Happy tenants mean happy landlords, and it seems today’s renters are more content than ever, with home ownership aspirations dwindling.
It is widely known that people are renting later in life before buying a property, while growing numbers are dismissing the property ladder altogether, and the number of people renting is expected to surpass the amount of homeowners by 2039.
However, rather than being forced into the position because of rising house prices, a new study by Landbay has revealed that three quarters of respondents who rent are happy to do so – and a third of those renters have said that they would happily choose to rent for the rest of their lives.
Standards continue to improve
Far from the image of disgruntled tenants being ripped off by rogue landlords while living in substandard accommodation, today’s private rental sector is very different. Councils are increasingly cracking down on those few landlords who break the rules, while new minimum standards and licensing rules for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) has encouraged many landlords to up their game. The result is a better experience for the majority of tenants, who as a result choose to rent in their current properties for longer.
Aside from improving living standards in the private rented sector, today’s tenants say they benefit from the freedom and flexibility that comes with renting rather than owning, including not having to take responsibility for maintenance costs such as fixing broken boilers or leaky radiators. Renters also avoid the added financial burdens that come with homeownership such as stamp duty, solicitors fees and estate agents fees, which has been further enhanced since letting agent fees were banned earlier this year.
Affordable rental options
Even those renters who do intend to become homeowners are apparently in no rush to do so. According to the survey, the average person will wait just over four years to buy their first home.
Age also plays a part, with 64% of over-55s who rent saying they wanted to continue to do so for the rest of their lives, while a third of 35-54-year-olds said the same.
While the cost of renting can be high, rent in the UK is generally considered “affordable”, with an average 28% of peoples’ wages being spent on rent, according to research from Imovirtual. To be deemed unaffordable, the level would need to be 30% of wages spent on rent.
The build-to-rent sector is currently booming, which has further improved the situation for many renters. These properties tend to be slightly more expensive than a standard buy-to-let, but come with a host of amenities aimed at long-term renters such as concierge services, shared facilities such as gyms and workspaces, and communal indoor and outdoor areas. All of these factors create a sense of community which in the past might have been lacking in a rental lifestyle, making it a more appealing choice for many.
As the private rented sector becomes more competitive, offering the most attractive rental accommodation is hugely important for successful property investors. Take a look at our investments page to see some of the opportunities currently on offer for investors.