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01305 757300
01305 757300

Shorter-Lets in Dorset with DOMVS Lettings Agency

DOMVS Letting Agents in Dorset provides shorter-lets for tenants who want to avoid paying for long-letting agreement.

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What do we mean by a ‘Shorter-Let’?

We define this as more than six months, but less than 12 months, and should not be confused with what is traditionally defined as a ‘short-let’ (see definitions below). A ‘shorter-let’ will tend to be, on average, 25% more expensive than a long-let, and the contract between the landlord and tenant is governed by an AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) agreement.

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What is an AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy)?

An AST is the most common type of contract between a private landlord and tenant. An AST allows a landlord to evict a tenant by serving a section 21 notice, as long as it is outside the fixed term and the strict set of regulations are followed. 

Tenancies for more than six months will usually be arranged on an AST basis. It is possible to have a  tenancy for less than six months;  however, this is not advisable on an AST as the tenant has the right to stay for a minimum of six months before possession can be gained, so a short-let contract would usually be used in lieu of an AST contract. 

More information about AST’s can be found on the Government’s website here

What Our Clients Say

“Working with Debbie and Shireen of DOMVS Dorchester from a landlords perspective has been an absolute pleasure. From our initial meeting, right through to successfully letting the property the process has been handled with the upmost efficiency and professionalism We highly recommend DOMVS for all your letting requirements.”

Lorna Mitchard, 5-star Google review

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What is the difference between a long-let, short-let or shorter-let?

Long-Lets Defined

Whereas the exact definition of a long-let  can change, depending on the area of your property and the agent handling the letting, however, it is generally considered to be 12-months or more, with no break in the contract, and will be agreed using an AST. Any lettings for three years or more, will be considered to be a Deed. 

Short-Lets Defined

A short-let can be anything from one night, up to six months, and will not use an AST for reasons mentioned above. Whilst holiday lets have their own governance, the term “short-lets” has historically been used by estate agents to describe a rental agreement that is between three and six months. In these cases, as a rule of thumb, a short-let will generally command a 40% higher rent compared with a standard AST agreement. The rent usually includes utility bills, as well as all furnishings, including bed linen, and the higher rent will cover the Landlord’s associated costs of changing the tenant more regularly or cover any anticipated void periods. 

Currently, DOMVS does not offer short-lets and only operates using AST contracts between the landlord and tenant as either a long-let or shorter-let (described below), as well as non-housing act tenancies on behalf of company lets. 

Shorter-Lets Defined

A shorter-let is a hybrid of a long- and short-let. The best of both worlds. It provides all the protection of an AST contract and, unlike a short-let, there is no obligation for the landlord to pay utilities or supply the property fully-furnished.

Why do we offer Shorter-Lets?

Dorset’s rental market is becoming increasingly popular. A decline in available rental property, partly due to landlords opting for holiday lets, along with an increase in the number of tenants seeking a property, due to the county’s rising appeal, has resulted in a widening gap between supply and demand. It’s not uncommon to have a long list of hopeful tenants wanting each and every property we bring to the market.

More recently, we have been dealing with a growing number of what we call “circumstantial renters”. These are short-term renters, who are perhaps refurbishing their property, in between property purchases or are relocating to dorset and have not yet completed their property purchase. More often than not, these circumstantial rentals are unsuccessful in their bid to secure a rental property because they simply can’t compete with long-term renters. And who can blame a landlord for wanting a longer-term tenancy? We would always advise a landlord to take the longer tenancy, if the rental offered is the same rate. However, if a higher rental return for a shorter-term tenancy is attractive enough for a landlord, it evens the playing field and means we are able to provide a greater breath of service to an increasingly demanding market. 

At DOMVS our aim is to adapt to changing market conditions whilst ensuring our landlord’s objectives are always achieved and we feel the hybrid proposition of shorter-lets supports both landlords and tenants.

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How does a Shorter-Let benefit the Landlord?

When we market a rental property, it’s important to attract the widest audience so that we can secure the best match between a tenant and property. By marketing a rental property at two different rates, it gives the landlord more options to consider. For some, a longer tenancy will be preferred, but for other landlords, who don’t want the risk of a short-term holiday let, this provides an alternative way to achieve a higher yield. In our experience, circumstantial renters make for great, reliable tenants and shouldn’t be immediately discounted. Of course, there is more administration involved with a higher-turnover of tenants with shorter-lets, but that’s when a great letting agent, acting in your best interests, is worth its weight in gold.

How does a Shorter-Let benefit the Tenant?

For tenants who need a shorter-let this option 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.

Debbie Turner, MARLA

Associate Director, Lettings

01305 757300
debbie.turner@domvs.co.uk

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