More families are renting homes

More families are renting homes

For the first time ever, families are the most common household type in the private rented sector, research from the National Landlords Association (NLA) has revealed.

The findings show that more landlords are now letting their property to families with children (making up 48% of the market) than to young couples (making up 47% of the market).

Compared to four years ago, these new findings represent a rather drastic shift. In 2012, it was young singles who made up the largest group of renters with 53%, followed by young couple at 51% and then families with children at 51%.

The private rented sector now accounts for five million households across the UK. According to the latest English Housing Survey, the proportion of families within that sector went up from 30% in 2004/2005 to 37% in 2014/2015. In other words, this is an increase of 912,000 homes in 10 years.

For the majority of the families participating in the survey, renting is a stable option. An impressive 76% stated they were happy with the length of their tenancy and 79%reported their tenancy was renewed or they stayed at the end of the initially fixed period.

As a result, the stereotype of renting as a hinderance to family life is starting to crumble, with 77% of families considering their rented accommodation as their home and 65% stating they could freely personalise their home.

“There is a genuine contrast between the experience of renting in the 21st century shown in this research and the prevailing housing culture in Britain that only views it as a stopgap, something to be tolerated while waiting for the opportunity to buy your own house,” said Richard Lambert, chief executive officer at the NLA.

“There is a rogue element to private housing that ruins the experience for far too many people, but for the majority of the 11 million private renters, renting offers an inclusive and flexible option which works for them in their current circumstances,” he pointed out.

“Contrary to popular perception, there’s growing evidence that renting is no obstacle to putting down roots and calling somewhere home. The majority of landlords want good, stable, long term tenancies, and these findings show that more and more are becoming receptive to helping families make a home in the private rented sector,” he added.

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