average AST is now only 6 months rather than the 12 months of yesteryear, what I have found is that good tenants are becoming more likely to stay in a property longer and reap the benefits of the stability and security that this brings. The landlords I deal with are not in the habit of evicting tenants without good reason, as there is an element of financial risk and an additional cost to flip the property ready for the next tenant and then the administration costs and time. Good landlords keep good tenants, and good tenants not only stay put, but they pay their rent and look after the property in which they live.
Again back to the figures, looking specifically at North Manchester and the properties that I manage compared to the National figures, of the 7810 homes in Harpurhey, 2,580 of these have dependent children in them (or 33%), which is interestingly below the National average of 37.4%.
Even more fascinating are the other occupancy figures
· 39.3% of Harpurhey homes have only one person living in them
· 26.8% of homes in Harpurhey have a couple with no children
· 60.8% of families in harpurhey are single parent families
I would love to get my hands on some statistics that accurately break down the length of tenure per type of occupancy. In my experience I find that the families and especially the single parent families are the least likely to move around frequently, followed by the single people and the most mobile tenants are the childless couples in Harpurhey.
This further cements that landlords do not spend their time seeking opportunities to evict a tenant as the average length of tenancy has steadily increased. This noteworthy 8.1% increase in the average length of time tenants stay in a private rented property over the last 5 years, shows tenants are happy to stay longer and start families.
So, as landlords are already meeting tenants’ wants and needs when it comes to the length of tenancy, I find it superfluous that some politicians are calling for fixed term 3 and 5 year tenancies. Such heavy handed regulation could stop landlords renting their property out in the first place, cutting off the supply of much needed rental property, meaning a further fueling of the Manchester Housing Crisis and another reason for rents to be increasing across the city.
Finally, there is a piece of good news for North Manchester tenants. The English Housing Survey notes that:
those living in a private rented property for long periods of time generally paid less rent than those who chopped and changed.
If you want to know more about the North Manchester property market, then for more articles like this, please visit the M9 Property Blog http://m9.propertynews.online/