Happy Tenants Seem at Odds With Housing Campaigners

Millions of private renters disagree with housing campaigners about the state of their buy-to-let homes. 

The lobby groups and housing charities claim rogue landlords take advantage of their tenants. Still, a government survey for 2016 - 2017 shows that 84% of private tenants are satisfied with their homes, and 68% have no concerns about renting. 

Repairs are not a concern for 72% of private renters who said their landlords carried them out satisfactorily, although 17% were dissatisfied. 

The study also highlights that more people privately rent a home than at any time in the past 20 years, with 4.7 million households in buy-to-let accommodation. 

During that time, the number of renters across all age groups has increased - except for those over 75 years old. 

The largest age group renting a private home are 25 to 34-year-olds, making up a third of all renters. 

The English Housing Survey for 2016-17 shows 149,000 households moved into private rented accommodation for the first time, while 266,000 moved out. 

In total, 860,000 renters, including first-time renters, started a new tenancy in the survey period. And on average, these tenants spent just over a third of their household income (34%) on renting a private home. 

Private renters were also less likely to struggle financially than those renting social housing. While 9% of private tenants were in arrears during the year, this compared well with the 25% of social tenants who did not pay their rent. 

The quality of private rented homes is improving as well, the study noted. Although 27% of properties did not pass the government’s Decent Homes Standard, this has been enhanced from 47% in 2006. 

The report also notes more private rented homes are more energy efficient than at any time in the past two decades. 

The Office of National Statistics publishes the survey.

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Investing in a private rented property can be achieved in a variety of ways. Sometimes landlords inherit a property that they then turn over to renting. Sometimes owners of properties become unintentional landlords because they are unable or unwilling to sell a property at the value the market currently dictates.