As standards have improved in the private rented sector, 83% of renters are satisfied with their rental property.
In England, nearly one in five households live in the private rented sector. This equates to just over 4.4m households, according to the MHCLG. With this high number of households renting privately, it’s important to look at what renters think about their accommodation.
The English Housing Survey for 2019/2020 asked private renters how happy they are with their rental home. More than 80% of private renters are happy with their rental accommodation. Additionally, 75% of renters are happy with the way their landlords carry out maintenance and repairs. This is the highest figure in a decade.
The survey results also showed tenants generally have a more positive experience when dealing directly with their landlord. Among those surveyed, 85% of tenants were happy when services were provided by their landlord. And 79% said they had a good experience when services were provided by a letting agent.
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), comments: “The NRLA is mindful of the challenges the private rented sector is confronted with and remains firmly committed to tackling them in a spirit of co-operation between tenants, landlords and government.
“However, today’s figures demonstrate that the vast majority of private renters are satisfied with their accommodation and the service being provided by their landlord. This positive feedback is representative of tenants’ experiences across the private rented sector, and it is through this lens that future changes need to be seen.”
In recent years, the government has brought forward new regulations in the sector. This is in an effort to drive standards across the private rented sector. Improvements have included improved electrical safety regulations and energy efficiency standards. More rules will likely come into play in the coming years too.
During the past 10 years, the quality of privately rented properties has increased substantially. This has brought direct benefits to tenants. A recent study even revealed the majority of landlords upgrade properties before the first tenant moves in. This is further driving up standards.
Landlords have also been adding more modern properties to their portfolios. This comes with many benefits for both tenants and investors. As a whole, the energy efficiency of the private rented sector has increased in the past 10 years. Green credentials in particular has become a top priority for many landlords.
A professionalising sector
The private rented sector continues to become more professionalised. Increased regulation has not always been popular. However, it means there is more accountability. And recent changes has caused more landlords to treat buy-to-let as a full-time business. This brings many benefits to the sector.
These improvements have also made renting a more appealing option. And it has improved tenants’ rental experiences. This is particularly important as more people are reliant on the private rented sector for a home.
In recent years, demand has increased for rental properties. At the same time, there has been a decline in homeownership. This trend could continue in the coming years. And this further shows the importance of the rental market.