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Third of UK renters happy to “rent for life”

According to a recent poll by home interiors specialist Hillarys, a third of UK renters have no plans to ever buy a property and would prefer to rent as long-term tenants instead.

More than 2,000 tenants, paying an average of £650 per calendar month in rent, were included in the poll with 35% of them stating that they would be happy to continue renting for the rest of their lives.

Respondents were asked how long they had been renting for, with 43% saying they had done so for six to 10 years, 28% for up to five years and 15% for 11 to 15 years and the average monthly rent they paid was £650.

At 52%, over half of respondents said that they were currently happy with renting, with the remaining 48% admitting they were not happy with their current situation.

Main reasons for tenants wanting to rent

The main reason cited for tenants wanting to rent was the flexibility of being able to move home freely, while 27% identified affordability as the biggest barrier due to high property prices. 

Some 14% of tenants said that they like not having to worry about repairs, 9% said they are not sure they would want to live anywhere permanently, while 6% said buying a property was too stressful.

Other benefits of renting

Property Expert, Phil Spencer explains that some other benefits of renting include; not being billed for maintenance and repairs, because as a tenant it is the responsibility of your landlord to maintain the property, pay for decoration and its upkeep. So, if the boiler were to go bust, while you might suffer in the short-term, at least in the long-term you won't have to pay for it.

As well as this, he states that house prices aren’t a tenant’s problem, and that as a renter you are not going to fall foul of any housing market-related conditions. You will of course have to pay monthly rent (which may go up once your existing rental contract has ended) but if house prices fall, you won't be trapped in a state of negative equity and unable to move.

Other interesting finds from the poll

The research also revealed that 97% of tenants believe that renters’ rights could be improved, while two-thirds of tenants - 63% - believe that they should be offered first right of refusal if landlords decided to sell.

Additionally, the poll found that the vast majority, one in 10, believe that landlords should not be able to evict tenants unless they have broken the law.

‘We hear so much about how more people have to rent long term because they can’t get on the property ladder, but it’s interesting to see how many are actually happy with renting,’ said spokesperson Tara Hall.

‘Owning a property isn’t for everyone, especially if you like not being tied down or don’t want to spend months and months saving for huge deposits,’ she added.

What does this mean for landlords?

At Belvoir, we source brilliant tenants for our brilliant landlords – and this research consolidates the fact that being both a tenant and a landlord is a worthwhile decision. Tenants can benefit from all the advantages of not owning the property, whilst Landlords can benefit from using our services and being assured that there will be minimal ‘empty home’ periods because of the amount of people willing to rent for the long term.

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