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8 Private Rented Sector Myths


By 2025, it’s expected that a quarter of all UK households will live in the private rented sector. So, it’s time to overhaul some myths.

1)Renting is second best

Tenants live unbound by the restrictions of homeownership. As the world changes, renting is becoming more prominent because private renters don’t need to save for years to afford a deposit, are able to maintain mobile lifestyles, and can live in the city they’ve always wanted to. Renting means tenants pay for what they want, for however long they want.

2)Only young people rent

Generation Rent or millennials aren’t the only ones living in the private rented sector. While the biggest group of renters are aged 24 to 35, the number of renters has risen across every demographic, apart from the over 75s. In ten years, the proportion of 35-44-year olds renting doubled from 13% to 26% and increased from 8% to 14% amongst 45-54-year olds.

3)Only low-income households rent

Private rented sector households have a diverse range of incomes, with 16% of tenants amongst the richest fifth of the UK population, and 23% in the poorest fifth. 74% of private renters are in work, with the majority employed in professional or managerial professions.

4)Building more will save the day

‘Build, build, build’ is the mantra of many politicians faced with finding a solution to demand for housing outpacing supply. Experts have predicted that 300,000 more homes per year are needed just to meet demand, currently, the government falls short of that target by around 50%. However, there are other solutions, such as: focusing on quality, diversifying types of property, and reforms to tenancies and the taxation system.

5)Only single people rent

In 2004 majority of households living in the private rented sector were single, working-age adults. Fifteen years later, however, more than a million more families now rent, and the most common households are couples with children.

6)Reform is bad

Government policy has favoured home ownership over renting for decades. So, when reform is mentioned, questions are left unanswered or completely ignored. When, in fact, the private rented sector is open to smart reforms. Research by Shelter showed that a third of private landlords supported longer-term tenancies, which purpose-built rental accommodation already adopts as standard.

7)Baby Boomers are to blame

High-profile public figures have been quick to point the figure when it comes to identifying a source of the UK’s housing shortage, usually at Baby Boomers (those born between 1946-1964) ‘stealing their children’s future.’ Which  is more a smokescreen to avoid addressing the real issues of: example: government inability, class, rental reform, and location.

8)Renting is a stepping stone to homeownership

For many renting has become a choice that is preferred to homeownership. At a fraction of the cost of a house deposit, renters can settle into a lifestyle that suits them. 84% of tenants are happy with their accommodation, and even more, 90% view a rental property as a home. Which makes it unsurprising that both the average length of time livening in the private rented sector and the number of people renting, are increasing.

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