Press Release: Dorset’s Increasing Need for Shorter-Lets
DOMVS estate agents in Dorset has noticed an increasing need for shorter-let properties due to a rising trend of ‘circumstantial renters’. A circumstantial renter is defined as a tenant who does not want to sign a long-let tenancy agreement for a number of reasons; most notably because they are moving out of their primary address while they carry out renovations; they have sold their home and not yet found their onward purchase; their current living situation has changed – divorce for example; or in some cases, albeit far fewer, they are hoping to move into a suitable school catchment area for their children.
While circumstantial renters currently represent almost 20% of the tenant-market, they are less likely to win the tenancy in what is currently a very active rental market. Unsurprisingly, from all of DOMVS’ recent lets, circumstantial renters have been entirely unsuccessful in their bid to secure a property, with landlords preferring to choose from an almost 40% pool of long-term renters.
The challenge for circumstantial renters has been exacerbated by a decline in available rental property, partly due to landlords opting for holiday lets, as well as an increase in the number of tenants seeking a property, due to the county’s rising appeal. The widening gap between ‘supply and demand’ means landlords can take their pick from a long list of potential tenants and this is leaving the short-term renter out in the cold – or facing the burden of having to pay significantly more for a holiday let.
To even the playing field, DOMVS is now marketing some of its rental properties on a shorter-let basis, with landlords being able to choose between a longer tenancy for the market value or a shorter tenancy for a higher yield. A shorter-let is defined as more than six months, but less than 12 months, and tends to be, on average, 25% more expensive than a long-let (defined as a year or more). The contract between the landlord and tenant for a shorter-let is governed by an AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) agreement, the same as a long-let.
Debbie Turner, Head of Lettings for DOMVS says “Our role as a letting agent is to act in the best interests of the landlord and so, we would always advise our client to opt for the longer tenancy. However, it has been really hard to see so many tenants struggling to secure a temporary home, so we wanted to introduce our landlords to options that might not have been considered previously. For tenants, this provides a much cheaper alternative to paying for a holiday let, or paying for a long-let, that they might not necessarily need, and allows them to compete in an otherwise unattainable market. We always want to adapt to changing market conditions and when the market is challenging, we want to find solutions. It means we’re able to provide a greater breath of service to an increasingly demanding market.”
The research was conducted by analysing the tenant profile of those who registered with DOMVS and actively viewed an available property. DOMVS categorises its tenants as long-term renters (they have no intention of leaving the rental market), aspirational buyers (they would like to buy a property in the medium- to long-term), student/HMOs (or ‘sharers’ as they are often referred), relocatees (those relocating to Dorset from outside of the county) and circumstantial renters, explained above.
DOMVS is an award-winning estate agency with three offices providing sales, lettings and land advisory services across the entire Dorset county. With a reputation built on trust, integrity and knowledge, DOMVS has been exceeding its clients expectations since 2005.
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Debbie Turner, MARLA
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