Majority of tenants ‘like renting’ – but do they want to stay?

Contrary to the many stories of reluctant renting, the majority of tenants say they like their living situation, according to a new survey.

A survey of over 2,000 tenants by specialist buy to let lender Paragon Bank found over half (54%) said renting either suits their current situation or that they enjoy renting.

The bank’s UK Tenant Report 2020 shows tenants who like renting do so because they do not have to worry about repairs (48%), like the flexibility of being able to move again easily (35%), and believe they have greater choice of location (32%). Other reasons include being able to live in an area they couldn’t afford to buy in (31%) and that the rented property is a perfect fit for them (22%).

Older tenants are more satisfied with renting: nearly seven in 10 of over 55s said renting suited their needs or they enjoyed renting. In the under 55 age group, this dropped to 49%.

The majority of tenants (59%) like the property they live in, with over six in 10 tenants said the property felt like home. Although four in 10 think improvements are required

Over half of the tenants surveyed said they let direct from a landlord and, on the whole, tenants enjoyed a strong relationship with them. Of those asked, 68% said they have a positive working relationship with their landlord. The majority – 80% – thought their landlord was easy to contact, while 65% said their landlord gets repairs fixed promptly, and that these repairs are to a good standard (58%).

Richard Rowntree, Paragon’s managing director of mortgages said: “We spoke to nearly 2,000 tenants in the private rental sector across the country about their experiences of renting and the results confirmed what we suspected. The tenant base is diverse – from young couples finding their first home together, to families, to people in later life who may live on their own – but it’s one that sees the benefits of the tenure.

Of course, the UK is a nation of homeowners and many tenants naturally aspire to own their own property, particularly those in the younger age brackets, but people are generally happy in their rented home, recognise that it suits their needs and, on the whole, enjoy a good relationship with their landlord.”

This national attitude is reflected in the survey’s findings where – despite the overall satisfaction with renting – 72% of recipients said they hoped to buy in the future.

Younger renters in particular hope to buy, with 88% of those aged 25 to 34 saying they want to own a property in the future.

This desire falls by age, with 70% of people aged 45 to 54 hoping to buy, and just half of 55 to 64 year old tenants expressing a wish to own their own home.

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5th December 2020