Millions of people in the UK who rent their homes from private landlords are putting themselves and their families at risk of eviction and financial hardship, it is claimed.
Many do not have a financial back-up plan and 30% of private renters admit they would not be financially secure if the main household income was lost, according to research from Scottish Widows. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]
Just 16% have life cover in place and only 3% have critical illness insurance despite more than half, 56%, having children under the age of 16 who rely on them financially.
The research also found that 35% concede that if they or their partner were unable to work for six months or longer due to ill health or personal injury, they’d be unable to live on a single income. And when reviewing their finances, 35% pay little or no attention to insuring their rent.
According to Johnny Timpson, Scottish Widows protection specialist there is more than double the share of families in the private rented sector today than in 1992 yet renters are at much higher financial risk than mortgage holders of whom 50% have life cover in place and 20% have critical illness insurance.
‘Renters are not prompted by a house purchase to look at how they and their families would manage financially if they were to die or become seriously ill. But while they don’t have a mortgage to pay, they still have financial obligations, not least the monthly rent and regular household bills,’ he said.
‘Many renters assume they can rely on benefits, but welfare reform means that fewer of them would get their rent paid in full if their circumstances changed without warning. Having a financial plan in place will help protect their living arrangements in this type of eventuality and give greater peace of mind about avoiding eviction and being able to keep up with their regular outgoings,’ he added.
Indeed, arranging financial protection appears to be way down the list of renters’ priorities with the survey showing that 80% view a mobile phone as essential yet only 28% think the same about providing security for their dependents in case they die, and just 21% think that providing security for their family should they become seriously ill is a necessity.
Some 30% of private renters say that they’d use savings to manage financially if their household lost its main income, yet 20% have less than £1,000 put aside and 30% have no savings at all while 36% could only afford to pay household bills for a maximum of five months if they or their partner were unable to work, and 13% say they wouldn’t be able to pay anything at all.