" Whilst the cost-of-living crisis is impacting tenants in the UK financially, it's also impacting their mental health."
A new survey of over 1,000 renters by bridging finance broker, Finbri, highlighting what is concerning renters in the UK the most, discovered that 27.07% of UK renters have experienced anxiety due to renting.
Are renters more likely than homeowners to have anxiety?
According to a recent study by researchers at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, private renters are twice as likely as homeowners to suffer from anxiety.
Whilst symptoms of anxiety vary from person to person, they tend to include feeling restless or worried, having trouble concentrating or sleeping, dizziness or heart palpitations, and even feeling depressed and lacking energy.
The Anxiety Nation report discovered renters were at least twice as likely as homeowners to report anxiety symptoms.
What are the greatest concerns for renters?
The UK Renters' Report 2023 discovered 79.92% of renters are either Concerned (33.27%) or Strongly concerned (46.65%) about energy costs (gas and/or electricity). But there are other concerns impacting renters' well-being.
Cost-of-living crisis. Finbri's survey found that 19.38% have experienced unaffordable increases in rental payments. 11.59% reported they were afraid of eviction if they couldn't pay the full amount.
Renters are increasingly feeling the pinch as landlords raise rents as inflation rises, leaving them with little choice but to take on more debt or reduce spending elsewhere.
Indeed, if the UK base rate hits the expected 4.5% in 2023, 52.75% of landlords will raise rents to cover additional expenses.
This will be troubling for UK tenants, with 73.93% of renters Concerned (37.06%) or Strongly concerned (36.86%) about rent increases.
Looming recession. The expected recession and the uncertain economic environment could worsen these issues in 2023. With employment opportunities diminishing and wages becoming increasingly less secure, it will be hard for renters to keep up with their rent payments, potentially leading to increased evictions.
Lack of available properties. 35.86% of respondents reported difficulty finding suitable properties in their desired location due to limited availability and increased competition from other prospective tenants. 11.49% were unable to secure a viewing for rental properties, and 18.08% faced competition offering over the asking price.
The survey also found that 19.38% of renters have experienced unaffordable rent increases. This is likely to contribute to the anxiety felt by renters as they struggle to keep up with rent payments and increasing living costs.
Further stresses acknowledged by renters
Additionally, Finbri found that renters have experienced several impacts which could result in anxiety, this includes:
Problems with damp or mould (33.37%)
Poor property conditions (24.98%)
Excessive delays on maintenance repair work being completed (22.08%)
Unresolved maintenance issues that were reported (21.48%)
Unaffordable increases in rent (19.38%)
Being ignored by a landlord or letting agent (18.78%)
Excessive delays in communication responses from their landlord (15.68%)
Security deposits not being returned in full (13.79%)
Unable to complain about poor conditions for fear it might lead to eviction (12.89%)
Unable to complain about poor conditions for fear it might lead to rent increases (12.69%)
Threat of eviction (11.59%)
Security deposits not being returned in part (10.89%)
Difficulty with tenancy renewal (10.69%)
Harassment from the landlord or letting agent (8.39%)
Rising costs for UK renters are not only impacting them financially, but it's also detrimental to the mental health of 27% of tenants. Unaffordability and the risk of eviction can be major sources of stress, anxiety, and frustration. However, despite proposing significant changes that will significantly impact private landlords and their tenants, Finbri's UK Landlords' Report discovered that 40.36% of landlords are unaware of the proposed Renters' Reform Bill.
It's important for renters to understand their rights and for landlords to understand their rights and obligations regarding rent agreements and evictions. Additionally, both parties should work together in an atmosphere of mutual respect, understanding and trust.
Stephen Clark from Finbri, comments: “It's concerning to see the impact that renting has had on tenants over the past year; 27% of renters have experienced feelings of anxiety due to their rental situation.
“Rising energy and food costs, rental price increases, fuel costs and the overall outlook of the UK economy are all concerns for renters right now. But whilst the cost-of-living crisis is impacting tenants in the UK financially, it's also impacting their mental health.
“It's more important now than ever that renters are supported and receive the rights they're entitled to including fair tenancy agreements, and assistance from landlords where possible to improve energy efficiency ratings in their properties.”