Landlords and property investors must prepare for long-term tenancies, according to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).
The organisation says heightened preparation must include thorough administration and more thought about the choice of furniture and interior design themes.
The most recent English Housing Survey 2014-15 shows that the average private tenancy length is now four years – up from three and a half years in the previous survey.
It also found that some 46% of 25-34 year-olds lived in the Private Rented Sector in 2014-15, up from 24% in 2004-05.
“Despite numerous reports suggesting that the average tenant doesn't want a long-term contract, the official statistics show that average tenancy lengths are increasing – particularly among families – as people rent for longer,” says Patricia Barber, Chair of the AIIC.
The organisation says that these figures should encourage landlords to think harder about what will make their rental property feel more like a home and what can be done to facilitate renters staying in their property for longer.
Barber also states that the phenomenon of long-term renting highlights how important it is for landlords to be organised and make sure they're on top of their administration duties.
“The longer time goes on, the more likely landlords and tenants are to forget details from the tenancy agreement or important information about the deposit, and that's why stringent administration – keeping copies of everything and organising it accordingly – is so important,” says Barber.
This year the AIIC is celebrating its 20th anniversary – which will be marked at the organisation's annual awards dinner, where the winner of Inventory Clerk of the Year will be announced.