If you rent your home, chances are you’ve accepted it’s not going to be your home forever. In fact, you’ll be lucky to be there for two years, according to new research.

It seems that British renters spend an average of just 18 months in a property before they get the itch to move.

And according to research by landlord insurance provider Direct Line for Business, it’s far less if you live in Cardiff.

The city has the highest turnover of renters, with the average property being vacated less than a year after being filled.

Leeds (12 months) and Bristol (14 months) also have a high turnover of tenants, according to the research, creating potential problems for landlords.

Birmingham renters are likely to stick around for the longest, staying in the same property for an average of two years and four months.

This research highlights the pressure landlords are under to replace outgoing tenants in their properties

Nick Breton, head of Direct Line for Business
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The research also looked at the time it takes to fill vacant properties. On average it takes a landlord 22 days to find a new tenant, resulting in a potential average loss of £547 in uncollected rent.

Vacant properties in Birmingham are filled the quickest, in just 11 days, but in Liverpool and Aberdeen landlords take much longer – an average of 33 days - to find a suitable candidate, costing as much as £761 and £913 respectively.

Even in London, letting agents claim it takes an average of 20 days to fill a property, and with monthly rents over £2,000 this could lead to a loss of £1,869 for landlords.

It takes landlords an average of 22 days to find a new tenant. Image by Dragon Images/Shutterstock.com

Direct Line said landlords should take this ‘void period’ into account and make sure they’ve got enough in the bank to meet any mortgage, ground rent or other charges.

Its research also found that landlords can’t always rely on tenants staying in a property for the duration of their tenancy agreement, with 9% moving out early.

The highest rate is in Aberdeen, where a fifth (19%) of tenants leave before the end of their agreement, with Leeds and Sheffield close behind at 13%.

Nick Breton, head of Direct Line for Business, said: “This research highlights the pressure landlords are under to replace outgoing tenants in their properties.

“Vacant properties are obviously a worry for landlords but it's vitally important that they take into account void periods when calculating the affordability of owning a rental property.

“Staying on top of the ongoing changes within the industry can be time-consuming and a battle for landlords and we fully appreciate the challenges they face when it comes to managing their rental properties.”

He said the company has developed the Mobile Landlord app, which can track income, calculate yields, and set reminders such as when tenancy agreements are coming to an end.

The app, which can manage up to five properties, can also keep landlords updated with any new changes in the market.