Rise of Generation Rent as average length of rental tenancies increase

generation rentTenants in Scotland rent on average for 18 months, while the average length of rental tenancies across the UK is now almost two years, according to new data.

Figures from estate agency network Your Move have revealed that the average tenancy length in the UK is now 20 months, up 18% from 2014.

According to the data, renters in the east of Scotland stayed in rental properties for 20 months on average, while those in the Highlands and Islands changed contract every16 months.

Average renting periods in both Edinburgh & Lothians and Glasgow & Clyde were similar to the national average of 18 months.

London, home to nearly a fifth of the UK’s rental properties, has average tenancy lengths of nearly two years (20 months), and is on a par with the UK average, Your Move data reveals. This is despite the fact that the capital remains comfortably the most expensive part of the country to rent in, with average payments hitting £1,277 a month in June 2017.

Outside of London, across the South East and commuter belt, rental contracts are decidedly longer. Here, the Kent town of Sevenoaks boasts the longest tenancy lengths in the UK, with the average property being let for 44 months. With the region proving to be popular for London commuters looking for more affordable housing options, rents in this area have been steadily climbing over the last three years, rising from £780 a month in June 2014 to £885 in June this year.

The shortest tenancies in the UK were found in the South West (15 months), where the average rent has fallen to £664 a month in June 2017 from £684 nine months previously. When examining tenancy lengths in local towns within the South West, Your Move found tenancies were even shorter in both Filton and Taunton, where average rental agreements are as little as six months.

UK regions in order of tenancy length


Tenancy length


24 months

West Midlands

22 months

South East of England

21 months

East of Scotland

20 months

East of England

20 months


20 months

East Midlands

20 months

North West

20 months

Yorkshire and The Humber

19 months

South of Scotland

18 months

Edinburgh & Lothians

18 months

Glasgow & Clyde

18 months

North East of England

18 months

Northern Ireland

17 months

Highlands & Islands

16 months

South West of England

15 months

Over the Severn Bridge in Wales, where the average rent as of June 2017 is £599, the typical renter stays in the same property for two years. Tenants in the small market town of Abergele, however, are staying put for 30 months on average.

In the last of the four nations, Northern Ireland is currently experiencing rentals lasting an average of 17 months.

These findings come as separate research from LSL Property Services plc revealed that 25% of all UK households are predicted to be occupied by private renters by 2025.

Richard Waind, director at Your Move, said: “As the nature of the rental market continues to change, it is positive to see both tenants and landlords benefiting from longer tenancy agreements. Not long ago we saw a rise in short term lets with many landlords viewing them as the most lucrative option and tenants preferring the flexibility they provided. However, we’re now seeing a shift towards longer term rentals and the security that they can provide both landlords and tenants.

“Our research has shown that tenants want to feel settled and if landlords can provide a suitable living space and service, tenancy lengths may increase across the UK. Through this type of extended agreement, we hope to see more cooperation between landlords and renters who both benefit from the affordability and stability long-term renting can provide.”

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