New life landlords

The big demand for country rentals right now is from those who have sold and want to rent, before they buy. For landlords, this presents a dilemma. Far from being long-term and predictable, such tenants want to rent for as short a time as possible, yet minimise the chances of having to leave, before they are ready. Reconciling these aims is not easy: few landlords will agree to less than a year. A significant number have, though, been tempted by a six month tenancy, after which the tenant must give notice of one month, and the landlord, two months. The price for such flexibility is high: a premium of as much as 20% on rents which are already up at least 10%, on a year ago.



Covid restrictions prompted major re-evaluations. Early on, they generated a wave of country lettings to families who were, in turn, renting out their city home. Last year, came another wave, this time of owners who quit their jobs, let the house – and left the country. They were leaving not for a career abroad, but its antithesis. They left for a new life: to sail around the world, live and study in Sicily, and to live and work (remotely) in the Alps, to take just three examples. They might be gone for a year or two, or longer. Renting provides funds and flexibility. This year, we are welcoming the return of an important source of high quality houses to rent: owners who have accepted a post abroad, typically for three years.


A reliable tenant is crucial, especially for landlords living abroad. Reliability is as much about the house and location being right for you, as your financial stability. The right house is one that you will care about and be reluctant to leave. Unlike a sale, there is a long- term relationship involved. Consequently, we ask prospective tenants detailed questions about their daily lives, finances and intentions. These can seem intrusive at the time but, for tenants as well as landlords, the rewards – a good, reliable home and a good, reliable income – reveal themselves on a daily basis, often for years.

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