Rent now unaffordable for a third of tenants

One in three UK tenants are struggling to afford their rent, with this rising to almost half in London, according to newly released polling data.

Related topics:  Finance,  tenants,  rent
Property | Reporter
14th September 2023
Rent Up 551

A new survey of 4,000 UK adults commissioned by real estate investment firm Castleforge, has revealed the difficulties faced by those in the private rented sector.

Rising mortgage rates have made renters feel vulnerable to their landlord’s personal financial situation, with 32% agreeing that their rent or tenancy had been affected.

42% of renters say their home needs to be refurbished to be comfortable. 31% have lived in poor-quality or unsafe rentals in the last five years.

Londoners are most exposed to unsafe conditions, with 55% of private tenants agreeing their rental home needs renovations and 41% saying they have lived in poor quality or unsafe rentals in the last five years.

Michael Kovacs, Founding Partner of Castleforge, comments on the findings: “The housing and cost of living crisis in the UK has significantly exacerbated the issues faced by private renters.

“Private landlords that own one or two homes are being buffeted by mortgage rates, and their own financial insecurity is then passed on to tenants. Too many renters are finding themselves having to move or having to put up with delays to vital renovations.

“The findings show the vital need not just for more state-sponsored affordable housing but for an expanded professional, private sector committed to keeping homes maintained and innovating to create rented homes that are affordable for typical renters.”

The poll revealed that 30% of renters are willing to share amenities such as a kitchen, in return for cheaper rent. That figure increases to 51% among Londoners and rises to 57% among the 18-24s across the UK.

Cassandra Tucker, Managing Director of Ocasa, said: “The demand for our housing has significantly increased in the last 12 months as renters seek quality, but affordable properties. Our professionally managed co-living model offers hope to those who cannot afford mainstream private rent but have no chance of reaching the top of a social housing waiting list.

“Many of us at Ocasa have experienced housing instability first-hand, and want to see the expansion and diversification of a professionally managed private rented sector, designed to meet renters’ varying needs.”

Sir Bob Neill MP, former Minster of Communities and Local Government and Chair of the Justice Select Committee concludes: “These shocking findings are yet more evidence that the UK rental market is broken. Innovation is desperately needed to help keep rents down, and tenants protected.

“The government should look to ensure more professionally run, affordably priced private rentals are available to fill the gap between social rents and traditional tenancies. There is an opportunity to do just that in the Renters (Reform) Bill presently before Parliament.”

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