landlords tenants seeking rent property investors rental demand uk rents uk rental market

£31bn in rent: which tenant type is paying the most?

In the rental sector, most property types come with an ideal target tenant type, but the amount each renter is willing to pay could be changing. 

Like house prices, UK rents have been going up and up in recent years. This is caused by a variety of factors: lack of supply pushing prices up, older tenants having more disposable income, rental property offerings improving.

New research published by Hamptons has revealed that UK tenants paid a whopping £31bn in rent during the first half of 2022. This has gone up by around £750m compared with the first half of 2017, and by £17.3bn compared with the first half of 2008.

Hamptons discovered that this means the total amount of rent being forked out has more than doubled since 2008. Presuming rental levels stay the same, the full-year rental amount will be £63bn this year, while it was £27.8bn for 2008.

Which tenant type foots the biggest bill?

Hamptons’ survey looked at the amount of rent paid by each tenant type based on their generation. You’d be forgiven for not knowing the specifics of each label, so here is the breakdown below:

  • Silent: born between 1928 and 1945
  • Boomer: 1946-1964
  • Generation X: 1965-1980
  • Millennial: 1981-1996
  • Generation Z: (1997-2012)

Interestingly, the outgoing rental costs for those in the Generation Z bracket have soared since H1 2020. This, says Hamptons, is driven by growing numbers of this group flying the nest, so it makes sense. In 2022, they are projected to pay £11.7bn, up 222% on last year.

Every other tenant type, though, has seen an overall fall year on year. Millennials are one of the most ‘common’ tenant types, forking out the most (£22.4bn this year), but this is down 18% compared with last year. The bill has fallen by 49% since 2017 as more of this age group buy homes.

The so-called silent generation, who make up the smallest part of the rental sector, have seen the biggest drop in their rental bill of 49% since last year; it is projected to be £0.4bn this year.

See the table below for the full outline:

Rent paid by the generations

  H1 2022 2022 projected YoY Change %
Silent (1928-1945) £0.2 bn £0.4 bn -49%
Boomer (1946-1964) £4.4 bn £8.9 bn -7%
Generation X (1965-1980) £9.7 bn £19.6 bn -5%
Millennial (1981-1996) £11.0 bn £22.4 bn -18%
Generation Z (1997-2012) £5.8 bn £11.7 bn 222%
Total £31.0 bn £63.0 bn 2%

Up and down the country

According to Hamptons – and many other sources – the supply issues in the rental sector are ongoing across the country. Its data suggests there are currently 54% fewer homes on the market than in June 2019, so tenants are scrabbling for homes in some cases.

Over the past 12 months, rents overall have risen by 8.8%, which is down on the result from May 2021 to May 2022, which showed an 11.5% increase. Tenant type notwithstanding, the average being paid is now £1,163 per month.

As ever, the growth varies across the country, with London now showing the biggest leaps in its rental prices. In inner London, rents have risen by 35.1% over the past year, from £1,980 to £2,675.

Other areas seeing rapid increases are the south west with a 10.4% year-on-year rise, the Midlands (9.1%) and the north (8%). The south east, which has seen more property come onto the market, has recorded a small 3.7% rental increase.

Feeling the squeeze

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, said: “As Generation Z fly the nest, they’ve seen a tenfold rise in what they pay in rent over the last three years meaning they now hand over a fifth of all rent paid.

“Generation Z are joining the rental market faster than any previous generation, mostly because fewer are likely to become young homeowners.

“It will take a significant uplift in homeownership rates over the next five or so years to stop Generation Z paying more in rent than Millennials, which seems unlikely as interest rates and house prices continue to rise.

“Older generations have shown that by the time a tenant hits middle age, they’re increasingly less likely to ever become a homeowner.

“For many, the deposit remains as much of a barrier to buying as it was in their twenties, while getting a mortgage becomes tougher since lenders are cautious about extending a mortgage deep into retirement age.

“This typically means the term gets progressively squeezed, pushing up the monthly payments and acts as a barrier to homeownership.”

Self-certified Sophisticated Investor

Please read

I declare that I am a self-certified sophisticated investor for the purposes of the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. I understand that this means:

I am a self-certified sophisticated investor because at least one of the following applies:

I accept that the investments to which the promotions will relate may expose me to a significant risk of losing all of the money or other property invested. I am aware that it is open to me seek advice from someone who specialises in advising on non-mainstream pooled investments.

High Net Worth Investor

Please read

I make this statement so that I can receive promotional communications which are exempt from the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. The exemption relates to certified high net worth investors and I declare that I qualify as such because at least one of the following applies to me:


Sign up for first access to new developments and exclusive property investment opportunities.

We send limited and targeted emails on new launches and exclusive deals which best fit your areas. We are trusted by over 30,000 active buyers as their source for new stock.

  • New property developments
  • Professional market reports
  • Property deal alerts
  • Development updates
Manchester property investment


Receive trending news straight to your inbox and stay up to date on all of the property market trends and advice.

Established since 2005 we are a leading voice of authority and commentary on the UK property market. Our news is trusted by Apple News & Google News.

  • UK housing market
  • Mortgage & money
  • Buy-to-let landlords
  • Guides & advice

Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today:


+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT


+852 6699 9008

Open from 9am-6pm HKT