Three quarters of tenants are happy to rent and a third of those would be happy to rent their homes for ever, according to new research.
Men are slightly more likely to be happy renting forever – 36 per cent against 31 per cent for women – and nearly two thirds of renters aged 55-plus are also happy to remain tenants. Fewer than a third of 35 to 54-year-olds are content renting – they are instead more likely to want to own a home.
Letters Managing Director Anya Mathewson welcomed the figures, gathered by specialist lender Landbay, which questioned more than 2,000 private tenants.
She said: “We’re delighted that tenants are happy and appreciate the many advantages of renting a home. It really can be a weight off tenants’ shoulders to know a responsible letting agent such as Letters looking after the property and ensuring the landlord is acting responsibly and with consideration.”
The survey found the top three motivations for continuing to rent are:
- I don’t want to/can’t make the financial commitment of buying a home – 46%
- I have fewer responsibilities than an owner – 40%
- I like the flexibility of renting – 33%
Landbay’s chief executive John Goodall said: “Renting affords significantly greater flexibility than home ownership and, at a time when house price growth is uncertain, remains the best option for a significant number of people. It’s clear from this data that those who choose to rent are happy doing so, and indeed would like to continue doing so forever.”
Fewer responsibilities and unexpected costs
Tenants recognise the relief in not being responsible for maintenance or the unexpected costs of replacing a boiler or fixing a leak. Renting also gives them the ability to move around the country and switch home on demand, with the expense of moving limited to a removal van and a cleaner. Conversely, for owner occupiers, the spiralling costs of stamp duty, solicitor fees and estate agent fees are daunting; Lloyds Bank place the average cost of moving house at more than £12k.
“The financial hurdle of home ownership is for many too great a stretch and frankly they don’t want to make the commitment,” added John Goodall. “The reality is owning a home isn’t the right choice for many, which is why the private rental sector needs to be supported properly if we are to house this growing portion of private sector tenants.”
Londoners hanker more than most to own their own home with just 17 per cent happy to stay renting: at the other end of the scale some 46 per cent of Welsh tenants are happy to remain in the rental sector, the survey found.
Of those who aim to buy a property, the average length of time tenants are prepared to wait is 4.1 years, with men content to wait 4.6 years and women 3.8 years.
We’re happy to advise
If you’re a landlord or prospective tenant with questions to ask about the rental market, please contact us and we’ll be happy to advise.