In the UK currently there are around 4.5 million renters in the Private Rented Sector, a number expected to rise to around 6 million in the next few years. Some are choosing to rent as a long-term solution to their housing needs and other are using it as a stepping stone to owning their own home, either way, both will create an increase in demand that will need to be met. Good quality housing for a wide variety of people will need to be available to meet this demand.
A recent tenant study conducted by LSL of 36, 500 tenants in looked at the key priorities of those renting in the Private Sector. It showed that almost all tenants expected parking and external storage to be included in their rent. It also showed that younger tenants are much more motivated to get on the property ladder than their older counterparts. Older tenants, with their greater understanding of the costs involved in buying a property, were more content with their status as renters.
Age-wise, there is a fairly even spread across the board with 18% of renters aged between 18-25, 21% between 26-35, 21% between 36-45, 22% between 46-55 and 18% aged 55+ with male and female renters each sitting at 50%.
When it came to key priorities it was clear among all of those surveyed that having a good landlord and the quality of the property were more important than value for money. More than 50% said that communal space was important to them with 64% saying they would participate in communal activities. 61% said they would be interested in an online portal for the day to day management and communication between tenant and landlord.
There were three distinct lifestyle groups of those surveyed;
Ages 18-25 with an average rent of £659, those in this group tended to be single or in new relationships and valued the flexibility afforded to them by renting. They were optimistic about buying their own home within the next 5 years but did not have a full understanding of the costs involved.
This group were aged 35-45 were typically married with children and had an average rent of £770. They had a greater understanding of the cost involved in purchasing a property and tended to be saving for a deposit or renting as a stop-gap between house moves.
Reconciled with Renting
This group were typically over the age of 55, were renting due to a change of circumstances or a lesser income and payed an average rent of £667. Most did not have children living at home and had less desire to own their own home.
One thing that was clear from the survey, older tenants were much happier to be renters with 46% of the Reconciled with Renting group happy with renting versus only 24% of the Young Independents.