Latest data from the 2015 English Housing Survey shows that there are now 4.3 million households living in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) in England. Since 2002 the sector has doubled in size and has now overtaken the Social Rented Sector, to become the second largest tenure in the housing market.
A shortage of new homes means that it has become harder for many to buy a home of their own. At the same time the Social Rented Sector is under pressure because of a shortage of funding. It is more critical than ever therefore that landlords are motivated to expand the supply of property for the benefit those who want – or need – to rent privately.
We hear a lot in the media about home ownership and the aspirations of frustrated first-time buyers, but what do tenants really think about living in the PRS?
Specialist researchers, BDRC Continental recently released their Q2 2016 PRS Tenant Panel research. This research shows demand for properties in the PRS remains high, with 33% of renters intending to stay in privately rented properties long-term, a figure which is only down 2% since the same time last year.
When asked how long they have been living in the PRS the average across the panel was just over 11 years and 69% said they perceive their rental payment as good or very good value for money. In addition, more than half of the tenants surveyed (57%) reported that there had been no change in their rent in the past 12 months, with just under one third (32%) reporting an increase.
There has also been ongoing discussion about increasing the length of the average tenancy agreement to better suit tenants, particularly, families’ need for added security.
The Q2 survey showed the average length of initial tenancy was ten months and 83% were happy with this, however, we know many tenants stay a lot longer.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this quarter’s survey showed 82% of tenants are satisfied with their current landlord. This score remains high from quarter to quarter and further demonstrates the valuable service good landlords provide and how tenants value their rental accommodation.