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Why Flexibility Matters to Renters

9 May 2021 Lucy Brice Read time: 2 min
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Lucy Brice

Tenancy lengths are increasing to an average of 4.1 years. On the face of it, you would think that renters want to lock themselves into contracts for longer, but the opposite is true. 

Demand for flexible renting has increased, and the result is people staying in the same place for longer because they don’t feel pressured into tying themselves into lengthy tenancy agreements. Traditional rental models are changing, and Build-to-Rent has been a key driver. 

But why are renters demanding more flexibility, and how can your Build-to-Rent community ensure their needs are met? That’s what we’re looking at with this guide to why flexibility matters for renters. 

The numbers don’t lie

Many of the 17-million plus renters in the UK don’t plan on owning their home, with 70% saying they’re happy to continue renting. Of those, 22% said they didn’t want the financial commitment that came with buying a home. 

In 2021, renting is a lifestyle choice for many – not a necessity born out of a housing market that continues to out price first-time buyers. Therefore, renters are becoming pickier with their choices as they dictate the market and make decisions based on their needs. 

The changing mindset of renters

Pre-Covid, there was a shift change, as renters began looking for more flexibility from their living experience. As the world became more connected, it was easier to get up and go without disrupting your life. People could work from anywhere, and the younger generation of renters valued freedom. 

However, something didn’t add up. Most tenancy agreements lasted for a minimum of 12 months, tying renters into long-term contracts that didn’t suit their needs. Build-to-Rent helped facilitate the change, with many of the communities offering flexible renting from six months. It has now been normalised in the lettings market, as the need for flexibility looks to become even more important over the next few years.

Post-Covid renting habits

If there are any positives to take out of the pandemic, it was the world managing to carry on working from home with little disruption. As things get back to normal, the way in which we work could change forever – and the idea of an office-homeworking hybrid looks like it will take shape in some capacity. 

The need for renting will increase too, with a quarter of all homes occupied by private renters. That means landlords – be it individual or Build-to-Rent operators – need to meet the growing needs of modern-day renters to offer a fluid living experience that includes flexible renting. 

Flexibility leads the way

The best way to meet renters’ needs is by being flexible. That means contracts that don’t tie them in for the long term, along with a living environment that promotes a community lifestyle. Fizzy Living, for example, have just expanded their offering to provide short-term rentals, and it's a strategy that will be a hit with renters, especially post-Covid. 

Many Build-to-Rent communities already offer these types of living options, and the need to keep on that trajectory is essential. Hybrid rental models that combine short, medium and long-term options cater to the primary renting demographics. And as a brand, it’s important to meet consumer demands and increase your reputation. 

More flexibility, less friction

By being the Build-to-Rent operator who provides flexible living opportunities, you can put yourself in a strong position. It will help build your brand, and that will see more renters wanting to live in your community. You can lease up faster and be known as the Build-to-Rent operator who really puts renters first with flexible living options. 

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