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English Housing Survey reveals high satisfaction with rented homes

By Eitan Fox  //  Mon 12th August 2019
David Smith, policy director at the Residential Landlords Association, said: “Today’s English Housing Survey dispels the myth that private renting means insecure tenancies and ever-increasing costs
Most private sector tenants are satisfied with their accommodation, according to a major government survey. The English Housing Survey 2017/18 found that 84% of tenants in the sector are either satisfied or very satisfied with their rental homes.

The English Housing Survey is an annual profile of people’s housing circumstances. It looks at the condition of private sector housing as well as costs, affordability and energy efficiency. Launched in 1967, it is the longest running government study of its kind.

According to the report, 4.5 million households live in England’s private rented sector, which equates to 19% of all households. This compares to the 64% (14.8 million) who own their homes and 17% who live in social housing.

On average, the survey found that private renters spent 33% of their income on rent. This figure was higher for renters in London (42%). In comparison, owner occupiers spent an average of 17% of their household income on mortgages. However, the vast majority of private tenants (71%) said they found it easy or very easy to pay their rent.

The study also revealed that most people (72%), who had ended tenancies after less than three years, did so because they wanted to move. The reasons for moving were job related (18%), moving to a better neighbourhood (16%) and moving to a larger home (13%).

David Smith, policy director at the Residential Landlords Association, 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 of private renters also reported being satisfied with their current accommodation, higher than in the social rented sector.”

The report found that 76% of private renters paid a deposit at the start of their current tenancy. Of them, 73% said their money was protected in a government-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme. A fifth (20%) did not know whether their deposit was registered with a scheme.

Read more about this story on the Landlord Today website. Find the full English Housing Survey 2017/18 report on the gov.uk website.

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