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Tired cliches” about renting have been disproven according to Paragon Bank, after commissioning research which showed the majority of tenants are happy with their experience.

Carried out by the Social Market Foundation (SMF), a survey of 1,300 tenants found over 80% were happy with their property and landlord.

Conversely, the greatest source of dissatisfaction among this population was the status of being a renter with 34% of respondents attesting to this.

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The report – entitled ‘Where next for the private rented sector?’ – also unveiled tenants’ ambitions.

Only half of respondents expect to leave the private rented sector in the next 15 years, suggesting many intend to remain renting for longer.

Specifically, 13% of respondents admitted they would be happy renting for the long-term.

This could mean a demographic shift among renters with average ages rising.

By 2035, SMF expects over half of private renting households to include someone aged 45 or older. Couples and families will also make up a rising proportion of renters.

Paragon Bank managing director of mortgages Richard Rowntree says these findings demonstrate how many views about renting are “outdated” or “tired clichés”.

“In our experience, the vast majority of landlords seek to provide a good quality home and enjoy a healthy relationship with their tenants; the significant investment in private rented property by landlords has helped drive up standards over the past 15 years and today homes in the sector are generally newer, larger and more energy efficient than ever before,” says Rowntree.

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“People from all walks of life now call the private rented sector home and we must strive to create a sector that meets everybody’s needs.”

The SMF includes several recommendations to the government.

These are to increase the stability of tenancy agreements (after 69% respondents supported 24 months as the minimum contract length), giving renters more control over their homes, increase accountability of landlords and improve the standards of private rented properties.

SMF economist, and one of the report’s authors, Aveek Bhattacharya says: “In contrast to the horror stories that get wide circulation, the majority of renters are satisfied with their living conditions and have decent relationships with their landlords.

“It is absolutely right that the government should seek to help the minority with poor standard accommodation and unprofessional landlords. At the same time, it needs to think harder about what it can offer the typical renter – who is largely happy with their circumstances today, but has doubts about whether they want to keep renting long-term.”

Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette

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