Private tenants are happy in their rented homes, are staying longer and are paying less for them, according to new official figures.
The results of the latest English Housing Survey dispel the idea renting is expensive and offers little security, landlord representatives say.
The figures show tenants are forking out less of their income on their rent, with the proportion of the earnings spent on rent down from 34% in 2018 to 33%.
It is – as ever – a different story in London where private sector tenants spend 42% of their income on rent, regardless of their age.
Tenants in the private sector are also staying in their current home for longer, with people now renting a property for an average of 4.1 years.
The government’s report of 14,000 rented households revealed three quarters of tenants (84%) in the private sector are happy with how their landlord responds to repairs and maintenance in their rented home. The vast majority – 72%- only move on for personal reasons, such as work, wanting a larger home or if they are looking to move to a different area.
Satisfaction among social housing tenants is slightly lower, with 80% saying they are happy in their rented home.
And younger renters, who are often at the lower end of the salary scale, get a rawer deal than their older counterparts, with rent taking a greater chunk of their income – on average 16 to 24 olds spend nearly half (45%) of their wages on keeping a roof over their head.
Responding to the report on the private rented sector 2017/18, Residential Landlords Association policy director David Smith said:
“Today’s English Housing Survey dispels the myth that private renting means insecure tenancies and ever increasing costs. It shows that renters are spending less of their income on housing, at 33%, down from 34% the previous year and 36% in 2014/15, and are staying in their homes for over four years on average.
“As Ministers look at ending so called ‘no fault’ evictions the survey finds that the large majority of those who moved out of their home did so because they wanted to, either for work, a larger home or to move to a different area (72%) or because their tenancy had come to an end (8%). A further 10% moved on mutual agreement with their landlord.
“The majority (84%) of private renters also reported being satisfied with their current accommodation, higher than in the social rented sector.”