Latest English Housing Survey offers positivity for the sector

Latest English Housing Survey offers positivity for the sector

The English Housing Survey is always an interesting read and the latest edition for 2017/18 is no different. Packed with information, the Survey offers much positive news for the rental sector.

The headline statistic is that the vast majority (84%) of private renters are happy with their rental accommodation. While this is less than the number of homeowners satisfied with their homes (95%), it is still a large portion of the market and speaks to the quality of rental properties on offer.

The Survey also shows that the rental sector is not as insecure as it is sometimes made out to be. The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) notes that, of those who have lived in one home for less than three years, almost three quarters (72%) moved on because they wanted to rather than because a landlord evicted them for one reason or another. Against the backdrop of Section 21 potentially being scrapped this is interesting data.

The most popular reasons people chose to move on include employment related reasons (18%), moving to a better neighbourhood (16%) and finding a larger home (13%). The most common reasons given by those who did not move solely of their own choice include being evicted by a landlord (12%), terminating a let by mutual agreement with the landlord (10%) and moving because a fixed-term tenancy has come to an end (8%).

David Smith, policy director at the RLA, said: “Today’s English Housing Survey dispels the myth that private renting means insecure tenancies and ever increasing costs. It shows that renters are spending less of their income on housing, at 33%, down from 34% the previous year and 36% in 2014/15, and are staying in their homes for over four years on average.

“As Ministers look at ending so called ‘no fault’ evictions the survey finds that the large majority of those who moved out of their home did so because they wanted to, either for work, a larger home or to move to a different area (72%) or because their tenancy had come to an end (8%). A further 10% moved on mutual agreement with their landlord.

More troubling news comes when tenant deposits are considered, with a fifth of renters unsure whether their deposit has been properly protected by their landlord or lettings agent. This is far from ideal and both tenants and landlords need to be aware of the correct procedures for dealing with deposits – for more information please see our dedicated page.

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