Posts with tag: Rising rent

Tenants spending half of income on rent

Published On: July 17, 2015 at 10:54 am


Categories: Landlord News

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A new report on the make-up of the country’s housing market has revealed that renters in England spend half of their take-home pay on rental costs.

The latest English Housing Survey shows tenants spent an average of 47% of their total net income in rent. Those who had taken out a mortgage face repayments of around 23% of their earnings after tax.[1]

Living trends

Providing a comprehensive overview of English housing stock and trends, the survey indicated that once housing benefit is removed from income, average rental costs are more than half of the typical gross pay.

Across the country, private renters paid 43% of the average total gross income of the main householder and partner, including housing benefit, in rent. Without including the state payments, tenants faced rental costs that were on average 52% of their earnings. This total has risen from the 48% recorded in 2003, with the proportion of pay plus housing benefit dropping marginally from 44%.[1]

‘The increase between these years in the proportion of income (excluding housing benefit) spent on rent is consistent with the rent increase in housing benefit receipt among private renters in work,’ the report said.[1]

Concern for the young

Concerning data from the reports highlights the difficulty of 16-24 year-olds. For this particular age bracket, rents accounted for a huge 88% of incomes and 81% for when state payments were included.

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation said that the results of the survey were, ‘yet another symptom of a very sick housing market that is carving ever-greater chasms between those who own a home and those who don’t.’[1]

‘Private renters are having the hardest time of it, paying the most as a proportion of the pay cheques and in real terms. We need to bring an end to these extortionate prices and give people real choices, by building the homes this nation needs,’ he added.[1]

Roger Harding, of housing charity shelter, said that private renters, ‘are bearing the brunt of our dramatic housing shortage.’ He went on to say that, ‘the result is an entire generation forced to give up hope of a stable future and resign themselves to a lifetime of expensive rents.’[1]

Tenants spending half of income on rent

Tenants spending half of income on rent

Rising renters

Figures from the survey also show how tenant numbers have increased over the last decade. In 2003-04, 2.1m households were privately rented. By 2013-14, this figure had grown to 4.4m.[1]

There was also a sharp rise in renters of every age group, but in particular for those aged between 45-54. In this age bracket, the number of tenants rose from 217,000 to 662,000 over the ten-year period.[1]

With people staying in the private sector for longer, the total number of families with children who are tenants has risen. In 2003-04, 23% of tenant households contained dependent children but by 2013-14, this figure had increased to 35%.[1]

First-time buyers are being forced to turn to their family for help, as they struggle to get on the housing ladder. The report revealed that of first-time buyers who have been in their property for under five years, 27% received help in financing their move through a loan or payment from their parents or friends. This was in comparison to 20% a decade previously. [1]

‘Rents are now so high that many will find saving is close to impossible, putting homeownership still further out of reach,’ said Matt Hutchinson, director of the flat share website ‘The situation for renters is becoming more and more indiscriminate. We’re not just talking about young professionals who can’t buy-families who crave stability for their kids are impacted too,’ he added.[1]




Rising Rents and Lack of Affordable Homes Lead to Thriving Illegal Subletting

Published On: October 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm


Categories: Property News

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Rising rents and lack of affordable homes lead to thriving illegal subletting market, says Let Risks

Oxford Council cautioned last month that tenants who are illegally subletting should give back the keys to their rental properties during a two-month amnesty period, or they will risk prosecution for fraud.

This scheme aims to eliminate tenancy fraud, which is mostly illegal subletting. The campaign warns that illegal subletting is now a criminal offence, and is punishable by imprisonment and a fine.

Rising Rents and Lack of Affordable Homes Lead to Thriving Illegal Subletting

Rising Rents and Lack of Affordable Homes Lead to Thriving Illegal Subletting

Around 3.3 million people are living in the UK as unauthorised tenants; this affects one in every ten rental properties.1 Around half of letting agencies have discovered extra residents living in a property, says Direct Line.1

Managing Director of LetRisks, Michael Portman, says: “Although the problem is more prevalent in the social housing sector, it is a risk for private landlords. When there is multiple occupancy in a property, wear and tear and damage is dramatically accelerated; a big problem for landlords and agents.

“Very often, the obvious damage to the property are: iron burns on carpets; cigarette burns; heat damage to polished wooden furniture; scuffs, marks and dents to walls; stiletto heel imprints on wooden floors and vinyl.

“There can also be considerably more mould and condensation with more occupants. Landlords can also face expensive repairs for damage and redecoration costs, to bring the property up to the standard it was at check in.

“Illegal subletting falls under tenant fraud and it’s undoubtedly a growing problem. Renting a property makes landlords vulnerable to fraud. Hence it is vital that landlords and agents carry out thorough pre-letting checks. The purpose of referencing a tenant is threefold: to check the person is who they say they are; that they can afford the rent; and that they have honoured past commitments.

“Information collected on the tenancy application can be used to trace them, should they abscond, or leave owing money. In addition, should the applicant make false statements, this document provides evidence for eviction.

“It is important not to take everything at face value. Don’t believe anything that you are told or what you read in on the application. It is vital that prospective tenants provide employment references and if there is in any doubt, the applicants should be asked to provide further proof, for example, copies of payslips or sight of bank statements.

“Extra precautions, such as asking for three months’ bank statements can help catch out potential fraudulent tenants. Also take the time to compare addresses shown on the application with those shown on the ID documents.

“Ask for previous utility and telephone, including mobile phone, bills and statements, and check if the name and address and other information matches up with the information on the application form.”

LetRisks’ tips for which evidence to look for are:

  • Pay regular visits to the property; every three to six months is ideal.
  • Look out for signs of other people living in the property, for example, excessive rubbish or extra toothbrushes.
  • Carry out thorough checks before taking on a new tenant.1




Landlords plan further rent rises

Published On: January 7, 2014 at 5:24 pm


Categories: Finance News

Tags: ,

Demand for rental accommodation has vastly increased during the past five years. Escalating deposit prices for homes, coupled with the recent financial uncertainty have led to a spike in demand for rental housing, with prospective homeowners priced out of the market.

This in turn has led to a rise in rent prices from landlords cashing in on the additional demand for homes. A survey from SpareRoom indicates that 42% of landlords plan to raise rents in 2014, with 26% planning to increase rents by 3%, higher than the rate of inflation.[1]


A spokesperson for SpareRoom described the findings as, “unwelcome news for the thousands of people who are trapped renting long term because they can’t afford to climb onto the property ladder.”[1]

The findings also showed that on average, rent for a double room in rental accommodation with bills increased by 4.5% in the final quarter of 2013, in comparison to the previous year. Rent is now an average £507 per month as opposed to £485 per month in 2012.[1]

Landlords plan further rent rises

Landlords plan further rent rises



In more welcome news, 58% of landlords said that they had no plans to increase rents in 2014, with their priorities building up long lasting relationships with good tenants.[1]


Director of SpareRoom Matt Hutchinson welcomed the news that “the majority of landlords would rather keep good, reliable tenants than make a few hundred pounds extra profit a year.”[1]

He went on to warn landlords thinking of increasing rates by more than the rate of inflation, stating that they “risk attracting tenants who could struggle to pay their rent on time, or, even worse, risk void periods with no tenants and no rental income at all.”[1]

Hutchinson also offered advice to tenants, saying that they should “not just accept an increase” but instead “use it as an opportunity to talk to your landlord and get some improvements carried out in return.”[1]

He also said that tenants should be vigilant and know their rights. Mr Hutchinson said, “tenants on fixed-term tenancy contracts could be protected from rent rises as landlords aren’t usually allowed to increase rents until the term ends, unless there’s a clause in the agreement saying the rent can be increased.”[1]