Posts with tag: English Housing Survey

Average tenancy lengths are increasing, English Housing Survey shows

Published On: November 26, 2021 at 9:34 am


Categories: Lettings News,Tenant News

Tags: ,,

The latest English Housing Survey found that private renters had lived in their home for 4.3 years on average. This is up from 4.1 years recorded in the 2017/18 English Housing Survey and 3.9 years in the 2016/17 report.

Property inventory management specialist No Letting Go says that these rising average tenancy lengths make inventories and regular inspections much more important for letting agents and landlords.

It points out that this latest survey shows the average length of residence increased with age. It increased from a mean of 1.3 years for private renters aged 16 to 24, up to 5.7 years for those aged 45 to 64, and jumps to 17.5 years (more in line with the average tenure for owner occupiers) for private renters aged 75 and over.

While the survey implies time in current accommodation was relatively short, time in tenure appeared longer, suggesting that private renters were moving home within the private rented sector (PRS).

It found that most private renters had rented from private landlords for a continuous period of three years or more. In total, 18% had been private renters for three to four years, 24% for five to nine years and 30% for ten years or more.

Older people reported living in the PRS for longer than younger people, with the majority (94%) of young renters, those aged 16 to 24, residing in private rented accommodation for less than five years.

Older tenants are far more likely to have been in the PRS for a longer period, with some 17% of those aged 65 to 74, and 22% of those aged 75 and over, renting for 30 years or more.

Nick Lyons, founder of No Letting Go, comments: “The trend has been this way for quite some time, with the average tenancy length slowly rising over the years. This isn’t surprising given the growth of the private rented sector among all ages in recent times, now accounting for 19% of all households in England, or 4.4 million.

“This means the PRS is now bigger than the social rented sector and responsible for housing nearly one in five households. It’s also only likely to get bigger as people continue to rent for the long-term.” 

Lyons says continued high house prices and the ongoing cohort of people who choose renting as a lifestyle choice – for the flexibility and lower levels of responsibility it provides – is likely to keep high levels of people in the rental market for a considerable period of time. 

He explains: “While this is undoubtedly good news for landlords and letting agents, in terms of more tenancies, more rental income and more growth for all involved, longer tenancies also potentially increase the problems surrounding maintenance, repairs and wear and tear, which could in turn increase the number of issues at check-out.

“Rather than longer tenancies making inventories less vital, they actually make them more so to increase transparency, create a solid evidence trail and keep issues to a minimum if a tenant decides to move out for whatever reason.” 

He added: “Naturally, the longer the tenancy goes on for, the more opportunity there is for every day, general wear and tear and other small bits of damage that build up over time. By having a clear before and after picture, written, pictorial and video-based, landlords and agents can be better set to deduct the right amounts from a deposit if this is required.

“No-one doubts that longer tenancies are better for the PRS – in terms of stability, peace of mind and comfort for landlords and tenants, as well as longer management contracts for agents – but it shouldn’t be a time to get complacent or to take tenancies for granted.

“Partnering with an inventory specialist is a simple, cost-effective way of ensuring tenancies – no matter how long they are – start and end in the right. Because long tenancies have a longer gap between the start and end, for obvious reasons, the need for the check-in report to be as thorough as possible is actually much greater.”

English Housing Survey Results Published: Tenancy Length Increasing

Published On: January 24, 2020 at 10:55 am


Categories: Lettings News

Tags: ,,

The results for the Government’s English Housing Survey for 2018-19 were published yesterday, and they reveal a mixed bag of statistics. Tenancy lengths are increasing, but this isn’t necessarily a good thing for tenants.

The average length of tenancies in the private rental sector (PRS) has increased to 4.4 years, up from 4.1 years in last year’s survey. The Residential Landlords Association sees this as a positive.

John Stewart, Policy Manager at the RLA believes that landlords are helping tenants establish roots in their communities: 

“The vast majority of landlords who do a good job welcome good tenants staying in their properties long-term and today’s figures bear this out. They clearly refute the picture some create that landlords spend all their time looking for ways to evict their tenants and it is time to end this scaremongering.

“The market is meeting the ever changing demands on it without the need for legislation. It is vital that the Government continues to support and encourage this with pro-growth policies that support good landlords to provide the long-term homes to rent to meet ever growing demand.” 

Others see longer tenancies as a symptom of a broken property market. Joseph Daniels, founder of Project Etopia said: 

“Falling home ownership among the young still threatens to become a national crisis rooted in high property prices and stretched affordability but the tide has finally started to turn. 

“Help to Buy, both the equity loan and the ISA, and Stamp Duty relief, are behind the march of the first-time buyers who will be powering a recovery in home ownership in this age bracket. 

“This points to a welcome softening in affordability issues but much more progress needs to be made. It will take considerable time and momentum until owner occupancy among younger people returns to the 59% seen in 2003-04. 

“House building will need to keep pace with growing demand and buyers face very different propositions across the country with prices still unaffordable in many parts of the UK, particularly in the south of England.”

Dan Wilson Craw, Director of Generation Rent sees this as a big problem. Whilst landlords are providing a useful service, renting is not the end goal for most people, but owning their own home is looking more and more difficult.

“Renters are getting older and many are raising children in homes they can currently lose at their landlords’ whim. Renters are compromising on space to cover expensive market rents, so overcrowding is at an all-time high. Young and old alike, more renters fear they’ll be renting for life. 

“These trends underline the urgency of reforming the rental market to give tenants stable and affordable homes. The government’s Renters’ Reform Bill is a huge opportunity to give hope to 11 million people.”

On overcrowding, it is worth noting that the percentage of overcrowded rented homes is at 6.2%, a 23-year high. Even more worrying is that the PRS is the only sector that has seen no decrease in its percentage of non-decent homes.

25% of private rented homes fail to meet the Decent Homes Standard 2018, compared to 17% of owner occupied, and 12% of social rented. This means that 1.15M privately rented homes are not considered to:

• Meet the statutory minimum standard for housing (the Housing Health and Safety system (HHSRS) since April 2006), homes which contain a Category 1 hazard under the HHSRS are considered non-decent

• Provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort

• Be in a reasonable state of repair

• Have reasonably modern facilities and services

With renters staying longer in individual tenancies, and looking at a longer proportion of their lives renting, it is clear that both landlords and the Government must work together to improve tenants’ lives.

The Government must make the property market more accessible to renters, first time buyers and young families.

And whilst the majority of landlords provide decent accommodation, more must be done to improve the quality of non-decent rented property. Read Just Landlords’ guides on landlord responsibilities to make sure that your property is up to spec.

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

Published On: July 18, 2019 at 9:08 am


Categories: Tenant News

Tags: ,

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:

Latest English Housing Survey Dispels Myths Around PRS

Published On: July 14, 2017 at 9:16 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,

Latest English Housing Survey Dispels Myths Around PRS

Latest English Housing Survey Dispels Myths Around PRS

The latest English Housing Survey (for 2015/16), released yesterday, dispels the myths surrounding the private rental sector.

Tenants are more satisfied with private rental accommodation than those in the social rental sector, the report shows.

The most recent English Housing Survey found that 82% of private tenants are satisfied with their current accommodation, ahead of the 81% in the social rental sector.

Rates of dissatisfaction were also higher in the social sector, with 13% of social tenants dissatisfied with their accommodation, compared to just 10% in the private rental sector.

Furthermore, 67% of private tenants said that they were satisfied with their current tenure status.

The survey also dispels the myth that tenants are constantly living in fear of eviction, with the average length that a private tenant has been in their current property now standing at more than four years.

According to the statistics, 73% of tenants in the private rental sector left their last property because they wanted to, with just 11% doing so because they were asked to by their landlord or letting agent.

Just 2% of tenants moved out because of rent increases by their landlord.

The Chairman of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), Alan Ward, responds to the findings: “Whilst today’s data clearly shows that many challenges remain for the sector, it is clear that the picture is one of significant improvement.

“With only a very small minority of tenancies ended by a landlord or because of increased rent, it is time that those who suggest that landlords spend their time looking for ways to evict tenants or make profits at their expense replaced fear mongering with facts.”

The complete results of the latest English Housing Survey, including full statistics on the private rental sector and social rental sector, can be accessed through the Government’s website here:

Private Tenant Population Highest Since 1961

Published On: March 3, 2017 at 9:23 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,,

Yesterday’s English Housing Survey revealed that the private tenant population in the country is now at the highest level since 1961.

Private Tenant Population Highest Since 1961

Private Tenant Population Highest Since 1961

The Headline Report, which can be found here, shows that the private tenant population in England now stands at 4.5m, including 1.6m families with dependant children and 1.5m households whose head is aged 45 or over.

According to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) Live Table 104 on Tenure in England, there were 4.377m private rental households in 1961. However, the tenure was larger at the start of the 20th Century.

Responding to the report that shows that the private tenant population has now hit 4.5m, the Director of tenant lobby group Generation Rent, Dan Wilson Craw, says: “Runaway house price inflation and the difficulty of saving a deposit have trapped millions in private rented housing – even more than in the day of slum landlords like Rachman in the early 1960s.

“Private tenants have few protections from landlords who want to raise the rent or evict them without a reason. People can’t enjoy a good quality of life with no certainty over their home – and it is especially difficult for the growing number of families and older people renting from private landlords.”

He adds: “The Government knows that the housing market is broken, but it is failing to do enough to fix it. Ministers need to expand their ambitions to build homes, while reforming the law to provide stability for the millions who will be unable to buy in the foreseeable future.”

In its Housing White Paper last month, the Government shifted its long-standing focus on homeownership to the private tenant population.

Some of the measures announced in the crucial document include longer-term tenancies for private renters. However, ARLA Propertymark believes that only a minority of tenants want longer-term tenancies.

What are you doing to help the private tenant population feel more secure in their homes?

Tenants staying in PRS for longer

Published On: February 22, 2016 at 11:33 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,,

Latest government figures suggest that private rental sector tenancies are getting longer.

Additionally, data from the report shows that the typical length of residence in a family-sized rental unit is increasing.


The English Housing Survey 2014/15 shows that in the last 10 years, the proportion of privately rented homes with dependent children has risen from 30% in 2004-05, to 37% in 2014/15.

In addition, the average length of private sector residencies rose to 4 years, from 3.5 one year ago. The survey also found that tenants living in privately rented accommodation for a greater length of time generally paid less.

Tenants staying in PRS for longer

Tenants staying in PRS for longer

Break down barriers

As a result, the RLA has called on the Government to break down barriers that prevent longer-term tenancies. These include restrictions imposed on landlords by lenders

RLA chairman Alan Ward, believes, ‘more can be done to help landlords offer longer term tenancies without the need for compulsory three or five tenancies. We are calling on the Government to use the Housing and Planning Bill to remove barriers preventing landlords from offering longer tenancies, including mortgage and leasehold conditions that may prevent this.’[1]

‘Notable increases in the average length of time tenants stay in a private rented property show the system already enables longer tenancies that so many are calling for. Landlords are already meeting tenants’ requirements and there is no need for heavy-handed legislation that would disrupt supply of badly-needed accommodation,’ Ward went on to say.[1]