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50% of tenants plan to move out if rent increases, survey reveals

by | Oct 28, 2023

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  • More than one third of tenants would renew their contract, but only if they have a positive relationship with their landlord
  • Those aged 55 and older are the most likely (44%) to renew their contract even if their rent is increased 
  • Landlords (51%) and tenants (68%) agree that communication is the key to a successful landlord-tenant relationship
  • Uswitch buy-to-let mortgages expert, Kellie Steed, shares tips on building a positive landlord-tenant relationship.

With the demand for rented homes currently 10% higher than in March 2022, many tenants are facing the tough decision of whether to stay put in their current property at the expense of increased rent, or to move in the hope of a better deal.

To discover how many tenants consider their landlord-tenant relationship when making rental decisions, the Uswitch buy-to-let mortgages experts surveyed tenants on whether they would accept a longer contract or rent increase if they had a positive relationship with their landlord. Tenants and landlords were also polled on what qualities they think contribute to a good landlord-tenant relationship.

Table 1: Would you consider renewing your contract or accepting a rent increase based on having a positive relationship with your landlord?

Tenant ageNo renew, no increaseYes renew, no increaseNo renew, yes increaseYes renew, yes increase

More than a third (36%) of all tenants would both renew their contract and accept a rent increase if they had a positive relationship with their landlord. This was the second most popular option, behind half of all tenants answering that they would renew their contract, but only without a rent increase. Only one in ten tenants would neither renew their contract nor accept an increase in rent.

18-24 year-olds had the lowest percentage of tenants willing to base both of their rental decisions on their landlord-tenant relationship, at just over a quarter (26%). However, this age group gave the second highest vote to the option renewing without an increase (53%), only narrowly behind their peers aged 25-34 who gave 54% of their vote to this option. 

At the other end of the scale, tenants aged 55+ were the most likely to consider a contract extension and rent increase based on a positive relationship with their landlord. Over four in ten (44%) voted for this option, 16% more than 18-24 year-olds.


Tenants aged 55 and over were the least likely to renew their contract without accepting a rent increase, based on a positive relationship with their landlord, with 44% voting for this option, whilst all other age groups had votes in excess of 50%. Tenants in the age range 25-34 had the highest vote in this area, with 54%.

Table 2: What contributes to a good landlord-tenant relationship, if anything? (Tick all that apply)

Upkeep of the property64%47%
Abiding to the terms and conditions of the contract54%44%
Being aware of their responsibilities51%41%

The data indicates that a significant number of tenants would accept a rent increase, but only if they had a good relationship with their landlord. When asked to vote on what contributes to a good landlord-tenant relationship both groups shared the same top five values.


Communication was determined to be the most important to each group, with seven in ten (71%) tenants selecting it, and half (51%) of landlords agreeing. Whilst the top five values of the two groups matched, the results show that tenants place more importance on these qualities, with no less than 10% more tenant votes for each.

Almost nine in ten (89%) tenants answered that they trust their landlord to try their best to solve any issues related to the property. This result is split almost evenly between 44% answering that they ‘significantly trust’ and 45% answering that they ‘somewhat trust.’ Furthermore, over half of all tenants surveyed (56%) reported that they had not had any disputes with their landlords, whether about maintenance, communication, or other issues. 

Uswitch buy-to-let mortgages expert, Kellie Steed, shares tips on how to build a positive relationship with tenants:


“It is clear from our survey data that tenants place a lot of importance on the positive values that go into a successful landlord-tenant relationship. The top five qualities were all selected by more than half of the tenants surveyed, and it is these positive relationship building blocks that have influenced 36% to consider renewing their contract on a higher rent.

“Here are some tips on how to help build a successful relationship with your tenants:

  • Set clear expectations: The best way to avoid any bumps down the road is to be clear with your expectations from the get-go. Whether this is the timing for rent payments, or your understanding of fair wear-and-tear, it’s important that you are upfront with what you expect of your tenants.
  • Be consistently reliable: Our survey data shows that tenants place high value on communication in the landlord-tenant relationship, so it’s important that you are reachable. Make sure your tenants know how to contact you, and when it’s appropriate to do so. The knowledge that they can approach you with any questions or problems will reassure your tenants that their rented home is in safe hands.
  • Treat tenants with respect: Giving tenants as much notice of visits as possible, communicating appropriately, and fixing issues after they are first reported, are all actions that will help build a respectful – and therefore successful – relationship with your tenant. By showing respect to your tenants, it is more likely they will act respectfully in return, towards you and your property.”

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