Tenant News

29% of Private Renters Struggle to Pay Rent, English Housing Survey Figures Reveal

Em Morley - July 18, 2019

The results of the English Housing Survey 2017-2018 for the private rented sector (PRS) have been released. The findings include:

  • 29% of private renters said they found it difficult to pay their rent
  • 14% of private renters who had moved had been asked to leave or faced rent increases 
  • 63% of private renters report having no savings. Just over a third (37%) of private
    renters reported having some savings. 11% of private renters had savings of
    £16,000 or more
  • Over half (58%) of private renters thought they would eventually buy a home. Of the 42% of private renters who did not think they would eventually buy a home, most (68%) said this was because they could not afford to do so

Dan Wilson Craw, Director of Generation Rent, has commented: “High rents are making life miserable for private renters. Today’s figures reveal that 3 in 10 find it difficult to pay their rent, forcing them to choose between going hungry or getting into debt.

“Even for those who can cover the rent, escaping the sector by moving into home ownership is a long way off – nearly two-thirds cannot save and just 1 in 10 have more than £16,000 in the bank. 

“With millions of people growing older in private rented homes, the next Prime Minister must make it an acceptable long term tenure. That means protecting tenants from unfair evictions and rent rises, and doing what it takes to make rents affordable.”

The English Housing Survey report also highlights that 65% of homeowners aged 65+ live in an under-occupied property, which is not helping the already limited UK housing market, in regards to available property for sale. 

Private Finance mortgage consultant Chris Sykes has commented on this statistic: “The baby boomer generation is holding onto at least 4.8 million spare bedrooms across the UK, with 67% of households aged 65+ currently living in an under-occupied home with two or more spare bedrooms. 

“The cost of stamp duty is discouraging these empty nesters from downsizing, leaving them in homes too large for their future needs, but too costly to give up. As a result of this inactivity at the top end of the ladder, housing stock is limited and the UK property market is somewhat paralysed.

“To free up housing stock and re-energise the property market, we’re calling on the UK government to introduce a stamp duty exemption for last-time buyers. Minimising the tax liabilities for older generations could encourage and enable them to finally downsize, freeing up housing stock and thereby helping to fix the supply issue that has hindered the market for so long.”

The full report can be read on the GOV.UK website: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/817630/EHS_2017-18_PRS_Report.pdf