The numbers of private renters in the UK now tops the number of social renters. The private rental sector has continued to grow in recent years, doubling in scale from 2 million households in 1980 to 4 million today. The growth means they are now more important as a group than social renters, whose numbers have subsided to 3.7 million today, from 5.4 million in 1980.
Three quarters of private renters are under 45 years old. As a group, renters are younger than both social renters and home owners. A quarter of them are couples with no children and 20% are single occupiers under 60. Just over a third are parents – 23% are couples with dependent children, while 12% are lone parents. Just 14% of rental homes are occupied as multi-person households.
The report also reveals that, despite the media’s frequent stories about “rogue landlords”, private renters are actually happier than social renters. Of private renters, 84% of those surveyed were either very or fairly satisfied with their accommodation, compared to 81% of social renters. They were also happier with the local area they lived in – 87% of private renters said they were satisfied, compared with 82% of social renters.
“Landlords are an easy target in the media with stories of rogue behaviour, revenge evictions and poor accommodation,” commented Graham Kinnear from Landlord Assist. “However, this survey shows that more landlords than ever before are providing good quality accommodation for their tenants.”
Unsurprisingly, given the need to save for a larger deposit nowadays, the average age of a first time buyer is increasing, and 25% of these buyers are now in the 35-44 age range.