One in three private renters (35%) is worried they will have to move in the next year, according to a new Survation poll commissioned by Generation Rent.
New research has shone a light on attitudes from renters in the private sector.
The lack of stability makes it harder for renters to lead a normal life; they are less likely to like the way their home looks or know lots of people in their local area, the survey found.
Recent government proposals to reform tenancies will fail to assuage this anxiety, the campaign group says, as it calls for bolder reforms in the November Budget.
The Survation research, commissioned by Generation Rent, found:
- One in three (35%) private renters is worried they will have to move home in the next year, compared with 16% of home owners.
- Private renters are less likely to feel like their home looks the way they want it to (43%) than home owners (66%) or council tenants (50%).
- Private renters are less likely to know lots of people in their local area (42%) than home owners and council tenants (both 53%).
- Private renters are more likely to be stressed or anxious (53%) than other tenures, including home owners at 35%.
- Only a quarter of private renters (25%) feel that the economy works well for people like them, with a third who do not (34%). The population as a whole is evenly split, with 30% agreeing with the statement and 29% who disagree. Home owners are much more likely to agree that the economy is treating them well (37%), though a quarter (24%) disagrees.
In England, 19% of households now live in private rented housing, rising to 25% among families with children. Outside of a fixed term tenancy, a private landlord can evict the tenant with two months’ notice and without needing a reason.
The government has acknowledged the problems the lack of security creates.
At the Conservative Party Conference, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said that new incentives would be announced at the Autumn Budget for landlords who give tenants more security.
However, the only extra security Javid outlined was tenancies of at least 12 months (which the majority of landlords already offer), and an extra month’s notice if the landlord wants to take back the property.
Generation Rent is calling on the government to provide meaningful security for tenants who meet the terms of their tenancy:
- Landlords should give a valid reason for taking back a property – this would help prevent revenge evictions which are used to intimidate tenants, and is already being introduced in Scotland.
- Landlords should pay the tenant’s moving costs if they are forced to move without being at fault – this would encourage landlords who wanted to sell up to sell to another landlord with the tenants still living in the property.
- Landlords should not raise rent by more than wages are rising – this would help tenants plan their finances and stop landlords from forcing tenants out by raising the rent.
Dan Wilson Craw, Director of Generation Rent, said: “With home ownership unaffordable and council housing unavailable, private renters are living longer in a tenure that was not designed to provide long term homes.
“The constant threat of your landlord deciding to sell up or move back in means that you have none of the stability that a home is supposed to provide.
“As the poll suggests, this is holding back tenants from improving their homes or getting involved in their local community.
“We can bring private renters’ quality of life into line with other tenures by restricting the ability of landlords to evict tenants who have done nothing wrong.
“Tenants should be compensated for the cost of an unwanted move and we should encourage any landlords who want to exit the market to sell with sitting tenants.”
Source: 24 Housing – http://www.24housing.co.uk/news/renters-fear-constant-threat-of-losing-their-home/