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Renting continues to grow

Andrew Parkinson, owner of Parkinson Properties brings us the results from the English Housing Survey and you may be surprised by the results, but one thing is for sure is that renting is on the rise.

The English Housing Survey recently produced its latest report based on a national survey of people’s housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England. The survey has revealed more positive growth for the Private Rented Sector. The survey revealed that 4.4 million households in the UK are now privately rented, which is 19% of all households. This is an increase from 18% the year previous, and represents a large rise from the 2004 figure over a decade ago, where only 11% were privately rented.
The survey also found that almost half of 25 to 34 year olds, rented privately, a 3% increase from the year prior. This means that the number of renters in this age group has more than doubled since 2004.

What has caused this growth in rental housing?
A number of factors are responsible for the growth in the Private Rented Sector. The liberalisation of the private rented sector, the reduced number of social houses and the innovation of buy-to-let mortgages, as well as rising house prices and the current problems that many first-time buyers are experiencing with borrowing, have all contributed to the growth of the private rented sector. The Survey provides another stern reminder that Britain needs to build more housing if we want young people to be able to accomplish their dreams of home-ownership. However, this is unlikely to completely solve Britain’s housing crisis by itself.
A nation of renters
The report contains a wealth of data and statistics on many housing issues but in a separate report “A nation of Renters” the Citizens Advice Bureau have taken selective statistics from the EHS survey to attack the private rented sector suggesting that England has moved from secure family homes towards rundown rentals. The National Landlords Association Chief Executive Officer has issued the following response “We recognise that bad practice exists in private housing, that it can have a devastating effect on those it affects, and that it needs to be stamped out. But this report (“A Nation of Renters”) uses loose definitions to compound a perception that private housing is insecure and unsuitable across the board, and it ignores the weight of evidence to the contrary.

Renting – is the system failing?
The English Housing Survey finds that the average tenancy now lasts just shy of 4 years, and that only 7% of tenancies are ended by landlords. Our own research shows that 86 per cent of families consider their properties as their ‘home’ and that 62 per cent do not see renting as a barrier to family life. Furthermore just 0.5 per cent of families who rent privately say they’ve had to move because their landlord increased their rent. What this shows is that private housing is far from the CAB’s assertion of a market that is ‘failing systematically to deliver what consumers want’.

Problems in the minority
Those who suffer at the hands of the criminal and negligent minority do so because of widespread failure of local councils to commit resources to enforcing the laws that already exist against poor landlords and criminal standards, and because of the failure of successive governments to incentivise the building of much needed homes that would relieve the pressure on the whole housing market.”

Andrews experience
My experience in the local area is that the vast majority of landlords are decent hard working citizens providing good quality properties to a vibrant rental market. The issue of housing has become very politicised over recent years but it remains clear to me that most people involved in the rental sector are dedicated to providing a good service to their tenants.


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